November 2009

In an article published today in the Australian, titled “Police take up Scientology complaints,” I spotted this passage (my emphasis):

“I [Kevin MacKey] know of several people who were coerced into giving up inheritances and pushed to the point of bankruptcy from these actions.”

Then two cases involving inheritance popped in my mind.

First, in 1986, in a Forbes article titled “The prophet and profits of Scientology”:

“In 1983,” says Larson, “I manipulated a half-million-dollar inheritance out of Bob B… He was naive as hell. D.M. (David Miscavige) called me up in the middle of the night [about Bob B…] He wanted the money. “What’s all this got to do with religion?” Larson muses. “I can’t believe the things I did.”

Isn’t this something? According to Larson, the current Church of Scientology boss, David Miscavige, told him to go after someone else’s inheritance. “He wanted the money”…

Second, circa 1985, in CBC’s “The Fifth Estate”, the mother of a Scientologist recount when the Scientologists came in to milk her:

[…] And her explanation was that she wanted to become ‘clear,’ and really at this point I still didn’t know what she was in, and when I refused her the fact that there is no way I would give her $15,000, this fella immediately said ‘Well if you haven’t got the $15,000, would you take a mortgage out on your home?’ and I said ‘Definitely not!’ And I said my ‘Well my husband would become worried sick if I ever thought of giving her that much money and having to take a mortgage out. And when we refused, they immediately said ‘Well can she have her inheritance?’ My Heavens! I’m not dead yet! It was unreal.

L. Ron Hubbard would approve:

It will be found that those who will pay more were the most able to begin with and have the greatest value to others. Their worth as persons is greater.

[Ref.: L. Ron Hubbard, 9 May 1965, “Auditing Fees”]

The latest accounts add on top of a thick pile more evidences that “Hard Sell” is a core Scientology practice.

I will conclude with this quote from a former member:

Our job as Scientologists is to suck every dime we can from a person. We convince them that they are saving not just this world but the entire universe!

[Former scientologist, “‘Management Seminar’ Harrowing Experience,” Dec. 12, 1990, Cherokee County Herald]

Addendum Nov. 19, 2009: How can one argue about this Scientological pattern of extracting as much money as possible from people? To add to the above nearly 20 years old article, here is a quote from an article published today in the Australian:

Detheridge describes an “inhuman, cold-hearted and money-fixated culture” within the church.

“I have witnessed, and participated in, concerted efforts to extract as much money as possible from parishoners with absolutely no regard for the financial security of the individual or [their] family,” he wrote.

[“Science or fiction?,” Nov. 20, 2009, The Australian]

Addendum Feb. 2, 2010: One more story of Church of Scientology going after the inheritance of a member:

He was living at home with his parents in 2001 and making $7 an hour when he inherited cash and stocks with a total value of $25,000, Durni said.

Soon after telling a Scientologist official of his inheritance, she said, his family’s house began receiving mail with new credit card accounts for Fred, including expensive charges to the Church.

[“Outside Critics Are Unacceptable,” Feb. 2, 2005, Buffalo News]

Outside Critics Are Unacceptable

[One wonder if the flurry of press releases put out by Scientology-linked entities today is to mitigate the media storm caused by Australian Senator Nick Xenophon…]

A few hours ago, a press release was put out by Narconon Freedom Center, titled “Narconon New Life Detoxification Program Backed By Independent Studies.” The press release can be found here.

Now, the study mentioned in the press release, titled “Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients #273” is very far from being “independent”: It was authored by Marie A. Cecchini, David E. Root, Jeremy R. Rachunow, and Phyllis M. Gelb.

All of these persons are linked to Scientology:

Marie A. Cecchni and David E. Root, as long time Scientologist can’t possibly be independent when it comes to the “Purification Rundown”, a Scientology practice. Here is an excerpt of a fundamental Scientology scripture:

Suppressive Acts are defined as actions or omissions undertaken to knowingly suppress, reduce or impede Scientology or Scientologists.

[Ref.: L. Ron Hubbard, “Suppressive Acts,” 23 December 1965]

Therefore, as per their religious teachings, Marie A. Cecchini and David E. Root are not allowed to conclude that Scientology’s “Purification Rundown” is quackery, as this would “reduce or impede Scientology.”

This is even more so that the stated goal of the Church of Scientology is to make the “Purification Rundown” a “craze,” as seen in an internal memo from 1982:

It is the job of [public representatives] to make the Purif the thing to do to create a craze greater than jogging. [ref]

Obviously, Marie A. Cecchini and David E. Root can’t possibly go against the dictate of their church (“make the Purif the thing to do”), as they would risk being declared “suppressive” as per Scientology teachings.

Jeremy R. Rachunow and Phyllis M. Gelb are both with Downtown Medical, a for-profit clinic which delivers Scientology’s “Purification Rundown.” This information is conveniently omitted from the “independent study.”

Both Rachunow and Gelb are consultant for IADS, through its New York Rescue Workers Detoxification Program (NYRWDP), another ploy to deliver Scientology’s “Purification Rundown” in a secular setting.

Rachunow received over $300K between 2005 and 2007 from Scientology front group IADS. Downtown Medical received nearly $2 million between 2002 and 2005 from Scientology front group IADS, probably for delivering Scientology’s “Purification Rundown.”

Finally, the study appears to have been commissioned by Foundation for Advancements in Science and Education, yet another Scientology front. Again “independent” can’t be claimed here.

By the way, the “study” is worthless for supporting the treatment as medically sound, unless one believe that placebo pills are valid medical treatment against serious health problems: There is no objective data in there, it’s all about people’s perception of their own health.

This non-independent paper, falsely branded as “independent” has one purpose: “to make the Purif the thing to do to create a craze greater than jogging.” [Ref. “BRIEFING PURIFICATION CAMPAIGN THE VITAL ROLE OF PR”]

Now, what is the “Purification Rundown,” which is also promoted as secular treatment (“Detox”) through various Scientology fronts? Here is what the Church of Scientology says about the “Purification Rundown”:

The Purification Rundown is a Spiritual activity based on and administered according to the doctrine and practices of the religion of Scientology as set forth in the writings of L. Ron Hubbard and adopted by the Church. No part of the Rundown is intended as the diagnosis, prescription for, or treatment of any bodily or physical condition or ill. [ref]

Similarly, the Scientology booklet “Clear Body Clear Mind,” which details the “Purification Rundown,” says:

The Purification® program cannot be construed as a recommendation of medical treatment or medication. It is not professed to be physical or medical treatment nor is any such claim made. There are no medical recommendations or claims for the Purification program or for any of the vitamin or mineral regimens described in this book. [ref]

This is no doubt fraudulent, the Church of Scientology, sells its dangerous “Purification Rundown” – a “spiritual activity” – in the secular world by promoting it as a medical treatment for a variety of (sometimes serious) health problems.

The fraud went as far as convincing Utah government to foot the bill using public funds to deliver Scientology’s “Purification Rundown” to former police officers as an expensive treatment against disputed ailments. [ref] (keep in mind the “Purification Rundown” involves only vitamins, sauna, exercises, certainly very cheap to deliver, and yet people are charged a couple of thousands dollars…)

The Church of Scientology’s “Purification Rundown” is a huge earner, as it is cheap to deliver, and as it also rake in fresh funds from non-Scientologists when sold as “Detox” in Narconon, Criminon, NYRWDP, Second Chance, etc.

No wonder the Church of Scientology was convicted of fraud in France. Now this beg the question:

Why is the Church of Scientology allowed to fraudulently sells at high price a quack medical treatment in the U.S. (and everywhere else except France) with total impunity?

There is an interesting article today from the Australian Associated Press (AAP). The most complete version is found in The Age: “Xenophon hits out at Scientology”. (For whatever reason, other versions of the same AAP article were truncated, leaving out key parts: example 1, example 2, etc.)

In short, an independent Australian senator questioned the religious status of the Church of Scientology after receiving many letters from people whose brush with Scientology has been less than positive (euphemism). Here is a key excerpt:

Paul David Schofield said his first daughter Lauren had died after she was allowed to wander one of the Church of Scientology’s Sydney buildings and fell down some stairs.

“My wife and I were actively discouraged from seeking compensation from the church,” he wrote.

“I was also encouraged by church executives to request no coronial enquiry (sic) into her death, something I stupidly agreed with at that time.”

Mr Schofield’s second daughter Kirsty also died, in this case after ingesting potassium chloride at the family home – a substance he said was used widely in the organisation’s “purification” programs.

In another letter, Aaron Saxton said as a member of the organisation he participated in the “forced confinement and torture” of others.

He wrote that Scientologists considered to be “underperforming” were placed on diets of beans and rice for up to two weeks at a time, and they were also not allowed to access medications or undergo procedures such as pap smears.

The Church of Scientology spokesperson true to form response was (my emphasis):

“Senator Xenophon is obviously being pressured by disgruntled former members who use hate speech and distorted accounts of their experiences in the church,” the organisation said in a statement to AAP.

“They are about as reliable as former spouses are when talking about their ex-partner.”

Of course, this is the kind of answer to expect from someone indoctrinated with the writings of L. Ron Hubbard – which teach followers that any exposure of wrongdoings by Scientologists is an “attack” on their religion.

My response to the Church of Scientology spokesperson:

Dear Church of Scientology spokesperson… Would you automatically deem as “unreliable” the accounts of spouses subjected to beatings by their former partner? Because that’s exactly what your answer above entails.

Side note: To further underline how the thick track record of intolerance to criticism with Scientology can be traced to the Scientology “scriptures,” even independent Scientologist Marty Rathbun still shows intolerance to criticism of Scientology, as seen in one of his recent post, in which he still associates criticism of Scientology teachings with “hate.” L. Ron Hubbard would approve:

NEVER agree to an investigation of Scientology. ONLY agree to an investigation of the attackers.


So BANISH all ideas that any fair hearing is intended and start our attack with their first breath. Never wait. Never talk about us – only them. Use their blood, sex, crime to get headlines. Don’t use us.

I speak from 15 years of experience in this. There has never yet been an attacker who was not reeking with crime. All we had to do was look for it and murder would come out.

[Ref.: L. Ron Hubbard, “Attacks on Scientology,” 15 February 1966]

Addendum: See senator Nick Xenophon on Youtube for all the details – this is a must-see: Youtube Part 1, Youtube Part 2, Transcript PDF (1.13MB).

After listening to senator Xenophon, one sees that Australia’s Anderson Report of 1965 had it right, well, except that Scientology proved to be much worst (my emphasis):

Many scientology techniques, beyond the elementary stages, are essentially those of command or authoritative hypnosis, and are potentially dangerous to mental health.


The principles and practices of scientology are contrary to accepted principles and practices of medicine and science, and constitute a grave danger to the health, particularly the mental health, of the community. Expert opinion to this effect was fully confirmed by the considerable number of specific cases of damage to mental health of which the Board heard evidence.


In many cases, mental derangement and a loss of critical faculties have resulted from scientology processing and have continued long after the individuals concerned have ceased active association with scientology. In a number of instances the direct result of scientology processing has been to produce mental derangement which has required hospital treatment.


Financial hardship to the customer is the usual concomitant of processing.


Scientology is not, and does not claim to be, a religion. The general attitude of its founder is hostile to and disparaging of religion.

Scientology is a grave threat to family and home life. As well as causing financial hardship, it engenders dissension, suspicion and mistrust amongst members of the family. Scientology has caused many family estrangements.

The Board has been unable to find any worth-while redeeming feature in scientology. It constitutes a serious medical, moral and social threat to individuals and to the community generally.

Censor: A person authorized to examine books, films, or other material and to remove or suppress what is considered morally, politically, or otherwise objectionable. [The Free Dictionary]

At what scale censorship becomes questionable? Each time I ponder about this, I can’t help, I find that even at individual level, acts of censorship  are objectionable.

When you look at it, Scientology scriptures mandate self-censorship, as per L. Ron Hubbard writings, which in short means that the whole systemic censorship emanating from Scientology find its source in a single individual, L. Ron Hubbard.

So here it starts, on Geir Isene‘s blog (Geir Isene is an independent Scientologist), in the comment section of his post titled “AP: The Church of Scientology is going through a difficult season”:

Patty Pieniadz
2009-11-02 at 12:36 | #46
Robert Vaughn Young, Former Head of PR for the C of S in the US, spilled the beans on this false reporting of the # of Scientologists in his 1997 post

How Scientology “Grew” to 8 Million Members

Here’s an excerpt.

“When what came into play was the LRH order that Scientology is always growing. He wrote it in a policy letter, to never admit to anything but growth. That meant the “one million” had to grow. Again, no calculations were made. No organizations were asked to submit figures. Perhaps six months later, we were “1.1 million” and then later “1.25 million” and so the membership figure began to grow. Occasionally it would produce some humor, as when a reporter would call the US office and along the way ask for the membership figure and he/she would be put on hold while someone asked what the latest one was. “1.5″ someone shouted. “No, we used that one last month, make it 1.6,” suggested another. “Why not 1.75,” someone else asked. “Too many digits,” someone would call back, “make it 1.8.” “Hey,” the original PR would ask, “I’ve got a reporter here on hold, gimme a figure!” “Racquel Welch,” came a fast reply from someone coming down the stairs. ”

Full post here: [link removed due to reference to confidential material]

[Addendum: Patty Pieniadz provided me with the original link which was removed, here it is: … 94840d]

This is were I wondered: That doesn’t seem right, censoring someone else’s post. I don’t know what was the link removed, but it appears it was a reference in support of the post. So here is the exchange between me and Geir Isene regarding this:

R. Hill
2009-11-06 at 22:30 | #49

“Full post here: [link removed due to reference to confidential material]”

Link removed due to reference to confidential material?

Maybe it’s time to rename this blog “Somewhat straight talk on Scientology”?

The message sent here, is that Scientology, in the end, is about having someone else decide for you what is appropriate or not for your “spiritual progress.” This holds true for the Church of Scientology, and this appears to still hold true for ‘independent’ Scientologists.

Sorry, can’t help, I’ve always been suspicious of those who rationalize one way or another that some things must not be said/seen. Would the censorship you engaged here still apply if the whole planet was run under Scientology rules?

2009-11-07 at 07:15 | #50

The rules should be simple enough to understand. The reasons should be clearly explained. As for the someone else decide for you, read all my blog posts and look again. You are trolling, but I guess you knew that.

R. Hill
2009-11-07 at 14:13 | #51

I am not trolling — and dismissing me as a troll is not going to help me understand your rationale. I read your position re. confidential material: “I will not post or link to confidential material on this blog. Scientologists should feel safe coming here to get truth.”

That’s what I fail to understand: How is a link to (supposedly) confidential materials going to make Scientologists feel unsafe? (You can answer in private if you wish, I don’t mind, although I suspect you must be pretty busy.)

2009-11-07 at 17:45 | #52

I know how a scientologist feel regarding this subject. I have spoken to hundreds of scientologists about this and they do feel it is unsafe to risk exposure to upper level material. I draw the line at a safe place in the sand, that’s all.

I didn’t say you were a troll. I said you were trolling. Please don’t take it personally.

R. Hill
2009-11-07 at 18:46 | #53

My whole point is that I make a distinction at removing entirely a link, as opposed to merely labeling a link as “Unsafe for Scientologists.”

Hence my last question: With your rationale, on a planet only populated by Scientologists, none of them could find those confidential levels in the event they change their mind. The example might seem extreme, but ultimately it’s the outcome of applying your rationale, and that’s the kind of thought experiment that makes me conclude your rationale in removing the link entirely is not compatible with letting people chose for themselves.

2009-11-07 at 19:02 | #54

Jumping to the conclusion that my rationale would remain the same when you extrapolate your interpretation into the absurd is ….. well, absurd.

R. Hill
2009-11-07 at 19:30 | #55

Not really absurd. A real life example is the Church of Scientology — which no doubt use the same rationale: protecting its members. The principle of free flow of information (as opposed to censorship) starts at individual level. Any individual action to prevent people to reach more information is a brick on the wall.

2009-11-07 at 19:47 | #85

You were concluding on my stance on this based on an extrapolation ad absurdum – that my stance would remain the same given that the whole population would become scientologists. I say that does not logically follow. Then you answer with the above. Handle your logical fault first.

R. Hill
2009-11-07 at 20:43 | #86

No, I concluded on what happens when whoever/whatever uses your rationale on a larger scale. The bottom line is that you did removed non-private information posted by someone else, which could be of interest to a reader, self-assessing yourself as someone who “know[s] how a scientologist feel regarding this subject.” The Church of Scientology has a history of doing the exact same thing (Ex. it did it with google/[link removed due to reference to confidential material] back in 2002.) And now you are asking me to dismiss what you did here, and rather speculate that at some unknown, larger scale, you would stop engaging in doing this. My opinion is that principle of free flow of information starts at individual level, and if someone violate this principle at individual level, you can’t fault someone else for thinking that the violation would not still apply at an ever larger scale. On the other hand, I would have found admirable if you had merely labeled the outgoing link with “(WARNING: Might not be suitable to Scientologists — Isene Geir).” Having been warned, Scientologists in the end could decide to follow or not the link, their choice.

2009-11-07 at 21:15 | #87

It’s my blog. Back in 2002, the Internet wasn’t and never will be the property of the CoS. Your logic is faulty. You seem to have very little knowledge of how a scientologist thinks about these things. There are plenty right here on this blog who has commended the rules. And I am not asking you to speculate on my views given an absurd extrapolation – you were already. I asked you to stop speculating. So, again, please stop.

My blog. My rules. Don’t like it? Too bad.

In the meantime, obey the rules.

In my “logic,” who owns what is irrelevant: I was making a point that censorship is inherent to Scientology doctrines, regardless of whether one is an independent or good standing member of the Church of Scientology.

R. Hill
2009-11-07 at 22:02 | #84

Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Fair enough. I will just conclude with the irony here considering your blog-post titled “On the fear of the unknown,” in which you say “The video contains a lot beyond the fear of the unknown, though – such as fixed ideas, daring to look …”

“Fear of the unknown” => “Fear of the [confidential materials]”
“[F]ixed ideas” => as in “Confidential materials must not be seen prior to proper training”
“[D]aring to look” => “Daring to look [at the confidential materials]”

But maybe I make too much out of this, and if so, let’s just say that the long track record of censorship – as per Scientology doctrines – by the Scientologists over the last decades didn’t exactly help. And now I see that this censorship is still at work in self-described ‘independent’ Scientologists.


On February 27, 1974, the Church of Scientology published an ad in the Times, titled “An Open Letter to Messrs. Heath, Thorpe and Wilson”:

Here are the interesting excerpts:

There has been criticism of Scientologists in the past for monopolising L. Ron Hubbard’s discoveries. The criticism is no longer valid.

Thanks for finally confirming the criticism was valid.

It would be a pity if one group with a monopoly on any body of technology monopolised it to the detriment of our Nation.

Yes, this would be a pity.

We conceive it our duty to make the management technology of Scientology, as developed by L. Ron Hubbard, available to the Nation. We are willing to provide courses for civil servants, politicians, unions, management and staff.

Courses on management, production analysis and statistics, personnel training and programming, mediation technology, courses on communication, basic organization, the theory, purpose and structure of organizations, policy, orders and financial management.

Wait… I am confused. Isn’t Scientology a religion? Isn’t quite inappropriate to offer “civil servants, politicians, unions, management and staff” to convert to a particular religious doctrine, Scientology?

The ad makes it clear it’s all about Scientology doctrines here. This is further confirmed when in 1992, the IRS asked the Church of Scientology to provide a complete set of Scientology’s Organizational Executive Course volumes, to which the Church of Scientology answered “the OEC volumes are but a small portion of the philosophy and technology of the Scientology religion.”

Anyway… Let’s read further:

And your exchange to us? There is, you see, a principle of exchange even here. We have little use for money, but as Governments seem to consider it valuable, why then, a percentage of taxation.

Just… wow.

Church of Scientology’s monopoly on Scientology teachings ceased in 1974 – we are told, when the Church of Scientology offered to convert all U.K.’s public institutions to Scientology doctrines, in exchange of a portion of the tax income pie.

Exactly how offering your product for sale equates a term to a monopoly? When you try to figure how is it possible that the Church of Scientology somehow thought it was an offer the U.K. couldn’t refuse, there is only one option left: facepalm.jpg.

Addendum: Just to further highlight the ridicule,  try this:

Microsoft – the fastest growing religion – is pleased to announce an end to its monopoly on Windows and Office. Microsoft will provide training for Windows and Office to all civil servants, politicians, unions, management and staff, and since we don’t care much about money, Microsoft will settle for a mere portion of tax revenue raised by the government. You’re welcome.

On November 4th, 2009, the author of “Leaving Scientology” posted the following comment on Marty Rathbun’s blog:

rebel008 // November 4, 2009 at 6:36 pm | Reply

Compare how LRH [L. Ron Hubbard] handled the defection of and criticism from prominent writer William S. Burroughs. In an April [that would be August], 1970 response in Mayfair magazine, he was respectful of Burroughs, and stated, “Outright lies and false accusations are not something that can be corrected. But honest and valid criticism is always welcome because it helps a lot of good people do a better job.”

Miscavige is incapable of thinking that way, or writing such a response. His first and only thought will be “how do I get revenge.”


There is no question David Miscavige, sociopathic leader of Scientology, Inc. is totally unable to handle criticism of himself, his church, or his religion. But, I wholeheartedly disagree that L. Ron Hubbard was any better at handling criticism. So I felt compelled to answer:

I tend to give more weight to acts performed away from PR [public relation] fronts. LRH’s handling of Paulette Cooper, Jim Berry and countless others doesn’t strike me as respectful.

My comment was never approved by Marty Rathbun. What is it that was so unbearable in my post that it couldn’t possibly be read by others? Isn’t this ingrained culture of hush-hush and censorship – even after leaving the Church of Scientology – just plain tiresome in the long run?

Intolerance to criticism runs deep in Scientology teachings. One just has to read one of the most important policy letter L. Ron Hubbard wrote regarding Scientology: Keeping Scientology Working Series I, dated February 7, 1965, in which L. Ron Hubbard makes it clear that his Scientology writings are infallible, which obviously implies that it is not open to criticism.

How ironic that my comment re. L. Ron Hubbard intolerance to criticism wasn’t accepted as valid criticism by Scientologist Marty Rathbun.

I will conclude with this quote from the Foster Report, regarding the inherent culture of intolerance to criticism in Scientology teachings:

The reactions of individuals and groups to criticism varies from grateful acceptance. or amused tolerance, at one end of the scale to a sense of outrage and vindictive counter-attack on the other. Perhaps unfortunately (especially for its adherents) Scientology falls at the hyper-sensitive end of the scale. Judging from the documents, this would seem to have its origin in a personality trait of Mr. Hubbard, whose attitude to critics is one of extreme hostility. One can take the view that anyone whose attitude to criticism is such as Mr. Hubbard displays in his writings cannot be too surprised if the world treats him with suspicion rather than affection.


Addendum: In case I hadn’t make this clear, it’s less about having my comment moderated, and more about whitewashing L. Ron Hubbard’s teachings when it comes to explain the long track record of abuses/wrongdoings/crimes in Scientology.

Eric Hill of Commonwealth Times wrote an article, titled “Scientology Redux”, concerning the conviction of the Church of Scientology for fraud in France. Here is an excerpt:

I will not attack Scientology in particular because a “cult” only remains a “cult” until it becomes popular (Christianity was once a cult, as was Islam).

I posted a comment, and for whatever reason, it was not accepted for publication. Here is my answer to him:

I don’t understand your point.

Scientology wasn’t convicted because it was a “cult,” it was convicted because of its conduct, that is, engaging in fraud (admittedly a common occurrence in cults.)

It’s not just France courts that think religion is not a valid defense against unlawful conduct, the U.S. Supreme Court said so also in 1988 (Ref.: “Church Can Be Sued on Recruiting – Beliefs Protected but Not Conduct, Justices Rule”)

Why would you characterize a fraud conviction as an “attack”? Are you of the opinion that the U.S “attacked” Bernard Madoff by convicting him?

My comment wasn’t accepted for publication, hence I publish it here myself.

While at it, I will comment further. Farther in his article, he states:

An individual cannot be critical of another person’s fiction while clutching to their own without being a hypocrite; simply because one fiction may seem more plausible or desirable.

I find this part rather puzzling, since in his original article, “Too dumb to defraud: Why Scientology should not be persecuted as a cult”, he implies that Scientology followers are “dumb,” “fool”:

Honestly though, after having been read by the e-meter myself, it’s my opinion that you are fool if you think a low level voltmeter indicates your spiritual health.

In short, Eric Hill, of the Commonwealth Times, says that Scientology followers are “dumb,” “fool,” and later he lectures people that they shouldn’t be critical of someone else’s fiction. Did he just end up tagging himself as “hypocrite” here?

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