Scientology Crime Syndicate

28 Sep 2000

German_Scn_News <german_scn_news@hotmail.com>

This sermon for Lisa McPherson was given September 17, 2000 in Berlin, Germany

This text will be at http://cisar.org/000917c.htm.

The Prayer for Lisa McPherson at http://cisar.org/000917b.htm.

Sermon Notes
for Sunday Focus Service

"Prayer for Lisa McPherson

Berlin-Charlottenburg, Germany
September 17, 2000

by Rev. Thomas Gandow

(supplemented from recordings; hearty thanks to the church congregation and to all the people on the internet who helped me in the preparation of this sermon through their questions, pointers, assistance, explanations and, more than anything else, collecting the material and putting it on the net. In particular I thank Joe Cisar, Jeff Jacobsen, David Rice, Ilse Hruby, the staff of the Lisa McPherson Trust, Peter Widmer, Dave Bird, Arnie Lerma, Gerry Armstrong, Rod Keller, Jeffrey Liss, "Alec," Stephan Kleinert, "ptsc" and all others.)

Sunday Gospel : Luke 10, 25-37;
Prescribed text of sermon:
1st Book Moses (Genesis), Chapt 4, 1-16 (Cain and Abel)

Greetings from the pulpit: "May the grace and peace of God, our Father, and of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you!"

Members of the congregation, dear guests and audience! One thing must be said right at the start: Cain is a part of all of our pasts. And Cain also is a part of our present. Murdering one's own parents, murdering one's own children, fratricide, this has been a part of being human from the beginning. You can read about it again and again in the newspaper.

Isn't that terrible?

From the beginning, mankind has indeed found itself in mortal disagreement with God and His Commandments, with his own brothers and sisters. No, man is not inherently good.

Where is our brother Abel? Where did our sister Sarah get to? Where did our sister Lisa die?

Is it not the case that many saw how blacks were beaten in any one of the incidents in recent times, but looked away and walked past?

Is it not the case that many suspected where they were bringing the Jews when they were being assembled at the Grunewald train station, but they did not talk about it?

Is it not the case, too, that many of us now have heard of Scientology penitential camps, of Scientology slander operations and of crimes against critics in accordance with the SO Fair Game Law?

Can anyone at all now say he did not know?

There is no perfect murder. Crime can remain unatoned, but not unknown. At the very least, the spilled blood cries to heaven.

The murderer will at first have a laugh over the old, sacred scripture about the call for responsibility, "Am I my brother's keeper?"

And us? Are we supposed to be keepers to our adult brothers and sisters who are not able to take care of themselves?

Yes, but how? Wouldn't watchfulness have been better? Wouldn't it be more comfortable to look away again?

We admit that we have always looked, that we are still looking today and walking past. Terrible failure.

Because looking too closely might mean:

that we would take pity,
that we would get involved,
that we would get pulled into someone else's life,
that we would be sympathetic,
that we would have to suffer and
that we would become victims.

But looking away and walking past could mean:

that we have become hard,
that it leaves us cold,
that we become perpetrators and murders ourselves.

Today I have to relate yet another terrible story, the story of Lisa McPherson, and thereby the story of all the victims of the Scientology ideology. Because if we feel no sympathy, if we do not take pity, if we undertake nothing, if we do not get involved, if we tolerate cynicism, then we turn into accomplices ourselves.

Lisa McPherson came from a Christian Baptist family. In her 18th year of life, in her first job, she was recruited into Scientology. She was in Scientology since 1982.

Over time she turned into a model Scientologist. She handed over ever increasing amounts of money to satiate her organization's voracious appetite for it, about 200,000 US dollars in her last five years. After many difficulties and after over 12 years of membership and failed attempts, she finally reached the state of "Clear," today only a step in the lower middle portion of the Scientology scale of accomplishment, the "Bridge."

At a celebration five years ago on September 7, 1995, she was awarded the certificate for "clear" and she read from a piece of paper, which today is found among police documents, "Being clear is more exciting than anything I've ever experienced. I am so thrilled about life and living I can hardly stand it!"

Not three months later she was dead. A death seen to in room 174 of the Scientology headquarters, the Fort Harrison Hotel in Clearwater.

What does that matter to us?

Couldn't that have been the free decision of an adult to join the Scientology organization? Are we really supposed to be a keeper to our grown brothers and sisters, including those who made a decision to join the Scientology organization?

Exactly 5 years ago:

The magnificent changes and improvements which Lisa thought she was going to get by obtaining her state of "Clear" in September had not materialized. Just the opposite, she had several failures, including on the job. She telephoned her mother and told her about them.

By mid-October, as can be seen from the documents, she was assigned a condition of "liability" by Scientology, one step below "non-existence," because of falling statistics. The official Scientology definition of this circumstance:

"The being has ceased being simply non-existent as a group member and has taken on the color of the enemy." It is a liability, as the groups documents say, to leave such a person unwatched.

Lisa again got counselling from the SO, part of which included an accusation that she had "taken her attention off the object."

The accusation meant that she could not longer communicate with people in the Scientology manner, nor even with objects, it meant she was looking only inward. Confused, Lisa tried to defend herself from this verdict, because in plain language it meant nothing other than she was insane, that she had become introverted - and the cure she faced was called the "Introspection Rundown."

Lisa tried everything to avoid having to take the route to the Introspection Rundown. She had to obligate herself, through specific actions, to make up for the harm which she allegedly had caused. For Lisa, those actions included having to work from 7 in the morning to 10:30 at night; part of that was to earn money for a Scientology PR operation called "Winter Wonderland" - a sort of Christmas fair for children.

In the event that she held out and did the work, then she would have been able to get back into the group with full rights, after she fulfilled yet another condition: she had to get personal, written agreement from the majority of the Flag Land Scientologists in Clearwater - several thousand - in order to be accepted back into the group.

Was she overworked and overwhelmed in her actions of reconciliation? Was she exhausted? Would she have stepped on the brakes too late otherwise? She ran into a boat trailer towed by a vehicle which had stopped for another accident. Emergency medical personnel who were already at the site of the accident also looked at the people who were in the smaller car accident. Everything was taken down by the police. Everything was well monitored. Lisa was not injured. She could drive her car to the side of the road herself, behind the emergency rescue vehicle.

Lisa had already signed the piece of paper for the medical technicians in the ambulance that she had not been injured and did not need First Aid. The medical technicians were getting ready to drive to their next call. Then Mark Fabyonic looked in his rear-view mirror to see Lisa running up to them, undress and tear the clothes off her body. Bonnie Portolano, a good technician, asked Lisa (I'm quoting from the public record in which the technician was questioned, "'Why did you take off all your clothes, what's wrong?' And she said, 'Well, I wanted for people to think I was crazy because I need help.' And from that point on we talked about help, what had gone wrong for her, and a whole lot of other questions. And her answer was basically, 'I am a bad person.' And I asked her, "Why do you think you're a bad person?" and She said, "Because I found out that I have bad thoughts. I do bad things in my thoughts.' ...."

The SO had found out that she had done something wrong, but she didn't know what it was herself. The medical technician then took Lisa into the ambulance, covered her with a blanket, and went on to sympathetically ask about her problems and continued talking with her.

She reported, "And Lisa said the main reason she had been acting wrongly was that her eyes had turned away from the object. That is a quote, 'I took my eyes off the object.' That appeared to be a really big thing for her."

This Good Samaritan gently kept up the conversation with Lisa. By and large, according to the record, Lisa said she wanted help. She knew she needed to recuperate. She knew that she could not continue as she had. "She said literally, 'I need someone to talk with.' I am a medical technician. I told her that I could not stay with her, but that I could bring her to another place where people would listen to her. 'You can speak with them there. Is that what you want?'" And Lisa said "yes."

Originally she had said something like, "'No, no, I am OK.' But I told her, 'Everything you're saying sounds like there's a lot wrong with you.' And 'It would be good for you to take some time and talk.' Because she said that she wanted to talk, but maybe not an this point in time. Lisa needed help and we brought her to a hospital where they could check out patients psychologically." When they got to emergency, Bonnie told everything to the nurse who was on duty there.

It appears that Lisa was well taken care of. And so this story could have ended up like the story of the Good Samaritan in the Gospel. But it didn't.

A Scientology search party quickly tracked Lisa down and retrieved her, against express medical advice, out of the hospital. That is because the SO claims that it has treatment much better and more effective for people suffering a nervous breakdown than does psychotherapy, specifically, the Introspection Rundown.

In the emergency room, however, they said nothing about that treatment, only that Lisa would find rest and recuperation in the Fort Harrison Hotel, the headquarters of the SO in Clearwater, Florida.

When the medical technician Bonnie checked by the hospital a couple of days later to see how Lisa was doing and she found out that the hospital had released Lisa to the custody of the Scientologists, she said, "It seemed to me that she had been sent back to the source of her difficulty. That is just about the same thing as me bringing a battered wife to the hospital and her husband goes to the emergency room and said, 'Oh no, don't treat her, she is OK, I'll take good care of her and see to it that she is OK.'"

After her release from the hospital, Lisa was given an Introspection Rundown. That is a type of pseudo-therapeutical treatment Hubbard developed for nervous breakdowns. This Introspection RD includes isolating the subject, even if against her will. According to Hubbard, the Introspection RD borders on the miraculous; he said it was the biggest technical breakthrough of 1973.

The first step of the Rundown is "On a person in a psychotic break isolate the person wholly with all attendants completely muzzled (no speech). ...When it is obvious the person is out of his psychosis and up to the responsibility of living with others his isolation is ended."

"The supervisor in charge of the person being isolated tests the person's condition by writing a note, such as "'Dear Joe. What can you guarantee me if you are let out of isolation?'" If Joe does not answer in writing satisfactorily, the supervisor must write back "'Dear Joe. I'm sorry but no go on coming out of isolation yet.'"

Hubbard was very proud of the IR and said, "This means the last reason to have psychiatry around is gone. ... I have made a technical breakthrough which possibly ranks with the major discoveries of the Twentieth Century."

Seventeen days after this treatment was applied, on December 5, 1995, Lisa McPherson died at age 36.

For seventeen days she tried in vain to escape the isolation torture called the Introspection Rundown.

A guard stood outside her door; Lisa was constantly monitored in the room by at least one, but mostly several people. Lisa tried everything to get out of there.

She used self-criticism, "I dessimiated my mother, but she didn't get handled." and "I was 1.1."

She tried making gestures of submission, "I want to take the tooth brush and brush the floor until I have a cognition."

She asked for someone to speak to, "I need my auditor, Mr. Vatusinski."

Again and again she tried to escape, sometimes out the door, sometimes out the window.

The records that were kept on the isolation and the testimony of her guards are in agreement: Lisa was trying to break out of the isolation torture.

Her guards' records include the following:

11-19: "She also tries to push buttons on me (in English this means 'tired to gain my sympathy' - TG). She wanted to call her Minister. ... She wants to go to a party."

11-20: "She doesn't talk that much as we do not talk with her."

11-21: "... she was talking a lot and crying."

11-22: Lisa tore up her bed and hit an attendant.

11-25: "She was as cold as ice to the touch. She refused food. She became violent and hit me several times. Then I called for the guard to come in."

11-26: "... she is just talking ... questions and answers, like she would be asking her questions and she would ... answer."

11-29: "The 'watch' said she was quieter, but suspects its because she's weak, ..."

11-30: "Lisa has come uptone -- she was apathetic yesterday -- physically & in her comm -- just a couple spurts of anger & not very determined at that. This AM she is deliberate & nasty -- even evil."

12-2: Lisa "has scratches and abrasions all over her body & on elbows & knees has pressure sores. None of them are open & none of them look infected. ... [She is] talking & basicly immobile while awake. ... The finances for her protein drinks ran out last night. She has tried to stand several times but is not strong enough yet."

She desperately tried for 17 days to stop the drugs with which she was force-fed. Benadryl, a sedative, was used, along with Chloral Hydrate, a strong sedative.

Those and other SO medications were continually mixed in with her food or squirted into her mouth with a turkey-baster. She tried to defend herself by spitting out as much as she could.

For days she tried to break out - until she was finally tied to her bed. Once she even made it to the door; her hand was on the door knob. Then several guards grabbed her, threw her on the bed and held her down, one lay on her while others tied her legs - it was almost an hour until she "calmed down."

Lisa died in the evening of December 5, between 9:30 and 10 p.m. On the next day about 2 p.m., Lisa's employer called Lisa's mother and told her that she died. "She got sick at noon and got sicker and sicker, then the doctor brought her to the hospital. Fast-acting meningitis."

The mother thought that had happened at work. Then she learned that Lisa had not been on the job recently, but with the SO. She presumably was working there for Project Winter Wonderland, that was what the mother was told about the time when Lisa was in isolation.

The death certificate listed cause of death as a blood clot which had been dislodged by bed rest and severe dehydration. According to autopsy estimates, Lisa had had no water for 5-10 days, nor had she received liquid intravenously.

Scientology at first told the mother and her relatives that Lisa had died from a fast, infectious meningitis and saw to it that Lisa was quickly cremated. The SO members who brought Lisa to the hospital left the USA after the case became public.

With her mother and aunt on their way to Clearwater, Scientologists were clearing out Lisa's apartment. Jewelry, rings, everything was gone, even her clothes.

Lisa did not die as a martyr in the traditional sense. She did not die for her beliefs, she did not die as a result of religious persecution, she died through the delusion of an organization which thought that it does not need medical help and that it had developed an infallible method against nervous breakdowns.

Lisa asked for help. Her guards watched as she died. They also fed her Benadryl a dehydrating sedative - possibly without knowing what they were doing; after all, they were just following instructions.

They kept her drugged with the sedative chloral hydrate, which is also used elsewhere as knock-out drops. They tied her to her bed.

Lisa defended herself, but two weeks of this treatment was too much, even for the strong, young woman. She died from the apathy of her watchers who were not so much afraid of ending a life as they were of not using 100 percent Hubbard technology. Correct Hubbard tech instead of sympathy.

Although the records from the Introspection RD had been submitted from which it could be seen that the ban on speaking with Lisa had been enforced according to regulations, Elliot Abelson the SO attorney disputed that the Introspection RD had been used against Lisa.

From what he said, the death of the Scientologist was the result of a "self-destruction mode" into which she entered under the care of the SO. He said she had spent 17 days in a very beautiful hotel room without television, but with room service and the option to come and go freely.

Will insolence win?

Should I be my brother's keeper? Should I be Lisa's keeper? Should I interfere in his or her life?

Lisa had no keepers, she had guards. Like concentration camp guards or wall guards they were protecting a system, an idea, an organization. They watched a prisoner and wanted to bring the prisoner to behave in accordance with ideology and technology.

But we cannot look away!

We cannot look away because, by looking away, we would put our own humanity at risk. Not being keeper to the individual, our neighbor, means making murder possible and protecting a system of violence, maybe even becoming murderers ourselves.

No, we admit we have always looked, that we are still looking today and walking past. Looking too closely could mean:

that we would take pity,
that we would get involved,
that we would get pulled into someone else's life,
that we would be sympathetic,
that we would have to suffer and
that we would become victims.

But looking away and walking past could mean:

that we have become hard,
that it leaves us cold,
that we become perpetrators and murders ourselves.

God gave us eyes to see and not to look away. And a heart with which we can feel the love of God and of our fellow human beings, our neighbors.


Let us pray:

Father in heaven, spare us from the slave's yoke of sin and apathy against You and our neighbors.

Give us the courage to protect the human dignity and freedom of our fellow man as we do the apple of our own eye.

Grant that we love You and our neighbor with our whole heart, our whole soul and our whole mind as we do ourselves.


May the peace of God, who is greater than all our understanding can grasp, keep our hearts and minds in Jesus Christ for life everlasting. Amen.


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