MR. LeCHER: We don't even know where to start, you've said so many startling things.
One thing that struck me, though, was herpes. Isn't that a venereal disease?
MS. TAVERNA: There's two types. My sister took the child and paid for it herself; she took the child to the doctor. He was given antibiotics. She said it was a virus-type of herpes rather than a venereal they're two different things.
MRS. GARVEY: There are cold sores MR. CALDERBANK: We used to get
MR. LeCHER: -It was diagnosed, though?
MS. TAVERNA: Yes. It was diagnosed by the doctor.
MR. LeCHER-: All right. while you were deeply involved in all these things, did you still believe in the incredible background of L. Ron Hubbard?
Ms. TAVERNA: I believed totally in L. Ron Hubbard until recently. I felt very sorry for him l felt deep compassion. I
felt that I was trying -- I had tried for seventeen years to make the organization sane and I sdid, "If I feel this way,
what must Ron Hubbard be going through?" And I felt a devotion to him to tryto make it sane. I felt that he was one
of the greatest
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men that ever, ever lived, and I wanted to help him up until recently.
Even after Clearwater I said, "If Ron Hubbard only knew." As I said, up until recently.
MR. LeCHER: I don't know if I can ask this, but: Generally, what is the ultimate thing you expected with the new breakthrough? Would that be an exhibit of faith? You were looking for this new breakthrough which kept you going, apparently, in this organization.
MR. FLYNN: It would probably be wiser to -
MR.. LeCHER: I will ignore it and forget I asked the question. And I will stick to things that happened in Clearwater.
You said there's a cramming hold. What is a cramming hold, what was his name, and where was the office, this- cramming hold office?
MS. TAVERNA: What was that
MR. LeCHER: Cramming -
MS. TAVERNA: -- the second word?
MR. LeCHER: Hold.
MR. LeCHER: Cramming office. Where was it and who manned the cramming office?
MS. TAVERNA: The cramming office was right next to
where the pool is. You had to go alongside the pool and, then, go in the back. It was in the back of the cabana-type rooms. That's where the cramming was.
MR. LeCHER: Would you know if that still exists?
MS. TAVERNA: Cramming always exists in Scientology in every organization in the world.
MR. LeCkER: Again, for the benefit of those that are new and for the audience: Again, what is cramming?
Ms. TAVERNA: Cramming is the department in Scientology which is correction. -If someone doesn't apply the technology properly, if it appears that they have misunderstood words, cramming is supposed to find the misunderstood and handle it so the Derson can do it correctly.
There's something I want to say about cramming which I forgot to say, if I could just add it.
MR. LeCHER: If it's not -- doesn't have to do with faith or religious ceremony, I want to hear it.
This doesn't -- has to do with the treatment of people-there by the Cramming officer. I went in there and this is one of my first few visits to cramming there was a woman who was probably about sixty-five years old, she was a NOTS auditor, she was there for training,
which is admirable because people who become auditors want to help people. She apparently made some kind of mistake; she was sitting there; she was trembling; she had tears in her eyes.
The Cramming Officer - his name was Spike Bush who, in my opinion -- never mind. well, his name is Spike Bush. He was standing there -- he was sitting down, she was in front of him. He was pounding the table. She said, "But" -she was stuttering. She said, "But I thought -- but I thought." He said, "Don't think." He said, "That's your problem, you think." He pounded the table at least six times while he was screaming at the top of his lungs, "Don't think."
And I -- okay.
MR. LeCHER: Well, if you want to continue, I did you ever- after fifteen years, didn't you ever feel like a slave or indentured servant? I mean, you're working for $10. 00 a week. And how did you exist and take care of your children?
MS. TAVERNA: No. For all the years that I was in, I never felt like a slave or that I was working for nothing. When I was on staff, I was married at the time this is before my divorce so my husband was taking care of the bills. My children came with me when they were
young. I always brought them with me and I had them in a nursery. And I always went home by three o'clock in the beginning when my children were little. And I had a home and I had a normal life, not like many Scientologists who had no other income.
And in later years, I worked in a mission, which paid $125.00 a week and I only worked till six o'clock. So, I had other businesses at nights or on the weekends where I would do sales or something like that.
The only time that I have ever felt I was treated not as a human being was at Clearwater in '79. Before hat, I felt that it didn't matter if I got $3.00 or $10.00; it had nothing to do with the money at the time. It had to do with just helping to make a better world. It didn't matter.
MR. LeCHER: Okay. You said in Clearwater, when you were here, they were-collecting about a million dollars a week, and I think you may have mentioned in one week there was 2.3 million dollars.
MS. TAVERNA: No, I don't know that. I think someone else said that.
MR. LeCHER: All right. Well, a million dollars is a lot of money -
MR. LeCHER: -- a week Who collected it and was-it in cash? And where did you put it? Did it leave the area?
MS. TAVERNA: I don't know anything about the finances. There were -- I know that you -- I know where the money
goes. You bring it to the cashier. There's a cashier window.
First, you go to the Registrar; you sign up for what service you want. It Costs a specific amount of money. You have to pay in advance. Then, you go to the cashier. You pay the money there however you want to pay it. They give you a receipt for your services. Then, you go start the course.
MR. LeCHER: With so much money coming in, such a cash flow, Why was it you were fed beans and rice?
MS. TAVERNA: I have asked people that question, and they said, "It's very expensive to run the Fort Harrison and there's just not enough money." I felt it was absolutely absurd, and I had many questions about where the money was going.
Mi. LeCHER: How do you feel about being denied medical treatment, you and other people that you came in contact with?
MS. TAVERNA: Well, I -
MR. LeCHER: Was that widespread?
MS. TAVERNA: Not getting medical treatment?
MR. LeCHER: Yes.
MS. TAVERNA: Well, you can see a doctor in Scientology. You could go to a doctor, but you go through the Medical Officer. In other words, he makes recommendations.
MR. LeCHER: All right.
You had a Medical officer. What was his or her qualifications? Was it a nurse or
The fellow who was
MR. LeCHER: I'm sorry, go ahead.
MS. TAVERNA: The fellow who was the Medical Officer when I was there - I can't remember his name - he wasn't a
doctor, but he had some training of some sort. I don't know what you call it, like an aide who -- an assistant. He had
some type of medical knowledge, definitely not a doctor.
I never met a Medical officer who was a doctor in Scientology. It's usually just a regular staff member. It could be anyone. You don't even have to have any knowledge of medicine. Basically, you use L. Ron
Hubbard's policies on -- well, actually, it doesn't go even that far. He'll just determine if it needs medical attention or any -- something like that. But you're never actually denied. Like, if you insist and say, "I want to see a doctor," you'll probably have to go through and convince him, because you can go. I've never been denied medical treatment.
MR. LeCHER: Is any labor performed at the Fort Harrison by townspeople that get paid the minimum wage or more as to what they're worth?
MS. TAVERNA: You mean, people hired
MR. LeCHER: Like painters, plumbers
MR. LeCHER: -- carpenters
MS. TAVERNA: I never saw anyone at the Fort Harrison
MR. LeCHER: masons?
MS. TAVERNA: doing anything, other than Scientologists. So, I don't know. In other words, they'd hire people who
have certain skills, like, if someone was a plumber, they'll try to recruit them. The whatever other things. They have
all Scientologists running the Fort Harrison, as far as I've ever known.
MR. LeCHER: You talked about business courses.
What business courses were offered for either for students or for someone of your age?
MS. TAVERNA: A business course? Well, there's
MR. LeCHER: You said that the Founder knows more about business than anybody else. And I was wondering what he taught?
MS. TAVERNA: I'm trying to think of the names of the courses. Well, they had the Flag Executive Briefing Course, FEBC, and they had the OEC, the Organizational Executive Course I guess it's called. And in there, there are all policies on managing a business, on -administrative policies. They tell you exactly how to run an organization, how to set it up, how to make an organization board, and so forth: flow lines within an organization.
MR. LeCHER: Were you given any contact with the outside world while you were at Clearwater? Were you did you make outside friends, like, go to the beach or
MS. TAVERNA: No. I never spoke to anyone in Clearwater. It was kind of -- you just don't do that. No one told me I
couldn't speak to anyone. It's just something you don't do; I don't know why.
MR. LeCHER: Where is the the RPF?
MR. LeCHER: Where are those people and where are they kept? Are they, you know -- do they have a separate office or how do they become -- how do you become an RPF, first of all?
MS. TAVERNA: Well, you are placed in the RPF for breaking the rules, for -- sort of like you'd say, in other words, for committing a crime. If you -- I can just give you examples of crimes that someone might do.
If your stats were very down -- I can't say. I don't have -- really, I don't have knowledge. I've seen things where it says that "So and so is assigned to the RPF." You'll get something, some kind of Ethics hearing like a Committee of Evidence where people will listen, see what your crime was, and decide if you should go in the RPF or not.
Certain-things that are instant RPF, I think, like, having sex with someone who you're not married to. I
think that would I'm not positive, but I think that would be RPF.
MR. LeCHER: That would be considered a crime?
MS. TAVERNA: That was -- that's definitely a crime, I know that.
MR. LeCHER: About these children who go to school: Didn't you find it curious that your child couldn't
although she could read well - couldn't do her two times two tables or mathematic tables?
MS. TAVERNA: I -- it was one of the biggest shocks of my life. It -- I was I felt bad for my own
neglect that I did assume I just assumed that she was in school. I was working very hard in my own business, and
she was just so bright. The teacher always said she was doing fine, you know, and she was doing wonderful.
And you just don't go around, you know, asking' the kid, you know, "What's five times" -
MR. LeCHER: I understand.
MS. TAVERNA: You know, I just assumed. It's such a natural part of learning. Until some -- she told me that she didn't want -- she didn't want to play a game. And I said, "Well, why," you know. She said, "Because I'm stupid," because there was a child much younger than her who was figuring out math in this game.
And she's been crying hundreds of hours since then because I immediately tried to put her into a private. school that my sons went to. My sons went to one of the best schools in the city, a private school. And I wanted her to go there. And they-wouldn't accept her. I didn't tell her why; I said they were too crowded. She had
special scores-, and she was in the one percentile in math. And I'm still trying to repair her right now and get -getting her a special tutor and, then, try to re-enter her in the private school. And I work with her everyday now an hour.
MR. LeCHER: Do you think there's young people there that are being raised without a minimal education that we have grown to expect in Pinellas County for our own children?
MS. TAVERNA: I'm sorry, could you repeat that?
MR. LeCHER: Do you think that there are people within Clearwater, within the Scientologist organization, that are
still not getting the proper education, as was illustrated in the case of your own child?
MS. TAVERNA: I positively think so, but I don't know.The reason I think so is because, when I was at Clearwater, I saw children very often during the day with people -- little children who were folder pages, and they would be in uniform with their shorts and lanyards. And they would be -- they were my daughter's friends from New York who had joined the Sea Organization to come here. And they would be working during school hours, folder pages.
I don't know if they didn't have school. If they did, I don't know where it was. But I did see children many times during the day working.
MR. LeCHER: All right these young people were folding pages, you say?
MS. TAVERNA: Folder pages. They carried the pages of in other words, if you were going to audit someone, you
would call for a certain folder where the records arekept and these folder pages would bring it to you -- the auditor.
MR. LeCHER: Sort of like a page, then?
MS. TAVERNA: A page to carry a messenger; that's what they were called, little messengers.
MR. LeCHER: They weren't folding pages, like pages in a book?
MS. TAVERNA: No, no, no. A messenger to bring folders to different locations.
MR. LeCHER: You were here since I have been Mayor and we've had sometimes a stormy time here. Didn't any of these other outside activities that the city or other private individuals may have done -- didn't it ever affect ~ou or didn't you ever question what you were doing there, or maybe question the credibility of the background of L. Ron Hubbard?
MS. TAVERNA: I definitely wondered what I was doing here when I was in Clearwater. I didn't question the credibility of Ron Hubbard; it was so embedded in me that, through all the suffering that I went through, I never once considered that L. Ron Hubbard had anything to do with it. I considered him a victim of a lot of stupid people who wouldn't listen to this good man, and I never once questioned him.
I -- I felt terrible about the people in Clearwater. I -- they probably had a peaceful town here and, I think, people come up and start changing things. And I -- I actually snuck out and would read the paper and I would see about infiltration into the Clearwater Sun. And I would think, I said, "Why don't they leave people alone," you know. And I was very upset about it. But it was, like, a separate thing.
That was the GO. That was not my field. My field wascounseling people. And I said, "If only the GO would be decent and" -- I said, "How can Clearwater be friendly toward Scientology?" I mean, if someone came into my town and started infiltrating and staging these things and dressing up as clowns, you know, I wouldn't like it either. I was embarrassed to be a Scientologist when I was here. I felt embarrassed for Ron Hubbard.
I thought that these people were destroying Scientology by making it a mockery. And I wouldn't talk to a resident, I guess, because I would never sa y I was a Scientologist; I was embarrassed. Sometimes, people would go by and yell out things or throw stones, and I said, you know, "Boy, I'm embarrassed."
MR.. LeCHER: Were you here when they -- the Scientologists protested or picketed the Clearwater Sun dressed up as Nazis?
MS. TAVERNA: I remember them dressed up as Nazis. I didn't know what they were picketing, but I saw Nazi uniforms and I -- again, I was very embarrassed and I thought it was an insane act. I think people probably -people did then think that Scientology was -- Scientologists were Nazis. They didn't understand what they were doing.
I saw the uniforms and I was very embarrassed by it.
'MR. LeCHER: I think most -- many other people were embarrassed for them.
One more question and I'll turn it over. What what do you think your typical day was like here in Clearwater? Just give me a routine of the typical day that's not particularly difficult, not particularly easy but just a normal day a-t Clearwater when you were here at
the height of
MS. TAVERNA: A student?
MR. LeCHER: A student.
MS. TAVERNA: A student'would have to -- let me see, my memory is a little foggy. Most of it was horror, so I don't remember a normal day
MR. LeCHER: Well
MS. TAVERNA: Well, you wake up every day-is the same as every other day, which I have now found is a very
destructive thing. In other words, you wake up and you have to be at muster at -- this is now maybe eight-fifteen,
eight-thirty, something like this. You must be there, and they say, "That's it." They call your name; it's very rigid,
very official. Your muster is called and, then, you'll be given your schedule of the day: who you're auditing, what time.
It's posted on the board.
You'll audit these people one after another. They come in and out. You might have six preclears; it's sort. of like an assembly line. You finish with one, the next ones waiting. You take them in.
Then, you get your half hour lunch to run back and forth. You'll get: "Audit people, audit people," till ten o'clock at night.
You go to sleep; you wake up. It's exactly the same every day.. It is just a -- I lost touch with reality when I was there, like, I really didn't know what day it was, what month it was; it didn't matter. And most of it was through severe physical pain. I just -- it was a big blur.
MR. LeCHER: You said, "physical pain." But you were not -- earlier, you said you were allowed to go to a doctor.
And, also, another time they said you couldn't, or you implied that I Am I to conclude that you could go if you could
convince the Medical Officer that it was serious enough?
MS. TAVERNA: I didn't even think of going to a doctor; I didn't care. I didn't ask to go; I didn't -- I just wanted to get
out of there. I knew that once I got away, I I didn't need a doctor; I had to go home.
And when I did go home, I was in perfect health after about two weeks. I haven't had any problems with it. I mean, I wasn't chronically ill with arthritis; I mean, it hadn't bothered me in maybe eight years. It's not that I was suffering with this and I came into Scientology to handle it. I didn't care about it.
It was just from this undue stress that something happened to my system. So, I really never had any
thoughts about the doctor. I just wanted to leave.
MR. LeCHER: Did you ever see any skimming of the million dollars a week coming in? Did anybody try and skim or
-- within the organization, or take a little bit off the top?
MS. TAVERNA: I have no information on the money or where it went.
MR. LeCHER: Okay.
MR. CALDERBANK: Yeah. Lori, let's talk about education. You said your daughter went to a Scientology school how long while in Pinellas County?
Ms. TAVERNA: Oh, no, she didn't go to school here.
MR. CALDERBANK: She didn't?
Ms. TAVERNA: No. She went to school in New York and, then, she went to school in Los Angeles while I was training here.
MR. CALDERBANK: Okay., As a Scientology school, did they have specific hours at all for education, a certain number of hours?
MS. TAVERNA: Yes. Well, when she went to private -- it was a private Scientology school which I paid $225.00 a month for.
That's where she went to in New York for most of her life.
When she joined the Sea Organization, she was in Los Angeles. She only went ~o school three times in seven months, so there was no hours for school. -My nephews were in school at the time - and in the Sea Org. and their senior told them - they were, I think, twelve .and ten ~- he said, "We're going to give you the minimum education required by law," which happens to be two hours a day, I think. And he said, "Instead of" -- I said, "What did you learn in school?" He said he had algebra; that was the only thing he had in seven months, and he only had that a few times.
And his senior told him that "After a couple of weeks, we're going to use these two hours for your Scientology training." He said, "You won't have to go to school at-all.
MR. CALDERBANK: Okay. Did -- do you have any knowledge of the education here in Clearwater for the children?
MS. TAVERNA: No, I don't.
MR. CALDERBANK: Okay on your medical -- on the Medical Officer, you said that you made it to a doctor here in town who prescribed you certain medication, certain routines for you
to get better; is that correct?
MR. CALDERBANK: Once you got back to the Scientology headquarters, were you allowed to complete that treatment?
MS. TAVERNA: I didn't -- I wasn't prescribed any medication. It was basically bed rest, and I was to walk an hour a day and hot baths three times a day.
MR. CALDERBANK: Were you -- did you do that?
MS. TAVERNA: No, I didn't. I did it maybe two days. And I don't know why, but I never did it. I can't remember. I
was -- it's a -- that period is very foggy because I -- it's all blurred together. I know I didn't take walks.
MS. TAVERNA: I took a walk once and the Ethics officer came with me.
MR. CALDERBANK: Do you remember who gave you the shot what the name of the Medical officer was - when you came to Clearwater?
MS. TAVERNA: I've been trying to remember his name and I just can't. I never really -- I guess I did know his name at the time.- But it would be on record, I guess, who was the Medical Officer in 1979 of July or