The Scientology Story, by Joel Sappell and Robert Welkos

The impulse to believe the absurd when presented with the unknowable is called religion. Whether this is wise or unwise is the domain of doctrine. Once you understand someone's doctrine, you understand their rationale for believing the absurd. At that point, it may no longer seem absurd. You can get to both sides of this conondrum from here.

Re: The Scientology Story, by Joel Sappell and Robert Welkos

Postby admin » Tue Jul 23, 2019 1:10 am

Part 2: The Selling of a Church

Church Markets Its Gospel with High-Pressure Sales

Behind the religious trappings, the Church of Scientology is run like a lean, no-nonsense business in which potential members are called "prospects," "raw meat" and "bodies in the shop."

Its governing financial policy, written by the late Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, is simple and direct: "MAKE MONEY, MAKE MORE MONEY, MAKE OTHERS PRODUCE SO AS TO MAKE MONEY."

The organization uses sophisticated sales tactics to sell a seemingly endless progression of expensive courses, each serving as a prerequisite for the next. Known collectively as "The Bridge," the courses promise salvation, higher intelligence, superhuman powers and even possible survival from nuclear fallout -- for those who can pay.

Church tenets mandate that parishioners purchase Scientology goods and services under Hubbard's "doctrine of exchange." A person must learn to give, he said, as well as receive.

For its programs and books, the church charges "fixed donations" that range from $50 for an elementary course in improving communication skills to more than $13,000 for Hubbard's secret teachings on the origins of the universe and the genesis of mankind's ills.

The church currently is offering a "limited time only" deal on a select package of Hubbard courses, which represent a small portion of The Bridge. If bought individually, those courses would cost $55,455. The sale price: $33,399.50.

As a promotional flyer for the discount observes, "YOU SAVE $22,055.50."

To complete Hubbard's progression of courses, a Scientologist could conceivably spend a lifetime and more than $400,000. Although few if any have doled out that much, the high cost of enlightenment in Scientology has left many deeply in debt to family, friends and banks.

Ask former church member Marie Culloden of Manhattan Beach, who describes herself as a "recovering Scientologist."

"I'm trying to recover my mortgaged home," says Culloden, who spent 20 years in Scientology and obtained three mortgages totaling more than $80,000 to buy courses.

The Scientology Bridge is always under construction, keeping the Supreme Answer one step away from church members -- a potent sales strategy devised by Hubbard to keep the money flowing, critics contend.

New courses continually are added, each of which is said to be crucial for spiritual progress, each heavily promoted.

Church members are warned that unless they keep purchasing Scientology services, misery and sickness may befall them. For the true believer, this is a powerful incentive to keep buying whatever the group is selling.

Through the mail, Scientologists are bombarded with glossy, colorful brochures announcing the latest courses and discounts. Letters and postcards sound the dire warning, "Urgent! Urgent! Your future is at risk! ... It is time to ACT! NOW! ... You must buy now!"

By far the most expensive service offered by Scientology is "auditing" -- a kind of confessional during which an individual reveals intimate and traumatic details of his life while his responses are monitored on a lie detector-type device known as the E-meter.

The purpose is to unburden a person of painful experiences, or "engrams," that block his spiritual growth, a process that can span hundreds of hours. Auditing is purchased in 12 1/2-hour chunks costing anywhere between $3,000 and $11,000 each, depending on where it is bought.

Even Scientology's critics concede that auditing often helps people feel better by allowing them to air troubling aspects of their lives -- much like a Catholic confessional or psychotherapy -- and keeps them coming back for more.

The church makes no apologies for the methods it uses to raise funds and spread the gospel of its founder. Scientology spokesmen said in interviews that it takes money to cover overhead expenses and to finance the church's worldwide expansion, as it does for any religion.

"You can't do it on bread and butter," said one.

Church leaders will not discuss Scientology's gross income or net worth. But they contend that Scientologists who pay for spiritual programs are no different from, say, Mormons who tithe 10% of their income for admittance to the temple, or from Jews who buy tickets to High Holiday services or from Christians who rent church pews.

"The fact of the matter is that the parishioners of the Church of Scientology have felt and continue to feel that they get full value for their donations," said Scientology lawyer Earle C. Cooley.

Many Scientologists say that Hubbard's teachings have resurrected their lives, some of which were marred by drugs, personal traumas, self doubts or a sense of alienation. They say that, through the church, they have gained confidence and learned to lead ethical lives and take responsibility for themselves, while working to create a better world.

Scientology "works," they say, and for that, no price is too high.

"It takes money," acknowledged Scientologist Sheri Scott. "It took money for my father to buy his Cadillac. I wish he'd sell the damn thing and give me the money (for Scientology).... I have never felt cheated at all."

"I'm not glued to the sky or anything. I'm a very normal person," she added. "I just wish more people would take a look, would read (about Scientology), before they decide we're cuckoo."

While other religions increasingly advertise and market themselves, none approaches the Church of Scientology's commercial zeal and sophistication.

Its tactics come directly from Hubbard, who wrote entire treatises on how to create a market for, and sell, Scientology.

He borrowed generously from a 1971 book called "Big League Sales Closing Techniques." Touted as the "selling secrets of a supersalesman," the book was written by former car dealer Les Dane, who has conducted popular seminars at Scientology headquarters in Florida.

Hubbard said Scientology must be marketed through the "art of hard sell," meaning an "insistence that people buy." He said that, "regardless of who the person is or what he is, the motto is, 'Always sell something....' "

Hubbard contended that such high-pressure tactics are imperative because a person's spiritual well being is at stake.

Among other things, he directed his followers to: "rob the person of every opportunity to say 'No.' "; "help prospects work through financial stops impeding a sale"; "make the prospect think it was his idea to make the purchase"; utilize the two man "tag team" approach, and "overcome and rapidly handle any attempted prospect backout."

One of the most important techniques in selling Scientology, Hubbard said, is to create mystery.

"If we tell him there is something to know and don't tell him what it is, we will zip people into" the organization, Hubbard wrote. "And one can keep doing this to a person -- shuttle them along using mystery."

Frequently, a person's first contact with Scientology comes when he is approached by a staff member on the street and offered a free personality test, or receives a lengthy questionnaire in the mail.

Using charts and graphs, the idea is to convince a person that he has some problem, or "ruin," that Scientology can fix, while assuaging concerns he may have about the church. According to Hubbard, "if the job has been done well, the person should be worried."

With that accomplished, the customer is pushed to buy services he is told will improve his sorry condition and perhaps give him such powers as being able to spiritually travel outside his body -- or, in Scientology jargon, to "exteriorize."

Former church member Andrew Lesco said he was told that he "would be able to project my mind into drawers, someone's pocket, a wallet and I would be able to tell what's inside ... "

Church members are required to write testimonials -- "success stories" -- as they progress from one level to the next.

The testimonials regularly appear in Scientology publications. Usually carrying only the authors' initials, they are used to promote courses without the church itself assuming legal liability for promising results that may not occur, according to ex-Scientologists. Here is an example:

"We were having trouble with the windshield wipers in our car. Sometimes they would work and sometimes they wouldn't.... We were driving along, and my husband was driving. I got to thinking about the windshield wipers, left my body in the seat and took a look under the hood. I spotted the wires that were shorting and caused them to weld themselves together, like they were supposed to be. We haven't had any trouble with them since."

Scientology staffers who sell Hubbard's courses are called "registrars." They earn commissions on their sales and are skilled at eliciting every facet of an individual's finances, including bank accounts, stocks, cars, houses, whatever can be converted to cash.

Like all Scientology staffers, a registrar's productivity is evaluated each week. Performance is judged by how much money he or she brings in by Thursday afternoon. And, in Scientology, declining or stagnant productivity is not viewed benevolently, as former registrar Roger Barnes says he learned.

"I remember being dragged across a desk by my tie because I hadn't made my (sales quota)," said Barnes, who once toured the world selling Scientology until he had a bitter break with the group.

Barnes and other ex-Scientologists say that this uncompromising push to generate more money each week places intense pressure on registrars.

Another former Scientology salesman in Los Angeles said he and other registrars would use a tactic called "crush regging." The technique, he said, employed no elaborate sales talk. They repeated three words again and again: "Sign the check. Sign the check."

"This made the person feel so harassed," he said, "that he would sign the check because it was the only way he was going to get out of there."

A 1984 investigative report by Canadian authorities quoted a Toronto registrar as saying that members of the public want to be "bled of their money.... If they didn't, they would be staff members eligible for free training."

The Canadian report also recounted a meeting during which Scientology staffers chanted: "Go for the throat. Go for blood. Go for the bloody throat."

Former Scientologist Donna Day of Ventura said that church registrars accused her of throwing away money on rent and on food for her cats and dogs -- "degraded beings," they called her pets. They said the money should be going to the church.

"I was so upset, I finally left the house with them sitting in it," said Day, who sued the church to get back $25,000 she said she had spent on Scientology.

Several years ago, church members persuaded a Florida woman to turn over a workers compensation settlement she received after the death of her husband, Larry M. Wheaton, who left behind two children, ages 3 and 7. He was the pilot of an Air Florida jet that plunged into the Potomac River after it had departed Washington, D.C.'s National Airport in 1982.

The Wheatons were longtime church members.

Joanne Wheaton gave nearly $150,000 to the church and almost as much to a private business controlled by Scientologists. But the deal was blocked when a lawsuit was brought by an attorney appointed by the court to protect the children's interests.

The suit claimed that the Scientologists had disregarded the future welfare and financial security of the Wheaton family by taking money that was supposed to be used solely for the support of the children and their mother.

After protracted discussions, the money was refunded and the Scientologists who negotiated the deal were expelled by the church for their role in the affair.

For years, one of Scientology's top promoters was Larry Wollersheim. He traveled the country inspiring others to follow him across Hubbard's Bridge. Then he became disenchanted with the movement.

In 1980, he filed a Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit, accusing the church of subjecting him to psychologically damaging practices and of driving him to the brink of insanity and financial ruin after he had a falling out with the group.

Three years ago, a jury awarded him $30 million. The award was recently reduced to $2.5 million.

During the litigation, Wollersheim filed a 200-page affidavit in which he offered this analysis of what keeps Scientologists hooked:

"Fear and hope are totally indoctrinated into the cult (Scientology) member. He hopes that he will receive the miraculous and ridiculous claims made directly, indirectly and by rumor by the sect and its members.

"He is afraid of the peer pressure for not proceeding up the prescribed program. He is intimidated and afraid of being accused of being a dilettante. He is afraid that if he doesn't do it now before the world ends or collapses he may never get the chance. He is afraid if he doesn't claim he received gains and write a success testimonial he will be shunned....

"How many people could stand up to that kind of pressure and stand before a group of applauding people and say: 'Hey, it really wasn't good.'?"

Wollersheim said that the courses provide only a temporary euphoria.

"Then you're sold the next mystery and the next solution.... I've seen people sell their homes, stocks, inheritances and everything they own chasing their hopes for a fleeting, subjective euphoria. I have never witnessed a greater preying on the hopes and fears of others that has been carefully engineered by the cult's leader."
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Re: The Scientology Story, by Joel Sappell and Robert Welkos

Postby admin » Tue Jul 23, 2019 1:11 am

Shoring Up Its Religious Profile

The church has adopted the terminology and trappings of traditional theologies. But the IRS is not convinced.

Since its founding some 35 years ago by the late science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, Scientology has worked hard to shore up its religious profile for the public, the courts and the Internal Revenue Service.

In the old days, for example, those who purchased Hubbard's Scientology courses were called "students." Today, they are "parishioners." The group's "franchises" have become "missions." And Hubbard's teachings, formerly his "courses," now are described as sacred scriptures.

The word "Dianetics" was even redefined to give it a spiritual twist. For years, Hubbard said it meant "through the mind." The new definition: "through the soul."

Canadian authorities learned firsthand how far Scientologists would go to maintain a religious aura.

According to police documents disclosed in 1984, an undercover officer who infiltrated Scientology's Toronto outpost during an investigation of its activities was asked by a church official to don a "white collar so that someone in the (organization) looked like a minister."

For three decades, critics have accused Scientology of assuming the mantle of religion to shield itself from government inquiries and taxes.

"To some, this seems mere opportunism," Hubbard said of Scientology's religious conversion in a 1954 communique to his followers. "To some it would seem that Scientology is simply making itself bulletproof in the eyes of the law...."

But, Hubbard insisted, religion is "basically a philosophic teaching designed to better the civilization into which it is taught.... A Scientologist has a better right to call himself a priest, a minister, a missionary, a doctor of divinity, a faith healer or a preacher than any other man who bears the insignia of religion of the Western World."

Joseph Yanny, a Los Angeles attorney who represented the church until he had a bitter falling out with the group in 1987, said Scientology portrays itself as a religion only where it is expedient to do so -- such as in the U.S., where tax laws favor religious organizations.

In Israel and many parts of Latin America, where there is either a state religion or a prohibition against religious organizations owning property, Yanny said Scientology claims to be a philosophical society.

In the beginning, Hubbard toyed with different ways to promote his creation.

For a time, he called it "the only successfully validated psychotherapy in the world." To those who completed his courses, he offered "certification" as a "Freudian psychoanalyst."

He also described it as a "precision science" that required no faith or beliefs to produce "completely predictable results" of higher intelligence and better health. Hubbard bestowed upon its practitioners the title "doctor of Scientology."

This characterization, however, landed him in trouble with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and a federal judge, who concluded in 1971 that Hubbard was making false medical claims and had employed "skillful propaganda to make Scientology ... attractive in many varied, often inconsistent wrappings."

The judge said, however, that if claims about Scientology were advanced in a purely spiritual context, they would be beyond the government's reach because of protections afforded religions under the First Amendment.

In the United States, it is easy to become a church, no matter how unconventional -- you just say it is so. The hard part may come in keeping tax-exempt status, as Scientology has learned.

The U.S. government is constitutionally barred from determining what is and what is not a religion. But, under the law, there is no guaranteed right to tax exemption. The IRS can make a church pay taxes if it fails to meet criteria established by the agency.

A tax-exempt religion may not, for example, operate primarily for business purposes, commit crimes, engage in partisan politics or enrich private individuals. It should, among other things, have a formal doctrine, ordained ministers, religious services, sincerely held beliefs and an established place of worship.

In 1967, the Church of Scientology of California was stripped of its tax-exempt status by the IRS, an action the church considered unlawful and thus ignored. The IRS, in turn, undertook a mammoth audit of the church for the years 1970 through 1974.

So began Scientology's most sweeping religious make-over.

Among other things, Scientology ministers (formerly "counselors") started to wear white collars, dark suits and silver crosses.

Sunday services were mandated and chapels were ordered erected in Scientology buildings. It was made a punishable offense for a staffer to omit from church literature the notation that Scientology is a "religious philosophy."

Many of the changes flowed from a flurry of "religious image" directives issued by high-level Scientology executives. One policy put it bluntly: "Visual evidences that Scientology is a religion are mandatory."

None of this, however, convinced the IRS, which assessed the church more than $1 million in back taxes for the years 1970 through 1972. Scientology appealed to the U.S. Tax Court, where, in 1984, it was handed one of the worst financial and public relations disasters in its history.

In a blistering opinion, the court backed the IRS and said the Church of Scientology of California had "made a business out of selling religion," had diverted millions of dollars to Hubbard and his family and had "conspired for almost a decade to defraud the United States Government by impeding the IRS."

The church lost again when it took the case before the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco and the U.S. Supreme Court let the lower-court decision stand.

Stripped of its tax-exempt status, Scientology executives turned the Church of Scientology of California into a virtual shell.

Once called the "Mother Church," it no longer controls the Scientology empire and does not serve as the chief depository for church funds.

It has been replaced by a number of new organizations that Scientology executives maintain are religious and tax exempt. But, once again, the IRS has disagreed, ruling that the new organizations are still operating in a commercial manner.

Scientology is appealing the IRS decision in the courts.
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Re: The Scientology Story, by Joel Sappell and Robert Welkos

Postby admin » Tue Jul 23, 2019 1:11 am

The Courting of Celebrities

Testimonials of the famous are prominent in the church's push for acceptability. John Travolta and Kirstie Alley are the current headliners.

The Church of Scientology uses celebrity spokesmen to endorse L. Ron Hubbard's teachings and give Scientology greater acceptability in mainstream America.

As far back as 1955, Hubbard recognized the value of famous people to his fledgling, off-beat church when he inaugurated "Project Celebrity." According to Hubbard, Scientologists should target prominent individuals as their "quarry" and bring them back like trophies for Scientology.

He listed the following people of that era as suitable prey: Edward R. Murrow, Marlene Dietrich, Ernest Hemingway, Howard Hughes, Greta Garbo, Walt Disney, Henry Luce, Billy Graham, Groucho Marx and others of similar stature.

"If you bring one of them home you will get a small plaque as a reward," Hubbard wrote in a Scientology magazine more than three decades ago.

Although the effort died, the idea of using celebrities to promote and defend Scientology survived -- though perhaps not as grandly as Hubbard had dreamed.

Today, the church's most famous celebrity is actor John Travolta, who credits Hubbard's teachings with giving him confidence and direction.

"All I've had are benefits," said Travolta, a church member since 1975.

Another Scientology celebrity is actress Kirstie Alley, co-star of the television series "Cheers." Last year, Alley and Travolta teamed up in the blockbuster comedy film, "Look Who's Talking."

Alley is international spokeswoman for the Scientology movement's controversial new drug and alcohol treatment center in Chilocco, Okla., which employs a rehabilitation regimen created years ago by Hubbard.

A former cocaine abuser, Alley has said she discovered Hubbard's Narconon program in 1979 and that it "salvaged my life and began my acting career."

Alley also has become active in disseminating a new 47-page booklet on ways to preserve the environment. The booklet, entitled "Cry Out," was named after a Hubbard song and was produced by Author Services Inc., his literary agency. Author Services is controlled by influential Scientologists.

In April, Alley provided nationwide exposure for the illustrated booklet -- which mentions Hubbard but not Scientology -- when she unveiled it on the popular Arsenio Hall Show. Since then, it has been distributed to prominent environmental groups throughout the U.S.

Besides Alley and Travolta, the Scientology celebrity ranks also include: jazz pianist Chick Corea; singer Al Jarreau; actress Karen Black; opera star Julia Migenes; Priscilla Presley and her daughter Lisa Marie Presley, and Nancy Cartwright, who is the voice behind Bart Simpson, the wisecracking son on the animated TV hit, "The Simpsons."

U.S. Olympic gymnast Charles Lakes also is a prominent Scientologist.

After the 1988 Summer Games in Seoul, Lakes appeared on the cover of Celebrity magazine, a Scientology publication that promotes church celebrities. In an interview with the magazine, Lakes credited Dianetics for his success and strength.

"I am by far the healthiest person on the team," he said. "They (other team members) are actually resentful of me because I don't have to train as long as they do."

Celebrities are considered so important to the movement's expansion that the church created a special office to guide their careers and ensure their "correct utilization" for Scientology.

The church has a special branch that ministers to prominent individuals, providing them with first-class treatment. Its headquarters, called Celebrity Centre International, is housed in a magnificent old turreted mansion on Franklin Avenue, overlooking the Hollywood Freeway.

In 1988, the movement tried to associate itself with a non-Scientology celebrity, race driver Mario Andretti, by sponsoring his car in the GTE World Challenge of Tampa, Fla. But the plan backfired.

When Andretti saw seven Dianetics logo decals stripped across his Porsche, he demanded that they be removed.

"It's not something I believe in, so I don't want to make it appear like I'm endorsing it," he was quoted as saying.

For years, Scientology's biggest celebrity spokesman was former San Francisco 49ers quarterback John Brodie.

Brodie said that when pain in his throwing arm threatened his career, he applied Dianetics techniques and soon was "zipping the ball" again like a young man.

Although he still admires Hubbard's teachings, Brodie said he gave up promoting them after some of his friends in Scientology were expelled and harassed during a power struggle with church management.

"There were many in the church I felt were treated unfairly," Brodie said.
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Re: The Scientology Story, by Joel Sappell and Robert Welkos

Postby admin » Tue Jul 23, 2019 1:12 am

Part 3: Inside the Church

Defectors Recount Lives of Hard Work, Punishment

Doris Braine says the transformation of her Patty Jo was heartbreaking.

"It was," she said, "like my darling daughter had died."

Before Patty Jo went to work for the Church of Scientology at the age of 20, she had been "fun and pretty and a joy to be with," recalled her 72-year-old mother. "Suddenly, she became a totally different person, shooting fire from her eyes."

There were those hateful looks, and the dozens of letters that Patty Jo returned unopened. For two years, she would not even speak to her mother, who had criticized Scientology and refused to hand over $2,000 for church courses.

And Patty Jo had taken to calling Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard her father.

"I would cry all the time," recalled Braine, a retired college dean. "I had to psych myself up to go to work, be charming and do a good job. But all day long I thought about her. I prayed my head off that someday she would be able to get out of it.

"It took 15 years, but I think it was worth every prayer I said."

In 1982, Patricia Braine left Scientology, disillusioned with the church and disappointed with herself for succumbing to an environment that, she said, twisted her thinking and isolated her from a world she had hoped to make better.

Scientology, she said, "promises you euphoria but ends up taking your body, heart, mind, soul and family.... We were so brainwashed to believe that what we were doing was good for mankind that we were willing to put up with the worst conditions."

Over the years, defecting Scientologists have come forward with similar accounts of how their lives and personalities were upended after they joined the church's huge staff. They say the organization promised spiritual liberation but delivered subjugation.

In interviews and public records, former staffers have said they were alienated from society, stripped of familiar beliefs, punished for aberrant behavior, rewarded for conformity and worked beyond exhaustion to meet ever-escalating productivity quotas.

"Slave labor" is how Canadian authorities in 1984 described the Scientology work force.

Worldwide, there are nearly 12,000 church staff members, many of whom are in Los Angeles, one of the organization's largest strongholds. They have kept Scientology afloat through a turbulent history that, arguably, would have sunk any other newly emerging religion.

Day and night they labor single-mindedly at jobs ranging from the meaningful to the menial. Some work in administrative areas such as promotion, legal affairs, finance, public relations and fund raising. Thousands of others deliver the church's religious programs. Still others proselytize on city sidewalks, sell books and wash dishes.

Scientology spokesmen insist that the staff is treated well and not exploited. They say that the detractors simply lacked the devotion to advance the religion's aims and the morality to abide by its high ethical standards.

Current staff members say their lifestyle is no more unusual or harsh than that of a monk. Joining the Scientology staff, they say, was the supreme expression of their devotion to create, in Hubbard's words, "a civilization without insanity, without criminals and without war, where the able can prosper and honest beings can have rights."

The elite of Scientology's workers, at least 3,000 of them, belong to a zealous faction known as the Sea Organization and are given room, board and a small weekly allowance.

They sign contracts to serve Scientology in this and future lifetimes -- for a billion years. Their motto is: "We come back."

Dressed in mock navy uniforms adorned with ribbons, they bark orders with a clipped, military cadence. They hold ranks such as captain, lieutenant and ensign. Officers, including women, are addressed as "Sir."

Hubbard called himself "The Commodore," a reflection of his infatuation with the U.S. Navy. "The Sea Org is a very tough outfit," he once said. "It's no walk in the park.... We are short-tempered, but we do our job."

Scientology staffers enter a clannish world of authoritarian rules and discipline based on Hubbard writings. His works govern every detail of the operation, from how to disseminate his teachings to how to cook baby food.

When staffers observe transgressions of Hubbard's dictums, they are required to inform on each other. The church says "knowledge reports" help the organization correct problems and ensure a high standard of operation. But critics contend that the practice works to stifle expressions of discontent or doubts about the church, even between husbands and wives.

To break the group's rules or fall below work quotas can subject even top Scientologists to grueling interrogations on a lie detector-type device called the E-meter, and perhaps land them in the Rehabilitation Project Force, or RPF.

The Rev. Ken Hoden, a church spokesman in Los Angeles, once described the RPF like this: "You just do some grounds work for a few weeks. That's all."

Others, however, have called it in hindsight the most degrading ordeal of their lives -- although one that they believed at the time was leading them to spiritual salvation.

RPFers, as they are called, are separated from their family and friends for days, weeks, months or even longer. They cannot speak unless spoken to, they run wherever they go and they wear armbands to denote their lowly condition.

The RPF provides the church with a pool of labor to perform building maintenance, pull weeds, haul garbage, clean toilets or do anything else church executives deem necessary for redemption.

Former Sea Organization member Hana Eltringham Whitfield said in an affidavit that she once saw an RPF work crew eating like "unkempt convicts," digging their hands into a large communal pot of food because there was no cutlery or plates.

"The Church of Scientology, which was dedicated to saving the planet from insanity, had succeeded in turning these human beings into savages," said Whitfield.

Bill Franks, the church's former international executive director, said that he once lived in a crowded garage for seven months while assigned to the RPF.

"We were indoctrinated on a continuous, daily basis that we were suppressive people, that we were anti-social people, that we were criminals," said Franks, who had a falling out with the church in the early 1980s. He was accused by senior Scientologists of engineering a coup to wrest control of the church from them.

The Church of Scientology says the RPF was established in 1974 so that errant Sea Organization members would have a place to both work and study Hubbard's writings without distractions or substantive duties.

But Hubbard's former public relations officer, Laurel Sullivan, testified in a Scientology lawsuit that Hubbard told her the RPF was created because "he wanted certain people segregated" whom he believed were "against him and against his instructions and against Scientology."

In Scientology, a staff member is evaluated based on his or her productivity. Hubbard made it clear in a 1964 directive that there is no excuse -- short of death -- for missing work.

"If a staff member's breath can be detected on a mirror," Hubbard said, "he or she can do his or her job."

Measuring weekly productivity, Hubbard said, eliminates personality considerations from staff evaluations. Critics, however, say the system is dehumanizing.

"There is no time for anything else, for compassion, for talking or going out," said Travers Harris, who left the Sea Organization 1986 after nearly 14 years. "The only communication is about work. When work is finished you are too tired (and) you have to go to bed."

Several years ago, some branches of the church initiated a program to boost productivity even higher.

Under the so-called Team Share Program, staffers who repeatedly failed in their jobs could be exiled to cramped living quarters called "pigs berthing" and fed only rice and beans. Those who kept their productivity up would be afforded special privileges and the distinction of wearing a silver star.

Staffers become so consumed by their jobs that their children sometimes get lost in the shuffle, according to former staff members who had youngsters and those who cared for them.

At best, they say, children see their parents one hour a day at dinner and perhaps late in the evening. Sometimes, according to ex-staffers, youngsters have gone for days without a visit from their parents, who believe that their work for the group is transcendent.

In 1984, a British justice cited the case of a staff member who left her job to seek medical help for a daughter who had broken her arm.

"She was directed to work all night as a penalty," the justice noted.

He recounted the case of another woman who refused to take a church job that would have separated her from her daughter for two months.

"She was shouted at and abused because she put the care of her child first," the justice wrote in connection with a child custody battle between a father who was a Scientologist and a mother who had defected. The mother was awarded custody.

Former staff members say they tolerated the harsh conditions for many reasons. They say they were captives both of their dreams of creating an enlightened world through Scientology and of their fears of leaving the organization.

Staff members are continuously told that there is no safe refuge for them outside the group because society is a breeding ground for criminals, the insane and people too ignorant to see that Scientology is the answer to mankind's problems.

In the church, non-Scientologists are derisively called "wogs," defined by Hubbard as "a common ordinary run-of-the-mill garden variety humanoid.... Somebody who isn't even trying."

A recruitment flyer for a school run by Scientologists exemplifies this mind-set:

"If you turn your kids over to the enemy all day for 12-15 years, which side do you think they will come out on?" the flyer asks rhetorically. The enemy, in this case, is public education.

The organization's fear of hostile outside influences is so institutionalized that potential staff members are grilled about whether they are government agents or reporters or whether they harbor critical thoughts of Hubbard. Their answers are monitored on the E-meter.

Security around church buildings is elaborate and sophisticated. Remote cameras sweep the streets outside. Scientologists with walkie-talkies scout the perimeters.

In time, the staff member's world orbits ever more tightly around one man -- Hubbard.

"You finally are to the point where you do not examine, logically, Scientology," said former Scientologist Vicki Aznaran, who until two years ago was one of the most powerful figures in the church and is now locked in litigation with Scientology.

"You are cut off from anything that might give you another viewpoint," she said.

Some stay because they fear calamity will befall them if they are denied church courses they have been told are vital to spiritual and physical stability.

Former Sea Organization member Janie Peterson, for one, once testified that she was "so indoctrinated into Scientology that I felt ... I would die" upon leaving.

Other former members said they felt trapped by the church's "freeloader debt" policy.

Many Scientologists join the staff as a way to obtain the church's expensive services for free. But should they leave before the expiration of their employment contracts -- ranging from two years to 1 billion years -- they must pay for the programs they had received at no cost. This "freeloader debt" can reach thousands of dollars.

And on top of all this is the haunting fear that they will be ostracized by family and friends for shunning the religion.

"For those like myself who had been in Scientology for years, Scientology was our entire life, our friendships, our work, our home," said ex-Sea Organization member Whitfield, who spent nearly two decades on the staff. "The organization had made us grow so entirely dependent on it, it was almost inconceivable to leave.

"After all, we had no job skills, no jobs and we believed we would be immediately hit with thousands of dollars of freeloader debt."

Whitfield said that she, like others, defected after reaching the conclusion that the church seemed "only interested in controlling" its members.

"I have looked back and said to myself, 'What an indoctrinated fool I was. What a fool.' "
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Re: The Scientology Story, by Joel Sappell and Robert Welkos

Postby admin » Tue Jul 23, 2019 1:13 am

Part 4: Reaching into Society

Church Seeks Influence in Schools, Business, Science

Emerging from years of internal strife and public scandal, the Scientology movement has embarked on a sweeping and sophisticated campaign to gain new influence in America.

The goal is to refurbish the tarnished image of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard and elevate him to the ranks of history's great humanitarians and thinkers. By so doing, the church hopes to broaden the acceptability of Hubbard's Scientology teachings and attract millions of new members.

The campaign relies on official church programs and a network of groups run by Scientology followers. Here is a sampler of their activities:

Scientologists are disseminating Hubbard's writings in public and private school classrooms across the U.S., using groups that seldom publicize their Scientology connections.

In the business world, Scientologists have established highly successful private consulting firms to promote Hubbard as a management expert, with a goal of harvesting new, affluent members.

Scientologists are the driving force behind two organizations active in the scientific community. The organizations have been busy trying to sell government agencies a chemical detoxification treatment developed by Hubbard.

The Scientology movement's ambitious quest to assimilate into the American mainstream comes less than a decade after the church seemed destined for collapse, testifying to its remarkable determination to survive and grow.

In 1980, 11 top church leaders -- including Hubbard's wife -- were imprisoned for bugging and burglarizing government offices as part of a shadowy conspiracy to discredit the church's perceived enemies.

Today, Scientology executives insist that the organization is law-abiding, that the offenders have been purged and that the church has now entered an era in which harmony has replaced hostility.

But as the movement attempts to broaden its reach, evidence is mounting that Hubbard's devotees are engaging in practices that, while not unlawful, have begun to stir memories of its troubled past. Scientology and the Schools
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Re: The Scientology Story, by Joel Sappell and Robert Welkos

Postby admin » Tue Jul 23, 2019 1:13 am

Scientology and the Schools

The Scientology movement has launched a concerted campaign to gain a foothold in the nation's schools by distributing to children millions of copies of a booklet Hubbard wrote on basic moral values.

The program is designed to win recognition for Hubbard as an educator and moralist and, at the same time, introduce him to the nation's youth.

The pocket-size booklet, entitled "The Way to Happiness," is a compilation of widely agreed upon values that Hubbard put into writing in 1981. Its 96 pages include such admonitions as "take care of yourself," "honor and help your parents," "do not murder" and "be worthy of trust."

The booklet notes in small print that it was written by Hubbard as "an individual and is not part of any religious doctrine."

But Scientology publications have called the campaign "the largest dissemination project in Scientology history" and "the bridge between broad society and Scientology."

Scientologists estimate that 3.5 million copies have been introduced into 4,500 elementary, junior high and senior high schools nationwide. Altogether, more than 28 million copies have been translated into at least 14 languages and distributed throughout the world.

The booklet is distributed by the Concerned Businessmen's Association of America, an organization not officially connected to the church but run by Scientologists.

The Scientology connection is downplayed by the group. Its leader, Barbara Ayash of Marina del Rey, said she launched the association after five of her children became involved with drugs.

Her group runs a nationwide contest encouraging students to stay off drugs by following the precepts in Hubbard's booklet. Participants in the "Set a Good Example" contest must come up with projects using the booklet as their guide. By focusing on the drug issue, the association has won the backing of school officials and political figures unaware of its links to Scientology.

In Louisiana, a junior high school distributed Hubbard's booklet to students and then had them pledge in writing:

"I promise to do my best to learn, practice and use the 21 points of good moral conduct contained in 'The Way to Happiness' book to improve myself, set a good example for my friends, and to help my family, my community and my country."

As an incentive to get campus administrators on board, the association awards $5,000 to the winning elementary, junior high and senior high schools.

At contest awards ceremonies, the winners and Hubbard's book share the spotlight.

For example, during a ceremony at the Charleston, W.Va., civic center, then-Gov. Arch Moore and other dignitaries were each presented a leather-bound copy of "The Way To Happiness."

Scientology critics contend that the contest is being used to enlist new church members, who, as the theory goes, may be so inspired by "The Way to Happiness" that they will reach for Hubbard's other writings. They argue that the booklet's distribution in public schools violates constitutional mandates separating church and state.

But Ayash of the businessmen's association insists that her group has no motive other than to help children lead better lives. "The Way to Happiness," she said, shows them the path in simple, direct language.

For the most part, school officials whose campuses have participated in the contest said they were unaware of Hubbard's Scientology connection or that his followers were directing the contest. They said Scientology was not openly promoted and they did not regret taking part.

But one California public school system recently banned the contest after administrators conducted an investigation and learned that Hubbard was the author of Scientology's doctrine.

For three years, students at El Capitan Middle School in Fresno participated in the nationwide contest. In Spring, 1989, the students won second place for organizing an anti-drug relay in which they passed each other a symbolic "torch" -- Hubbard's booklet.

Deluxe leather-bound copies were presented to mayors of the 15 cities along the relay route.

Last fall, the contest's sponsors decided to accelerate their efforts in Fresno County, urging the entire 5,000-student Central Unified School District to participate, instead of just one school. But they ran up against Geoff Garratt, the district's director of educational services and personnel.

Garratt said that, while he was aware of Scientology, he had never heard of Hubbard. He said he learned of the connection at the local library, where he went to investigate Hubbard's background.

"The more I investigated," Garratt said, "I found it (the businessmen's association) represented a very small self-interest group: Scientology." Among other things, he said, he discovered that the association had the same phone number and address as the local Dianetics center.

Garratt said he rejected the association's plea to expand the contest, fearing that the booklet's distribution in the public schools might violate constitutional prohibitions against mixing matters of church and state.

Garratt said the association refused to consider the possibility of holding the contest without Hubbard's booklet. "They said flat out, 'Without the book, there is no contest.' "

Scientologists also are attempting to install a Hubbard tutorial program in public schools, using a church-affiliated organization called Applied Scholastics.

Yellow posters advertising Applied Scholastics have appeared in storefront windows throughout Los Angeles. They promise better learning skills but make no mention of the church.

Applied Scholastics currently has plans to build a 1,000-acre campus, where the organization would train educators to teach Hubbard's tutorial program. A recent Applied Scholastics mailer predicted that the training center will be a "model of real education for the world" and "create overwhelming public popularity" for Hubbard.

Developed for students of Scientology, the Hubbard program is built upon an elementary premise: learning difficulties arise when students read past words they do not understand.

"The misunderstood word in a subject produces a vast panorama of mental effects and is the prime factor involved in stupidity," Hubbard wrote in 1967. "This is a sweepingly fantastic discovery in the field of education."

The chief solution he propounds is simple: students must learn to use a dictionary when they encounter an unfamiliar or confusing word.

In recent years, Applied Scholastics has targeted predominantly minority schools, where many students tend to do poorly on standardized tests. Applied Scholastics considers these schools fertile ground because campus administrators are willing to try new approaches to improve scores.

The Compton Unified School District in 1987 and 1988 allowed the Hubbard program to be tested with 80 students at Centennial Senior High School. The program there was run by a substitute teacher named Frizell Clegg, a Scientologist who was an Applied Scholastics consultant.

Clegg, who refused to be interviewed, was suspended from his teaching duties in 1988 after he reportedly gave discourses on Scientology in a history class. He no longer teaches at the school.

In applying for district financing, Clegg said the educational program was "developed by American writer and educator L. Ron Hubbard." Excluding any reference to Hubbard's Scientology connection, he persuaded the board to provide $5,000 to tutor 30 sophomores with low reading scores and to conduct a parent workshop.

After the program grew to 50 students, Applied Scholastics submitted a proposal increasing the number of students to 125 and the cost to $27,000.

District officials killed the program, believing that Applied Scholastics was seeking to expand too quickly. Officials were also displeased that the group, without district approval, was using its involvement with Centennial to market the program elsewhere, according to Acting Supt. Elisa Sanchez.

In promotional literature, Applied Scholastics made claims of remarkable success at Centennial High. While some parents said the program helped their children, Sanchez said the claims made by Applied Scholastics were unsubstantiated.
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Re: The Scientology Story, by Joel Sappell and Robert Welkos

Postby admin » Tue Jul 23, 2019 1:14 am

Converting the Business World

Scientology is using a network of private consulting firms to gain a foothold in the U.S. business community.

The firms promise businessmen higher earnings but appear to be mainly interested in recruiting new members for the church.

Although these profit-making firms operate independently of each other, they sell the same product: Scientology founder Hubbard's methods for running a profitable enterprise. The Church of Scientology has for years employed these same methods -- heavy marketing, high productivity and rigid rules of employee conduct -- to amass hundreds of millions of dollars for itself.

Critics contend that the consulting firms are concealing their Scientology links so they can attract to the church prosperous people who might otherwise be put off by Scientology's controversial reputation.

The strategy appears to have proven effective.

A Scientology publication in 1987 reported that the consultant network earned a combined $1.6 million a month selling Hubbard's management methods to a variety of professionals, many of whom have reported improved incomes. It also said that 50 to 75 businessmen were recruited monthly into the church, where each week they spent a total of $250,000 on Scientology courses.

Two of the movement's firms have been ranked by Inc. magazine as among the fastest growing private businesses in America.

The consulting firms use seminars and mailers to attract health professionals, salesmen, office supply dealers, marketing specialists and others.

Those who have dealt with the firms describe the process this way:

Businessmen are drawn into Scientology after they have gained confidence in Hubbard's non-religious management methods. They are often told that, to achieve true business success, they should get their personal lives in order. From there, the church takes over, encouraging them to purchase spiritual enhancement courses and begin a process called "auditing."

During auditing, a person confesses his innermost thoughts while his responses are monitored on a lie detector-type device known as the E-meter. Auditing must be purchased in 12 1/2-hour chunks, costing between $3,000 and $11,000 each, depending on where it is bought.

Spearheading all this is an arm of the church called World Institute of Scientology Enterprises, or WISE.

In recent months, WISE has been encouraging Scientologists nationwide to become consultants within their respective professions. The appeal is simple: make money while disseminating your religion.

In the process, WISE profits, too. It trains and licenses the firms to sell Hubbard's copyrighted "management and administrative technology." WISE charges roughly $12,000 for its basic no-frills training course. For consulting services, it charges $1,875 a day.

On top of this, the consulting firms that sell Hubbard's business methods must pay WISE 13% of their annual gross income.

At the heart of Hubbard's business system is a concept he called "management by statistics," which he said guarantees optimum office efficiency. Scientology critics maintain, however, that it creates an oppressive and regimented workplace environment.

An employee is judged solely upon his productivity, which is charted on a graph each week. Sagging productivity could bring a rebuke from the boss. Or it could lead to an employee's firing.

The management techniques promoted by the consulting firms are identical to those used by the church, except that all Scientology references have been deleted from the materials. The consultants even employ the most basic instrument used by the church to recruit new members off the street -- a 200-question personality test that purports to let people know if they have ruinous personality flaws.

The consultants encourage businessmen and their employees to purchase Scientology courses to remedy personality problems uncovered by the test.

One of the most successful consulting firms licensed by WISE is Sterling Management Systems, which targets dentists and other health care professionals. For the past two years, Inc. magazine has ranked it among America's fastest-growing privately held businesses.

Sterling, based in Glendale, claims to be the "largest health care management consulting group in the U.S."

A company spokesman said the firm charges clients $10,000 for its complete line of Hubbard courses and 30 hours of private consultation. The spokesman said Sterling has helped dentists increase their income an average of $10,000 a month.

He insisted that the company has "no connection" to the church, but added: "If people are interested in Scientology, we will make it available to them."

Sterling publishes a tabloid called "Today's Professional, the Journal of Successful Practice Management." Mailed free to 300,000 health care professionals nationwide, it is filled with "management" articles by Hubbard that are actually excerpts from Scientology's governing doctrines.

The company also holds nationwide seminars that, according to its promotional literature, have been drawing 2,000 people a month.

Sterling Management was founded in 1983 by Scientologist Gregory K. Hughes, at the time a prosperous dentist in Vacaville, Calif. Hughes holds seminars across the country, offering himself as evidence that Hubbard's methods work.

In promotional publications for Sterling, Hughes has said that his annual income soared from $257,000 in 1979 to more than $1 million in 1985. In one month alone, he has claimed to have seen 350 new patients.

Sterling's paper, Today's Professional, has boasted that "the techniques that produced amazing results when applied to Greg's practice are being applied all over the U.S."

But neither the paper's readers nor those who attend Hughes' seminars are told that his dental office, which employed the high-volume Hubbard techniques that he imparts to others, has been accused by former patients of dental negligence and malpractice.

Hughes currently is under investigation by the California Board of Dental Examiners. The board already has turned over some of its findings to the state attorney general's office, which will determine whether action should be taken against Hughes' dental license.

To date, there are more than 15 lawsuits pending against Hughes and his dental associates, alleging either negligence or malpractice. He has denied the allegations.

Attorney E. Bradley Nelson is representing most of those who have sued Hughes.

"It is my opinion," he said, "that the overall quality of care took second place to the profit motive.... I've never seen anything approaching this volume of complaints against one dentist in such a short period of time."

In mid-1985, Hughes closed his office without warning to devote full time to Sterling. He left behind a reputation so tarnished that he was unable to sell his million-dollar-a-year practice, according to dentists in the area.

"He actually had to walk away," said Roger Abrew, co-chairman of the peer review committee of local dental society.

He also left behind patients with worse problems than they had before they were treated by Hughes' office, according to Abrew and other dentists, who have since been treating them. The dentists said that, based on their examinations, Hughes' office performed both substandard and unnecessary work.

"I think its kind of ironic to see a guy who did such a botched job of dentistry teaching others," said dentist David C. Aronson, summing up the sentiments of most of his colleagues in the small Northern California community.

Hughes, who continues to conduct his "Winning With Dentistry" seminars, refused to be interviewed for this story. But Frederick Bradley, an attorney defending him in the lawsuits, suggested that the Vacaville dentists may simply resent his client's success because their patients had deserted them for Hughes.

Another firm once licensed by Scientology's WISE organization to sell Hubbard's management techniques was Singer Consultants. Before it merged with another management company, Singer was ranked as one of the nation's fastest growing private businesses.

The company focused its training on America's chiropractors. It brought hundreds of new members into the church and triggered a nationwide controversy among chiropractors over its links to Scientology. In fact, a chiropractic newspaper devoted almost an entire issue to letters praising and condemning Singer Consultants, which was located in Clearwater, Fla., where Scientology is a major presence.

"We felt that there were young doctors who didn't know they were being solicited to do something above and beyond the practice of their profession," said Dynamic Chiropractic editor Donald M. Peterson, explaining why his Huntington Beach-based newspaper entered the controversy.

Singer Consultants was headed by Scientologist David Singer, an accomplished speaker and chiropractor who held nationwide seminars to pitch Hubbard's business methods.

Two years ago, the company was absorbed into another management firm owned by Scientologists.

Although Singer refused to be interviewed by The Times, he told Dynamic Chiropractic: "Hubbard was a prolific writer and wrote on a multitude of subjects. We do not, have not and will not make part of our program the teaching of any religion." Scientology and Science
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Re: The Scientology Story, by Joel Sappell and Robert Welkos

Postby admin » Tue Jul 23, 2019 1:14 am

Scientology and Science

Hubbard was so proud of a detoxification treatment he developed -- and so hungry for plaudits -- that he openly talked with his closest aides about winning a Nobel Prize.

Although the man is gone, Scientologists are keeping the dream alive. They have embarked upon a controversial plan to win recognition for Hubbard and his treatment program in scientific and medical circles.

The treatment purports to purge drugs and toxins from a person's system through a rigorous regimen of exercise, saunas and vitamins -- a combination intended to dislodge the poisons from fatty tissues and sweat them out.

Physicians affiliated with the regimen have touted it as a major breakthrough, and a number of patients who have undergone the treatment say their health improved. But some health authorities dismiss Hubbard's program as a medical fraud that preys upon public fear of toxins.

In the Church of Scientology, the treatment is called the "purification rundown." Church members are told it is a religious program that, for about $2,000, will purify the body and spirit. In the secular arena, however, Scientologists are promoting it exclusively as a medical treatment with no spiritual underpinnings. In that context, it is simply called the "Hubbard Method."

The treatment is being aggressively pushed in the non-Scientology world by two organizations that sometimes work alone and sometimes in tandem. They have no formal church ties but both are controlled by church members.

Seeking customers and credibility, the two groups have targeted government and private workers nationwide who are exposed to hazardous substances in their jobs. They have pressed public agencies to endorse the method, lobbied unions to recommend it and written articles in trade journals that seem to be little more than advertisements for the treatment.

One of these groups is the Los Angeles-based Foundation for Advancements in Science and Education. The nonprofit foundation has forged links with scientists across the country to gain legitimacy for itself and, thus, for Hubbard's detox method.

Among its key functionaries is a toxicologist for the Environmental Protection Agency, whose advocacy of the treatment has raised conflict-of-interest questions.

Building credentials and allies, the foundation has channeled tens of thousands of dollars in grants to educators and researchers studying toxicological hazards, most of whom were unaware of the organization's ties to the Scientology movement.

In 1986, for example, the foundation gave $10,000 to the Los Angeles County Health Department for a study of potentially harmful radon gas. County officials say they were not apprised of the organization's links with the Scientology movement.

Bill Franks was instrumental in creating the foundation in 1981 when he served as the Church of Scientology's executive director, a post from which he was later ousted in a power struggle. Franks described the foundation in an interview as a Scientology "front group."

"The concept," he said, "was to get some scientific recognition" for Hubbard's treatment without overtly linking it to the church.

Buttressing Franks' account, the foundation's original incorporation papers state that its purpose was to "research the efficacy of and promote the use of the works of L. Ron Hubbard in the solving of social problems; and to scientifically research and provide public information and education concerning the efficacy of other programs."

The document was later amended, however, to remove Hubbard's name, obscuring the foundation's ties to the Scientology movement and its founder in official records.

Hubbard's name, however, continues to appear regularly in the foundation's slick newsletter. In the latest edition, for instance, three different articles advocate the "Hubbard method" as an effective therapy for chemical and drug detoxification.

A fourth article did not mention Hubbard by name, but reported favorably on Narconon, his drug and alcohol rehabilitation program, which is run by Scientologists.

The other organization in the outreach effort is HealthMed Clinic, which administers Hubbard's treatment from offices in Los Angeles and Sacramento and is run by Scientologists.

An independent medical consultant in Maryland who reviewed the program for the city of Shreveport, La., dismissed Hubbard's treatment as "quackery."

The foundation and HealthMed have attempted to create an impression that they are linked only by a shared concern over toxic hazards. In reality, however, they operate symbiotically.

The foundation, for its part, tries to scientifically validate the Hubbard method through studies and articles by individuals who either are Scientologists or hold foundation positions. HealthMed then uses the foundation's credibility, writings and connections to get customers for the treatment.

According to state corporate records, the foundation also holds stock in HealthMed. Moreover, the foundation's vice president, Scientologist Jack Dirmann, has served as HealthMed's administrator.

In 1986, four doctors with the California Department of Health Services accused HealthMed of making "false medical claims" and of "taking advantage of the fears of workers and the public and about toxic chemicals and their potential health effects, including cancer." The doctors also criticized the foundation for supporting "scientifically questionable" research.

The state physicians, who evaluate potential toxic hazards in the workplace, leveled the accusations in a letter that triggered an investigation by the state Board of Medical Quality Assurance. That probe was concluded last year without a finding of whether the detox treatment works. Investigators said they were stymied by HealthMed's refusal to provide patient records and by a lack of complaints from those who had undergone the regimen.

The four physicians who prompted the investigation said they decided to study the Hubbard treatment after receiving calls from union representatives, public agencies and individual workers throughout the state who had been solicited by the clinics. Among them were the California Highway Patrol, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Pacific Gas & Electric Co. and the Los Angeles County Fire and Sheriff's departments.

"It was the accumulation of these calls that led us to say, 'Hey, this is going on all over the state. Let's look into it,' " recalled Gideon Letz, one of the doctors.

The foundation and HealthMed have worked particularly hard to tap one large pool of potential clients: firefighters. The Hubbard method has been pitched to them as a cure for exposure to a carcinogen sometimes encountered during fires. Known as PCBs, the now-banned chemical compound was once widely used to insulate transformers.

City officials in Shreveport, La., said they paid HealthMed $80,000 -- and were ready to spend a lot more -- until they hired a consultant, who denounced the treatments as unnecessary and worthless.

What happened in Shreveport is a case study of how the foundation and HealthMed have worked together to draw customers through methods that critics contend are exploitative.

In April, 1987, dozens of Shreveport firemen were exposed to PCBs when they responded to an early morning transformer explosion at the Louisiana State University Medical Center. In the aftermath, some began to complain of headaches, dizziness, skin rashes, memory loss and other symptoms that they attributed to the exposure.

Blood and tissue tests by the university medical center showed no abnormal levels of PCBs in their systems. But the firemen wondered if the university was trying to protect itself from liability because the explosion had occured there.

Searching for alternatives, one of the firemen came across an article in Fire Engineering magazine. Headlined "Chemical Exposure in Firefighting: The Enemy Within," it was written by Gerald T. Lionelli, "senior research associate for the Foundation for Advancements in Science and Education."

Lionelli discussed the frightening consequences of chemical exposure and then got to the point. He said the foundation had found an effective detoxification technique developed by "the late American researcher L. Ron Hubbard" and delivered by HealthMed Clinic.

The article did not mention another of Hubbard's notable developments -- Scientology.

The firemen contacted HealthMed, and, before long, were sold on the program. They went next to Howard Foggin, then the city's medical claims officer, and gave him HealthMed literature and a Washington, D.C., phone number the clinic had provided them. It was for the office of EPA toxicologist William Marcus.

Marcus, a non-Scientologist, is a senior adviser to the foundation. But it is his authoritative position with the EPA's office of drinking water that helps impress potential HealthMed clients.

When Shreveport officials called Marcus, he vouched for HealthMed. The EPA had spoken, or so the city's claims manager thought back then.

"All he told me was, it seemed I had no alternative but to send those people to Los Angeles" for HealthMed's treatment, Foggin said, adding: "I felt I had to get moving on it fast."

In an interview with The Times, Marcus acknowledged that he recommended HealthMed, but he denied any conflict of interest.

"They called me and I talked to them," Marcus said. "I told them that basically there was no other game in town.... I think L. Ron Hubbard is a bona fide genius."

Marcus said he receives only travel-related expenses for the foundation work.

His boss, Michael Cook, said he is satisfied that Marcus did not act improperly. He said that Marcus has insisted "he made it clear that he was not speaking as an EPA employee. Certainly that is what we would hope and expect he (would) do."

In all, HealthMed brought about 20 Shreveport firefighters to Los Angeles to treat what the clinic described as high levels of PCBs in their blood and fatty tissues. For the most part, the firemen returned home saying that they felt better.

Although city officials had learned of Hubbard's Scientology connection, they were unconcerned.

Then, as HealthMed's bills mounted, two private insurance carriers for Shreveport suggested that city officials hire an independent analyst to review the treatment before doling out more money. The city agreed and commissioned a study by National Medical Advisory Service Inc., of Bethesda, Md.

The report, prepared by Dr. Ronald E. Gots, was an indictment of HealthMed's professionalism and ethics. The bottom line:

"The treatment in California preyed upon the fears of concerned workers, but served no rational medical function.... Moreover, the program itself, developed not by physicians or scientists, but by the founder of the Church of Scientology, has no recognized value in the established medical and scientific community. It is quackery."

Gots' 1987 report ended the city's involvement with HealthMed.

"I think we were misled," lamented city finance director Jim Keyes. "Somebody should have laid everything out on the table."

Neither HealthMed nor the foundation would return phone calls from The Times.
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Re: The Scientology Story, by Joel Sappell and Robert Welkos

Postby admin » Tue Jul 23, 2019 1:15 am

Courting the Power Brokers

From politicians to the leaders of business, the courts and the media, the church works to win allies to smooth the way for expansion.

To create a favorable environment for Scientology's expansion, church executives are working to win allies among society's power brokers and opinion leaders.

It is a theme expounded in church publications.

"We need to be able to approach the right people in order to get things done," wrote Heber Jentzsch, president of the Church of Scientology International, in the newspaper Scientology Today. "We need to to find out how to reach key people in the media, in government, in the control points of society, the people who run things."

Underscoring the campaign's breadth and determination, a pull-out questionnaire entitled "Communication Lines to the World" was inserted in the newspaper. It asked Scientologists to list their connections to people in six areas:

POLITICS: "This would be political figures on a local, state or national level, such as local city officials, mayors, governors, senators, congressmen, and members of parliaments. It would also include government agency officials and civil servants."

MEDIA: "This would be any media terminals that you know, such as owners or proprietors of magazines, newswire services, newspapers or publishing houses, TV and radio networks or stations and publishers and editors of any type of news media."

LEGAL: "This would be any judges, law enforcement officials, lawyers, barristers and so on."

FINANCIAL / CORPORATE: "This would be any members of the board or presidents, vice presidents or other senior officials/executives with banks or other financial institutions (such as savings and loan companies, credit unions, etc.) financiers (this could be government or private industry) stockbrokers, financial advisers and commodities brokers."

ENTERTAINMENT / CELEBRITIES: "This would be any producers or directors in the stage, motion pictures or television; actors, artists, writers and any opinion leaders in these areas."

OPINION LEADERS: "This would be anyone who is respected by or who influences the opinion of individuals in the above categories."

While developing support in the secular community, Scientology has also been working hard to gain support from mainstream religious figures.

Spearheading this effort is the Religious Freedom Crusade, a Scientology group that has attracted officials of various faiths. The crusade's rallying cry is that court actions brought against the Church of Scientology by disaffected members or government agencies pose a constitutional danger to all religions.

In 1988, Scientologists mustered a multidenominational coalition to push a bill through the California Legislature requiring judicial approval before religious groups or nonprofit organizations can be sued for punitive damages.

The Church of Scientology had a special interest in the legislation: It has been ordered at least twice to pay huge punitive awards to ex-Scientologists, although one award was reduced on appeal and the other was set aside.

Scientologists not sure how to recruit religious allies got some tips in a document provided to The Times by an ex-member, who said it was distributed at a Scientology meeting in the mid-1980s.

The document suggested that Scientologists, after selecting an appropriate church, should attend Sunday services and praise the minister: " 'Your sermon was brilliant! Would you be willing to speak at our church?' (He'll have a hard time refusing that one!)."

It advised them to establish good communication with the minister's wife because "she can be an ally or an enemy and you want her support if possible."

After the service, "make friends with other congregation members," the document added. "... Circulate, but be sure to spend a few minutes with the minister and to meet his wife and family.... If you haven't gotten the minister's phone number earlier, get it before you go."

Finally, the document urged, get the ministers to write a notarized affidavit or letter stating that "Scientology is a bona fide religion."
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Re: The Scientology Story, by Joel Sappell and Robert Welkos

Postby admin » Tue Jul 23, 2019 1:16 am

The "Org Board": Hubbard's Plan for Improving on "80 Trillion Years" of Management

A key element of the management techniques Scientologists sell to businessmen is L. Ron Hubbard's "organizational board."

Used also by the Church of Scientology, the "Org Board" divides an organization into seven divisions -- executive, personnel, sales, finance, training, marketing and qualifications. Each division's duties are spelled out, along with the basis for evaluating employee performance.

In describing the Org Board's virtues, Scientology consultants omit Hubbard's colorful account of its origins -- an account reminiscent of one of his science fiction tales.

During a 1965 lecture to Scientologists in England, Hubbard said his board is a refined version of one that was used for "80 trillion years" by an "old galactic civilization."

Hubbard said the civilization died (he did not say when) because its organizational board lacked one division that he incorporated into his modern-day version.

Declared Hubbard: "We don't want these temporary fly-by-night affairs!"
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