Scientology Crime Syndicate

$camtology - Copyright -- 1996 X Publishing MenInBlackHats <MeNiNbLaCkHaTs@marcab-confed.cntrl.net> 1998/05/05


In 1995, a small-but-rising-fast magazine in Portland, Oregon called Exotic published an 800-word fluff piece poking fun at the Church of Scientology, or “CoS” for short. This wasn't in itself all that remarkable; just that week MTV had aired a very similar report, and there had been serious rumblings all over the Internet concerning the CoS and attempts by CoS to censor certain posts and shut down a newsgroup called alt.religion.scientology. Nowhere in the article was there information that couldn't be plucked off of cable TV or any number of newsgroups and web sites.

It is fairly well-known that the CoS simply adores harassing those who would print things about them in anything but glowing tones. There are well-documented cases with some respectably big names in publishing (Reader's Digest, Time) that go back decades, in which the CoS got wind of less-than-complimentary coverage and resorted to legal, pseudo-legal, and finally outright illegal activities to suppress said articles and defame anyone connected with them; or for that matter, anyone at all who was interested in openly discussing their internal practices.

But Exotic's staff reasoned that their article was light enough to not be taken seriously by the CoS; besides, their magazine wasn't large enough to attract that much attention, was it?

It was. A week later, Willamette Week, a local newspaper, reported:

“The August [1995] issue of Exotic Magazine was disappearing fast – a little too fast...In fact, somebody was walking into clubs and adult bookstores that carry the magazine and walking out with stacks of 50 to 100 copies...clerks at a half-dozen stores say thieves posing as distributors told them they were `recalling' the magazine because an article in it was going to be the subject of a lawsuit. The men told the clerks they would replace the magazines with corrected copies, but they never returned...About 1,500 issues were taken... When the August issue containing the Scientology story first appeared... a distributor said that he saw someone walk out of the church, deposit 50 cents in the newsrack and then carry the rack's entire stack of magazines back inside. Representatives for the CoS categorically deny any knowledge of the Exotic Magazine thefts. However, church spokeswoman Vicki Scherer says the Wainwright article is full of `false information' about Scientology...”

Ironically, Willamette Week had a similar experience with CoS in May 1985, when Scientologists snapped up an estimated 3,500 copies of the newspaper because it contained a cover story on a $39 million court judgement against the church. Followers had cleared 25 newspaper racks and boxes in the downtown area alone. An apology to the paper had followed, along with a promise of the newspaper's return. No evidence of such a return was ever found. Not content with the local media, members of CoS, with church approval, also managed to steal every anti-Scientology book to be found in the Portland main library building, allegedly for a church book burning.

Oddly enough, after Exotic spoke with a few lawyers, several members of the police department, and one or two head honchos at the Portland branch of CoS, the magazines that local head of CoS affairs, Vicki Sherer, denied having any knowledge of reappeared via delivery service on Exotic's doorstep early one morning, before staff were even in the office. Interestingly, they were sent via a registered service. Add a little detective work and – voila! We find that they were mailed by our Scientologist siblings. Apparently, “Clapper”-based amnesia is what keeps the cult going strong – a flashbulb goes `pop' and suddenly they can't remember a thing. Amazing.

But this article isn't just about Exotic's problems. After this initial incident, not much has happened – but Exotic has been lucky.

I'd love to pack this article with every legal reference and newspaper article concerning Scientology attacks on non-Scientologists who dare speak of them, because I've found thousands; but that would make this article read like a list of war crimes at Dachau. The remainder of this article is just a list, the tip of the iceberg of what is happening. By writing and publishing this piece, I and this magazine are taking a risk. If the Scientologists had their way, you'd be taking a risk by reading this.

My thanks and respect to FACTnet for providing copies of much of this information online for public inspection, despite the howls and abuse from the CoS.


A document from the upper levels of the CoS (PR Post to Port Captains, PR Series #24) specifically outlines protocol for dealing with those who would expose, people known as “dead agents.”

“This is correct procedure: (1) Spot who is attacking us. (2) Start investigating them promptly for FELONIES or worse using our own professionals, not outside agencies. (3) Double curve our reply by saying we welcome an investigation of them. (4) Start feeding lurid, blood sex crime actual evidence on the attackers to the press...Also, press releases should always contain some factor of endurance. This gives the public the idea that we endure. Examples: `For many years now we have stated...', `We have stood up to such attacks many times and are still surviving and expanding', `Since 1950 we have...', `Eighteen years ago...'. Always attack in a press release. Never defend or deny. – L.R.H. (L. Ron Hubbard)”

A little further on (L.R.H. isn't the world's most succinct writer), we see: “Reporters are a kiss of death unless one really is an expert PR man himself. Reporters have to be handled and well. If truly friendly, they have to be wooed. If not, they have to be handled. The routine is (1) Whisper of a bad story (2) Get a lawyer (3) Threaten suit (4) And it must be fast. It must come to an immediate confrontation....The actual handling is very swift. You can make the offending person the butt of your wit, handle seriously, take him over the hills and far away conversationally, but it has to be swift and smooth with one person in control...If there will be a long-term threat, you are to immediately evaluate and originate a black PR campaign to destroy the person's repute and to discredit them so thoroughly that they will be ostracized. In other words, handle the hell out of it...PR isn't `being nice'. It is a dynamic subject.”

This document ends thus: “Alethiea C. Taylor, Acting LRH Pers Sec, for LRH Pers Comm, as ordered by L. RON HUBBARD, FOUNDER [hey, they're not MY caps], LRH:KU:ACT:act. Copyright (c) 1974, by L. Ron Hubbard, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.” No fucking kidding.


Quentin Hubbard dies from carbon monoxide poisoning from a hose hooked to the tailpipe of his car. Quentin was L. Ron Hubbard's second son, level OT7 within Co$, and a class 12 auditor.


Lila Leighton Brown, a prominent Scientologist, jumps to her death in San Francisco.

The head of Oregon Op-Z (internal CoS subset) leaps to his death from the Fremont bridge in Portland, Oregon. Specific details have been suppressed or removed from archives.


Reader's Digest publishes its first article on CoS, titling it “Scientology: Anatomy of a Frightening Cult”, by Eugene H. Methvin.

A quote from that article, concerning an earlier event: “Julie Christofferson was among the lucky, however. After nine months, her parents removed her from the cult and snapped her out of her zombie-like trance. Last August, a Portland, Oregon jury found the church's conduct so fraudulent and outrageous that it awarded her $2,067,000.20 in damages.” [A little home-town action, folks. I can't help but wonder if the CoS actually paid those damages. I'm guessing they at least dragged their heels as much as possible.]


One day in early 1981 another staff member, Terry Findley, “went nuts.” Richard Fischer arranges a brigade of various staff members to take turns “baby watching” her around the clock in the hotel they have on Hollywood Blvd. Richard takes his turn, too. Terry is completely nuts and out of control. She strips off all her clothes, allows her beautiful long hair to get matted, filthy and tangled, and is very destructive – throwing things out of the sixth floor window, screaming obscenities to people on the sidewalk below, like “Is this Scientology? Yeah, fuck! Take a good look at Scientology! Fuck!” Richard sees to it that she is discharged and discredited within the month.

Reader's Digest opens its second article on the CoS with an unsurprising opening paragraph: “Eighteen months ago, the U.S.-based Church of Scientology launched a global – and unsuccessful – campaign to prevent publication of a Reader's Digest report called “Scientology: Anatomy of a Frightening Cult.” The church engaged a detective agency to investigate the author, Digest Senior Editor Eugene H. Methvin. Digest offices in a half-dozen nations were picketed or bombarded with nuisance phone calls. In Denmark, South Africa and Australia, the church sued unsuccessfully to prevent publication.” (The article goes on to follow a format remarkably similar to this one; a nervous bit of commentary from Eugene Methvin, and then the lists of atrocities. Interestingly enough, I arrived at this format before I read Methvin's article! ?Fortunately?, there are so many horrifying anecdotes available that there was no chance that Eugene and I would pick the same ones.)


Ed Brewer is involved in a car accident. Several other Sea Organization or Scientology staff members are in the car with him. He is left in the car, bleeding, while the others go back to the Scientology building to talk to the people in the intelligence division, because they don't know what to do. They “didn't want to create a public relations flap for Scientology”. They fail to call for medical help. Brewer literally bled to death pinned in his car.


Terry McCann's retinas detach while on the purification rundown from all the “sweat-outs” and whatever else they are putting him through. He goes blind. He becomes depressed and commits suicide. Part of Scientology centers around `purification' – through use of drugs, long interviews with lie detectors, deprivation of food or water, work camps, overuse of saunas, and so on. Physical abuse in a can.]


Ryan Kugler (age 10) tries to commit suicide at Oregon Delphi by hanging himself. He is kicked out of the school but then admitted to Los Angeles Delphi about 1986 and re-admitted to Oregon Delphi about 1988-1990. He is still in Scientology now and works for a CoS company. [The Delphis are CoS ?commune / training centers?.]


Jean Marc commits suicide near the New York Celebrity Center [translation: CoS and its show poodles]. Prior to his death he had been involved with two women in the Sea Org [Co$ subsets again]. His body is found with its pockets stuffed full of CoS promo literature. [This could be significant – or not. I have found far, far, far more of these sorts of tales than I expected. It's ominous, but I won't even pretend it's ironclad evidence of wrongdoing. It's merely...disquieting.]

Lee Johnstone, CoS follower, is baby-watched. [i.e., he began to flip out and was placed under some sort of house arrest by CoS members. See also `Terry Findley'.] He was a member of The Guardian's (a UK newspaper) office staff before flipping out and committing suicide at East Grinstead.

A Florida boat broker named Bud Fields' home is infiltrated by Bonnie Mott, whose real name is Yvonne Shirley Mott. Her post was the Authorization and Verification officer for the Commodore Messenger Organization [yes, another acronymized CoS group]. Mott infiltrates the Field's home as a governess. She is allegedly ordered by Marty Rathburn, one of the heads of the Scientology Intelligence Agency [no, I am not making this up], to murder Bud Fields because he wouldn't sell the boat, Free Winds, that Scientology bigwig David Miscavige has the hots for. After Fields is murdered, the boat is bought by Scientology within one week. [Interesting side note: Hubbard loved boats, and frequently claimed all sorts of entirely fraudulent naval honors – and he particularly enjoyed being called “The Commodore”. In many of the depositions from Scientology investigators and ex-members, part of being in the upper echelon involves spending a fair bit of time on a boat. Since a boat's such a handy border-crosser and since the CoS does the things it does, it's not surprising.]

Rodney Rimondo, CoS member, jumps out of the window at the Los Angeles CoS headquarters. His mother, Irene, reportedly gets no legal settlement from the CoS.

Alan Merdith, CoS member, commits suicide. One among countless thousands.

{Excerpt from a suicide note, name withheld:} “...whilst I was discussing with two Scientology registrars...the possibility of my getting a refund of monies which I had paid to the Church of Scientology, they told me that 90% of people applying for a refund from the Church of Scientology eventually committed suicide. This (together with the fact that people who apply for refunds are ostracized and demonized as “Suppressive Persons” and “Enemies of the Church” by the Church of Scientology) had a very intimidatory effect on me, and caused me to be too frightened to attempt to get a refund from the Church of Scientology until more than two years after I had left Scientology, by which time my fear of the Church had started to decrease slightly from its former fever pitch. (At first, on leaving Scientology, I felt so badly affected psychologically that I was taking Ativan tranquilizers and my brain felt like it was split into two opposing halves...)”

“An article in the London newspaper, The Sunday Telegraph, had this to say: “GERMANY is at war with `the giant octopus of Scientology', according to Chancellor Helmut Kohl's close friend and colleague, the employment minister Norbert Blum. In a hard-hitting attack, Mr Blum says that the fringe religious sect is conspiring to take over Germany by infiltrating its economy and converting managers in key sectors such as property, publishing and computer software...Members of the organization should not be trusted with money or trade secrets, Mr Blum adds, because their loyalty is to Scientology rather than to their employers. According to him, the sect is `an organization which will stop at nothing in its desire to spread its purblind ideology world-wide under the guise of religion.”


Steve Fishman, former GO/OSA [heap high CoS magick] operative reports that after he was caught by the government in 1986, he was ordered to commit suicide to save Scientology from being exposed for crimes he had committed on its behalf. [This man, although heavily harassed, has managed to keep telling his story. Researching him led to most of the leads in this article.]


Do you have some friends who think that banning strip clubs will “save our children”? Examine this quote from a deposition from ex-CoS-ite Carol Hutchinson: “I was having lunch in the restaurant at [the] Flagstaff [a CoS facility]. An adult came into the room leading a large group of children – about 15 or 20 if I recall. The children were silent, rigidly in line, very serious in demeanor. They looked tired, unkempt and sad, not at all like normal children age 6-13...They went through the cafeteria line where I was surprised to see that they were given one scoop (slightly larger than an ice cream scoop) of what looked like scrambled eggs. That was all. It was plopped on their plates very unceremoniously. They were directed by the adult with them (it seems to me that this was a very young adult, possibly an older teen) to a large table where they stood around it. They were given the direction to sit and they did so very quickly. They were given the direction to eat. They looked like starving animals as they shoveled the food into their mouths. I can't remember if they had anything to drink or not...”

Rita Smith, ex-member, suicides at East Grinstead. [Tick-tock, in the clock, atop the Scientologist's executioner's block.]


The European said this in August, 1990 about the 1988 suicide of Patrice Vic Kelly: “He had spent thousands of francs on [CoS] `self-improvement' courses, but had despaired when the Scientologists demanded a further 35,000 francs ($7,000) for a special `purification' course.”


Gene Trout (sometimes spelled Traudt), ex-high-level CoS (OT7; L10,11, & 12), kills himself in Chicago.

David Sandelweis suicides after CoS threatened to reveal confidential information in his files.

In July Michael Leube, a 10-year CoS official, commits suicide.


Roxanne Friend is told she isn't really ill, just needs more auditing after she tells fellow church members she has cancer. She refuses auditing, is declared psychotic [by church members], and is forcibly kidnapped to the CoS's center in Flagstaff.

Claudia Petschek, suicides. She was a mission staff member in Canada.


Germany's Der Speigel reports that Pius Keel, 22, has thrown himself under a train after the CoS got all his money.

Karen Simon died by hanging herself in London in May, shortly after refusing to sign a Sea Organization [CoS subset] organization contract. She was preparing a negative report on Scientology at the time of her death.

CAN Newsletter reports: “Maria Eschavarria's son died unexpectedly recently in Clearwater, Florida. [The CoS] owed her son some $50,000. There is suspicion that the son may have not just committed suicide, and the death was not just accidental.”


Frank Bonora reports: “Feeling despondent, I had thought of suicide as I returned to my apartment that night. Instead, I decided to just leave the group, never to return...For one week in September of 1993, I was hospitalized for depression...I experience recurring and intrusive recollections of the events that occurred while in Scientology. These thoughts often keep me awake at night and, therefore, I suffer from insomnia. I feel foolish that I fell into this trap and responded to Scientology manipulation. In contrast to my friends who have families, homes and careers, I believe that the new attitudes and resulting actions that were induced by the techniques used by Scientology caused me to lose my family, employment, opportunities, and emotional harm.”

Michael Argue has two psychotic breaks. He became involved in Scientology in 1971. His first break was in the 1980's, while doing OT levels at the Los Angeles Organization. He is living on Family Benefits (disability pension) for chronic depression. He is on Prozac for depression, as well as valium, and states that he looks forward to bodily death to escape his situation in life. [It seems that killing a person isn't enough for the CoS – you've gotta burn his soul into ashes before his eyes, if you're going to do the job right.]


Michael Weber: “I have regretted selling my business to this day. Most of the money went to Flag...I still dream consistently about Scientology, sometimes every night, and I have been out of the group for nine years.”


A Greek newspaper, Ethnos, reports that Judge Ioannis Angelis has launched an investigation into the local outlet of Scientology, revealing the usual horrible truths of fraud, brainwashing, conspiracy, etc., etc., etc. What's interesting is what happened after he went public with the information: “From the start of the preliminary investigation, a submission of reports against myself has begun, both by the Center's management, as well as by individuals. However, the most troubling fact is that the decision for these tactics against myself, has been made abroad, especially by the (unknown to me) organizations IAS, RTC and OSA [various acronyms for worldwide branches of CoS's security division], whose goals and purpose of existence I am not aware of. The implication of foreign centers is causing at least anxiety to the undersigned, therefore, I request that my false accusers be called to clarify what the exact identity and goals of these foreign organizations are.”

Angelis apparently found documents containing details of conspiracy, espionage, fraud, tax evasion, suicide pacts, and more mysterious acronyms than you can shake a stick at.

MTV's Kurt Loder meets with Leisa Goodman (heap high CoS muckamuck) and Stacy Young, her aid of 15 years. Loder refers to a CoS document which claims to promote members “To work for freedom of speech in the world.” Loder points out that opponents believe that doesn't apply to anyone who criticizes the church's practices. For instance, when Time Magazine ran a cover story (shot of the 1991 magazine cover) which described Scientology as a “ruthless global scam”, CoS responded by filing a $416 million suit. (shot of L. Ron Hubbard's words, “The purpose of the suit is to harass and discourage rather than to win.”) CoS rarely wins such suits but knows that the cost of fighting them can financially damage or destroy defendants. Young defended the actions of her church by saying, “Scientology is willing to spend any amount of money they need to...the purpose is not to make any money off of the litigation. The purpose is to...um...silence the critic.” Brrrrrr.


The Daily Telegraph reports that a corporal in the United Kingdom's Army Pay Corps stole 15,000 pounds to pay off loans he had been persuaded to take out by the Church of Scientology. The corporal had been accosted by one attractive young woman to attend a Scientology seminar. He did so, and thereafter was systematically shuffled from one flattery-and-schtick-expelling buxom babe to another, each of which divided our young military hero from a fairly significant bunch of cash. The corporal claims that they were able to get his life savings out of him within a week, as well as signing him up for a wide number of loans to cover additional Scientology `tuition'. He couldn't make the payments, so he nicked the money from the Army instead.

Jeff Jacobsen manages to find, and post on Usenet, a copy of L. Ron Hubbard's college transcripts. Throughout his lifetime, the founder of Scientology claimed to hold many, many degrees and honors; almost none of which exist outside of vaporware. His actual GPA is revealed to be a D or D-.

Several newspapers in Humboldt County, California post a list of industrial tax delinquents; amazingly enough, in a nice tidy clump right at the top are a whole nodule of Scientologists:

An online magazine, Biased Journalism, dedicates three issues to following court trials instigated by CoS against Grady Ward and Keith Henson. Ward contacts the publisher to inform him that CoS has been asking questions about his `zine and may issue a subpoena for him and demand his e-mail. They claim that Biased Journalism does not qualify as legitimate journalism because it is published on the net. The church also plans to demand the records of every anonymous remailer in the United States.

Jairus Godeka, a Kenyan immigrant, walks into the Portland, OR Celebrity Centre, pours and ignites gasoline on the expensive carpeting and then shoots four Scientologists, including a pregnant receptionist, and briefly takes a hostage. His life and finances, he claims, have been ruined since he became involved with Scientology. At the insistence of Cos he left his wife and sold his possessions. Since leaving the church he has been wracked with guilt, developed a drinking problem and is unable to get CoS out of his head. Everyone, including arresting officers, find Godeka to be quiet, polite and helpful. The church denies Godeka was ever a member, in spite of his family's insistence, and Angie Mann, public affairs director for the Centre tells the local press that Scientologists are "...honest, ethical people who want to help. Our goal is toward a world without crime and a world without insanity."

Grim, isn't it? All of the information contained in this article is freely available through public-domain information archives still available on the Internet (the CoS is waging an energetic battle against the net, attempting to remove any critical mentions of their church or activities, as well as all “indecent” material in general). If you are interested in examining these reports, I recommend using whatever Web-search engine you like on the words “Scamizdat”, “Fishman”, “Robert Newman”, “Jim Lippard”, “FACTNET”, “ARS”, “alt.religion.scientology”, and “Exotic Magazine.” Or, I suppose, you could try “malingering”, “madness”, “money-grubbing”,”fiction” or even “Charles Manson” (who claims to be a successfully audited member).

Good luck – spread the word to your friends.

Many of the search keywords mentioned have sources on or around this horrifying Web address: http://gopher.well.sf.ca.us:70/1/Publications/online_zines/scam/ and from http://www.factnet.org.


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