Scientology Crime Syndicate

Subject: Scientology confessions
From: inFormer@informer.org (Rev Dennis Erlich)
Date: 30 Mar 1999 12:07:27 PST

Filed yesterday


Harold J. McElhinny (Bar No. 66781)
Rachel Krevans (Bar No. 116421)
Stephen P. Freccero (Bar No. 131093)
Ronald P. Flynn (Bar No. 184186)
Jason A. Crotty (Bar No. 196036)
425 Market Street
San Francisco, California  94105-2482
Telephone: (415) 268-7000
Facsimile:  (415) 268-7522

Jana G. Gold (Bar No. 154246)
755 Page Mill Road
Palo Alto, California  94304-1018
Telephone: (650) 813-5600
Facsimile:  (650) 494-0792

Attorneys for Defendant



RELIGIOUS TECHNOLOGY CENTER, a California non-profit corporation; and
BRIDGE PUBLICATIONS, INC., a California non-profit corporation,



DENNIS ERLICH, an individual,

	No.	C-95-20091 RMW (EAI)


Pre-trial Conference: April 22, 1999
Trial Date:  May 4, 1999
Ctrm:	Hon. Ronald M. Whyte


 I, Dennis Erlich declare and state:

1. I am the defendant and cross-complainant in this action.  This
declaration addresses the central feature Scientology practice which
claims to provide a form of spiritual absolution and ascension through
"confession," the maintenance of various files containing information
based upon these confessions by numerous Scientology entities, and the
expectation of confidentiality associated with these confessional
activities and files.  I have personal knowledge regarding these
subjects based on 14 years as an ordained Scientology minister,
including 10 years in an organizational position known as Cramming
Officer (a tenure which includes 4 years as a "Chief Cramming Officer"
in Scientology's highest technical organization), responsible for
ensuring the proper administration of Hubbard's confessional "tech" by

2. Auditing is a central practice of Scientology.  Scientology is
premised on the belief that through proper auditing (and only through
proper auditing), an adherent can reach the state of "clear," that is,
a state in which one is free of the "reactive" (irrational) mind.  In
an auditing session, the person being audited (known in Scientology as
a "preclear" or "pc") holds on to a pair of galvanized cans attached
to a crude lie detector type device, known as an "e-meter."  The
preclear is asked a series of questions about feelings and events, and
is routinely asked to confess any transgressions of thought or deed.
An example of the type of question that would be asked is "what have
you done that your wife/husband/parents nearly found out about."  If
the needle on the e-meter reacts to the question and registers a
"charge," the person being audited is considered to be "withholding"
and is not permitted to progress until he or she confesses to the
thought or deed that is supposedly being withheld.  The auditor makes
detailed notes of what the preclear is asked, what he has confessed
and how the meter reacted throughout.  When the person has confessed
the transgression and has been questioned in detail about the thought
or act, and the needle on the e-meter no longer registers a reaction
associated with the thought or experience, the preclear is said to be
"released from" that particular experience.  The person is then asked
if there is an earlier similar experience, and the whole process is
repeated.  Scientology auditing does not stop with confessions limited
to the preclear's conscious activities.  Instead, in order to progress
along Scientology's "Bridge to Total Freedom" (the state of "clear"
and beyond) the preclear is required to confess and "clear"
experiences from infancy, birth, in utero, and past lives.  One cannot
progress in Scientology without doing so.

3. Scientology maintains extensive files on individuals that are
associated with it.  For example, during each auditing session, the
auditor is required to maintain detailed notes on a worksheet which
records the information discussed.  These worksheets are placed into
the person's "preclear" or "pc" file (also known as a "case"  or
"confessional" file).  I attended the deposition of Mr. McShane and
heard him admit that the materials in someone's "preclear" file are
confidential and subject to privilege.

4. Confessions made during auditing are made under conditions
promising confidentiality.  Part of the Auditor's Code, which auditors
are required to learn verbatim, states that "I promise not to use
secrets of a preclear divulged in session for punishment or personal
gain."  In my experience, preclears are indoctrinated to believe that
confessions made or elicited during an auditing session are kept

5. Despite this expectation, and in accordance with numerous Hubbard
policies, after the session an auditor is required to report any
transgressions or breaches of Sceintology's numerous codes and
policies in writing to the preclear's "ethics" file. ("ethics" in
Scientology does not have its ordinary meaning, but rather provides a
measure of the Scientologist's loyalty to L. Ron Hubbard and to the
Scientology organization -- the stated purpose of "ethics" in
Scientology is to eliminate "counter-intention," that is any intention
opposed to Hubbard's doctrines).

6. Scientology also maintains a file on each of its members called an
"ethics" file, which is supposed to contain material related to the
person's alleged "out-ethics" (incorrect, according to Hubbard)
behavior and transgressions against Scientology.  Although most
preclears do not know or understand this, an auditor is required to
make special note of any potential "ethics" matters that come up
during an auditing session (for example, needle readings that indicate
negative thoughts about L. Ron Hubbard or transgressions of policy)
and report them to a Case Supervisor.  The information is then
transferred into a person's "ethics" file.  I heard Mr. McShane state
in his deposition that the information in a preclear file is
protected, but that the information in an "ethics" file is not.  In my
experience, much of the information in an "ethics" file is taken from
the preclear file, and more specifically, from confessions made under
the promise of confidentiality.

7. There are other confession-based "spiritual processes" within
Scientology designed to relieve the influence of the reactive
(irrational) mind, that are separate from auditing, but that are also
considered to be confidential.  The first is called an O/W write-up
("overt and withhold"), and arises as part of Scientology's "ethics"
regime.  An "overt" is a transgression, and a "withhold" is failure to
admit a transgression.  When a Scientologist does an act or expresses
a thought that might be considered to be counter to Hubbard's
intention, he or she can be placed in a "lower ethics condition."  For
example, someone who questions or disagrees with a doctrine of L. Ron
Hubbard would likely be placed in a condition of "doubt."  Someone who
fails to achieve the targeted production for their organization might
be placed in a condition of  "treason."  A Scientologist in a lower
ethics condition is often ordered by an Ethics Officer, among other
things, to go through a process called writing up "overts and
withholds" to help determine and ameliorate the reason for the lower
condition.  The confessions made in an O/W write-up, while not formal
auditing, are according to Scientology policy, considered to be "case
actions" to be filed in the confessional folder and considered to be

8. A Scientologist is required to undertake various activities to
overcome the ethics condition, besides O/W write-ups, in order to be
allowed to continue to receive auditing or attend courses.  The
worksheets from these other actions are supposed to be routinely
transferred to the preclear's confessional folders according to
Scientology policy.

9. Another type of written statement that would be found in the
preclear file is the "Success Story."  A person cannot complete any
action in Scientology or progress to the next action without writing a
glowing "Success Story" praising the gains they have made.  Part of
the graduation procedure from any level requires the parishoner to be
sent to the Examiner who reads the Success Story and if it is glowing,
puts the person on the e-meter and asks what is called the "Key
Question," that is, "would you like others to have similar gains to
yours?"  The person cannot "pass" unless the e-meter needle "floats."
The Key Question and the person's answer, as well as the e-meter
reaction is always noted on the Success Story form.  If the person
does not write a glowing success story, he is sent to the Department
of Review for correction at his own expense.  These Success Stories
are routinely filed in the preclear folder, and are considered part of
the confessional procedure.  Although Scientology often asks the PC
for permission to publish these Success Stories, the preclear's
acknowledgement must be noted on the form.

10. There is only one type of Scientology confessional practice that I
can think of that is not considered to be confidential, and that is a
process called a "Security Check." (Sec Check).  A Sec Check is an
abusive interrogation session using the e-meter.  It is used to coerce
Scientologists who want to leave, or who have other
"counter-intentions" back into the fold.  It is a key datum of
Scientology "tech" that anyone who wants to leave or is complaining
has committed hidden crimes, overts and withholds.  A person
exhibiting such manifestations is required to be interrogated by using
Sec Check procedures until the transgressions are confessed and the
person recants.  The Scientologist who undergoes a Sec Check is always
warned at the beginning of the session that the information obtained
during the Sec Check is "actionable," and can be used against him or
her.  Such a sec check session is always started with the phrase "I am
not auditing you."  These things are always noted in the session

11. Additionally, when a person has confessed a transgression either
in an auditing session or an O/W write-up, that material is reported
to the ethics file and often used in preparing further questioning
under the guise of an actionable Sec Check or ethics action.  In other
words, if a person wanted to leave or was in "ethics trouble," a
transgression first confessed in an ostensibly confidential setting
would often be questioned and required to be disclosed again under
conditions to avoid the obligation of confidentiality, and therefore
to be used against him if he did not recant.

12. Except for "Sec Check" worksheets where it can be clearly shown
that I had not earlier confessed the same material under conditions
promising confidentiality, and with the additional exception of
routine staff member reports, I would consider the information in my
"ethics" file to be confidential, and subject to the same privilege as
material in my preclear file.  

13. It should also be noted that in discovery the plaintiff failed to
turn over either my ethics files or my pc files, claiming that they
had been lost.  Instead what they produced were selected copies of
discreditable materials culled from both folders.

14. Although Mr. McShane acknowledged that Scientology considers
material in a person's preclear file to be confidential and
privileged, it should be noted that Scientology considers that a
person who has been declared a Suppressive such as myself (and I would
presume that all of the witnesses who will testify for me at trial
will have been declared Suppressive) is no longer entitled to such
protection.  Accordingly, as a matter of Scientology doctrine,
plaintiffs would consider themselves to be entitled to use information
culled from a confessional setting (during auditing or otherwise) to
impeach or discredit a witness.  

I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and
correct.  Executed this 29th day of March at Glendale, California.

Dennis L. Erlich

Rev Dennis Erlich * * the inFormer * *

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