MRS. GARVEY: What about anything physically in the builidng?
MS. TAVERNA: That's what I'm trying to think of.
MRS. GARVEY: Was anything moved? Did anything have to be put away?
MS. TAVERNA: I saw things being moved. I didn't do it because I wasn't a staff -- I was training or being an auditor. But I saw things being moved and shuffled. And I don't know the details on that.
MRS. GARVEY: All right. But you do know then -- you can say, if there was, going to be a fire inspection, they knew ahead of time that there was going to be a fire code inspection?
MS. TAVERNA: Yes, no question about that.
Even though our inspections are supposed to be spur of the moment, spontaneous?
MS. TAVERNA: Oh, I didn't know that. I thought that they announced that
MRS. GARVEY: No, it's not standard practice.
MS. TAVERNA: Oh.- Well, then, they found out some way.
'MRS. GARVEY: That's what I wanted to find out. MR. SHOEMAKER: Commissioner, we frequently and
most of the time announce that we're coming down to do an inspection -
MRS. GARVEY: But not all the time.
MR. SHOEMAKER: Generally, we do. we have -
MR. LeCHER: We would work our way down the street, though, wouldn't we, Mr. Shoemaker? Then, by the time that you start three doors away, then, they know that you're coming?
MR. SHOEMAKER: That's very true.
MR. LeCHER: So, they're warned that way, by just looking in the neighborhood.
MRS. GARVEY: What were you told or what did you know about the GO Office?
MS. TAVERNA: Well, what I was what I knew of
the GO Office was they were kind of the elite of.Scientology they-were heroes; they were admired very much. I had considered going into the GO. They had tried to recruit me several times. They felt I had a good image and I could be very valuable to them. And I said, "Possibly sometime I might try it."
And the GO -- the purpose was to protect Scientology and make it safe: protect it from any enemy so myself, as an auditor, could go and counsel people without being harrassed by our so-called enemies, which
were numerous, mentioned all the time. I believed it totally up until recently that all these agencies are attacking us and, if it wasn't for the Guardian's Office., I wouldn't be able to be here and help people.
So, they were very well respected and admired. It was very secret. You never knew what they were doing. And sometimes, people were picked for a specific project and it was like an honor. And they kind of felt like a secret service guy; they would go around feeling very, very important. It was an honor to work for the GO.
MRS. GARVEY: You were never picked for any specific project that you were supposed to do?
MS. TAVERNA: I don't think I've ever done anything for the Go, other than I had mentioned-that I was approached to be that agent. I never actually did Go projects.
MRS. GARVEY: Okay. One of the things we often wonder about is: Does anyone ever hear the news ? You mentioned going out and trying to read the newspaper. There is no TV, no radio, no newspapers available?
MS. TAVERNA: You're not
MRS. GARVEY: Would you believe them if you had them?
MS. TAVERNA: Well, I -- I guess I wasn't as brainwashed as most because I believed what I read in the paper. But it's - I don't know the word - it's suggested that you don't read newspapers and you don't listen to the news. It is suggested that the news will always lie; it's predetermined. Don't ever, ever talk to a reporter.
I was in fear of reporters. I thought they were all out to get us. You're not allowed to ever discuss anything. So -
MR. LeCHER: I am, too.
MS. TAVERNA: -- it's -- no. Reporters have always been in Scientology since -- from the day I came in. we have a policy that news reporters are not allowed to take a Scientology course. As the Director of Training, I used to interview people and give them a check on the E-Meter: "Are you here for any other purpose than you state?" I could clear -- give people clearance.
I was petrified of these reporters who could come in and destroy us. And then, I said -- recently, I said, "Why in the world can't -- I don't see any reason. Why can't a reporter come in? What are we doing here that's illegal? I'm teaching a course; I'm saving lives," which I did. I helped people by listening
because I like people. I said, "Why can't a reporter come in and see what it is? How can every reporter be a Suppressive Person? This is insane."
But I said, "Why can't someone go on television?" I said, "I would go on television." When people were upset about Scientology, I'd tell them, "Well, that's not what it is." And they'd say, "Oh, I didn't even know that."
So, in Scientology, no one answers questions. if you see an interview, he'll say, "Is this true?" And they'll ask you if your mother was a Nazi. They don't answer questions. So, there's this secretiveness about the press.
MRS. GARVEY: Were you -- or did you ever promise refunds if you did not achieve, if you did not accomplish what was promised?
MS. TAVERNA: Was I personally promised or -- it's standard policy that anyone who is not satisfied with a service in Scientology, their money is promptly refunded. It's part of the auditor's code, which says, "I promise to refund any money" --
MRS. GARVEY: Do you know of anyone that did receive any refunds?
MS. TAVERNA: Very few people. I mean, I don't eve
know if I know anyone personally.
I know of people who have attempted to get refunds. You have a kind of complicated routing form and you have to see a lot of people and it takes a very long time. I think some people got their money back because I -- people have been referred to as Refund'Case. In those cases, it was a person who was attempting to cause a lot of trouble; in other words, it was a security risk or the person was connected to someone in the government or the parents were going to take legal action. I understand that -- I don't know the facts, but I understand the money was given back very promptly.
But if you were just an average person who came in, they'll say, "Well," you know, "write up your overts. And you'll go to cramming, you'll go to review; "Let's handle your case." And a lot of people who wanted a refund -- but it's hard to get out of that routing form. You change your mind because they found you a reason; they promised you a new process. You say, "Well, I think I'll hang around a little more."
So, I don't know of anyone. No one I know ever got their money back.
MRS. GARVEY: Did you ever have to sign a legal waiver a promise that you'd never sue, or do you know of
anyone who has? Is that a standard policy?
MS. TAVERNA: I signed a lot of waivers, and I really don't -- I don't even know what they were. I signed bonds for
$50,000.00, $100,000.00 that I wouldn't talk about certain things ever. That I wouldn't sue? I think my sister did
because, when she threatened to call the Board of Health, they made her sign something after that that she'd never
sue, I think.
But I had to sign a lot of things. There was one that I'd like to tell about, if I could.
MRS. GARVEY: Go ahead, if you want to tell us about it.
MS. TAVERNA: Well, this has to do with Clearwater.
When I first joined the Sea Organization, I went to Los Angeles and I was filling out my life history, you know, my background and when I was on staff, what organizations, how long I stayed there. And I had to put something that I left the New York Organization. I was there for three years as the supervisor. I left in 1975. 1 finished my contract, which was two and-a-half years; I stayed an extra six months.
And then, my boyfriend at the time, who I was going with, developed cancer. And I became very-upset about .
this, and I didn't know what to do. I was afraid of the medical profession at the time. You're told that they're suppressive: "They want to cut you up; they want to operate; the cancer's going to spread." I was frantic;. I didn't know what to do.
A friend of mine, who happened to be a Scientologist and a very, very close friend, recommended a psychic healer in Mexico. I'd never heard of a psychic healer. You know, I had been in many healing practices. But I was so desperate and in such terror -- he told me that he had a blind son, and he told me that the doctor had taken a tumor out from the back of his son's eye with his hands, with no things.
And with him telling me that, a Class 8 and such a good friend of mine, you know, sane-type person, stable - he wasn't one of the flaky ones who was flying in space - I wishful thinking, I said, "Maybe, maybe this is true." And I went to Mexico. And my boyfriend didn't go to -- he went to the doctor. The doctor wanted to do a biopsy, and we said, "No, no." We went to Mexico., When I went there, I walked into the office and I was shocked. I felt that I was back in Scientology advanced organizations. Every person in the waiting room
was a Scientologist. And some of them were my good friends that I had done courses with in 1968. They were Class 8s; they were OT 6's and -- a high level of training and processing. And they all had cancer. And I was shocked. I said, "What are they doing to" you know, "How could this be?"
I was very optimistic then about the healer, and I went into, I guess, hallucinating at the time. I just had blind faith that this was going to save his life. And then, a friend of mine was there and she said that she wrote a letter to Ron Hubbard asking him what he felt about this fellow, his name was Feliciano. What did he think about psychic healing? She showed me the telex from Ron Hubbard and what it said was that "I believe this is valid therapy." He said, "I am not recommending- it, but I believe it is the only therapy on the planet. I feel it is the truest form of surgery on the planet. But I'm not recommending it."
So, I felt I felt relieved that even Ron Hubbard said that this might work, not that I went I came there because of Ron
Hubbard, but it's more it gave me a little bit more confidence. I stayed there for two or three months and things got
worse. And I had to bring my boyfriend back to New York, and he died in Sloan
Kettering about three months after he first got there. It was very quick.
Now, when I arrived at LA to join the Sea Organization, they -- I happened to-mention - I don't know why that I left staff. I was like filling in my life: "I went to Mexico with my boyfriend." I was explaining that I wasn't on staff during that period.
I was waiting to leave Clearwater and a fellow came down to see me and said, "The GO wants to talk to you about something. They said they want a full report on this psychic healer. They want to know what happened, who was there, what happened in Mexico." I wrote a detailed report about every person who was there, what happened. I happened to include the telex. Someone came down and told me that I had to sign a waiver, I think it was for $50,000.00, that I'd never discuss this with anyone. And they said that I dIdn't really see a telex from Ron Hubbard.
MRS. GARVEY: You did
MS. TAVERNA:, I didn't see it. And I signed a waiver that I didn't see a telex from Ron Hubbard. And I looked at it and I said, "Well, there's probably some PR reasons that they don't want it out that Ron Hubbard associated his name with a psychic
healer or that people did die." And I never in Spi'entology compromised my reality. I never went along with something that I didn't think was totally, totally ethical. But this time I did. I said, "It's not that important. I don't care about the healer anymore. And there's no one I want to tell about it."
So, I signed the paper thinking, "Well, they're looking to protect Ron's name, so I'm not going to talk about it." But when I got to Clearwater, this Skip Henson brought it out and he humiliated me. And I was still very sensitive about the subject and
MR. LeCHER: Well, that's fine. Mrs.
MS. TAVERNA: I just wanted to say one thing that he said to me. He started screaming at me when he saw the report. And he said, "Do you know that that squirrel" squirrel in Scientology is someone who doesn't apply Scientology standardly or goes into another practice. He screamed very loud - he didn't say it to me he said, "Don't you know that squirrel, squirrel" he screamed it at me. "How could Scientologists go to that dadadada. Don't you ever talk about this," you know. And I was very upset at the time and choked up.
He was talking without any knowledge of what I had been through. And, also, when he was sick, I tried in desperation -- I-called every Scientology organization in the world and I asked for help. ~nd they said, "We can't help you."
MR. LeCHER: Anything else, Mrs. Garvey?
MR. LeCHER: Mr. Hatchett.
MR. FLYNN: A point of information, Mayor, if I may?
MR. LeCHER: Certainly.
MR. FLYNN: The question of a legal release was brought up by Mrs. Garvey. We will be putting into evidence the standard legal release which is contained in their standard volume, which, I believe the evidence will show, most Scientologists sign.. But I believe the evidence will show that most Scientologists don't even are not aware of what they are signing. We will be putting that into evidence, together with actual -- the form, together with actual forms that have been signed by former Scientologists, together with promissory notes, waivers, and affidavits as to the type of
MR. LeCHER: Will you be doing that after this
witness's testimony? Will you be doing it today?
MR. FLYNN: I'm not sure it will be today in terms of point of order of our witnesses and our evidence, but it will be in before tomorrow afternoon. And there's substantial -- a great deal of evidence pertaining to this subject.
MR. LeCHER: Mr. Hatchett.
MR. HATCHETT: Fine, thank you.
I'd like to ask you a few questions, please.
When you came to Clearwater in 1979 and you found things in disarray, why did you not turn around and go back, you couldn't?
MS. TAVERNA: Well, I felt I came here to do this course and it was going to be the greatest thing that ever happened. And I was used to -- after fifteen years of overcoming the obstacles of the insane people, I said, "Well, I know they're just stepped on and crazy. They just don't understand the real technology." So, I wasn't shocked.
I just thought that it wouldn't be at Flag. I've seen it in every organization. But Flag is the ultimate; it is the highest -when you go to Flag, it's the biggest honor in the world. So, I didn't expect to see it here, but I wasn't shocked.
MR. HATCHETT: All right.
You said, when you left Clearwater trying to escape, before that you felt like a prisoner -
MR. HATCHETT: -- you were going insane, and you feared for your life.
was that a form of kidnapping?
MR. HATCHETT: it was against your-will. If you wanted to go -
MS. TAVERNA: Yeah. I wasn't kidnapped.
There's a lot of -- it's a mental
MRS. GARVEY: Mental kidnapping.
MS. TAVERNA: Yeah. It's -- you know you can't leave. Plus, I've heard stories of physical abuse and locking up. And I know people who were in chain lockers chained up. I spoke with them, not at Clearwater. I don't know -- it was probably in Los Angeles on the ship. But I knew that there were forms of punishment, and there's. also an obligation not to leave even if you wanted to When you're a Scientologist, you are mentally hooked. After Clearwater, I was out, but I wasn't out.
My mind -- I was still a Scientologist up until two months ago. And I thought I was out. Even after I thought I was out again, it didn't happen actually until a few weeks ago where I now feel that I am back to a free-thinking individual.
I also feel that I'm now part of the human race again. And I'm -- I've been very happy for the last few weeks. I feel like I have a new life now.
MR. HATCHETT: Thank you.
Before coming to Clearwater, you were instructed not to talk to Clearwater residents, not only Clearwater officials.
MS. TAVERNA: This is after I arrived I was told that.
MR. HATCHETT: Why did they tell you Clearwater residents? I may understand why not Clearwater officials
MS. TAVERNA: Anyone in Clearwater not a Scientologist.
MS. TAVERNA: They didn't say residents. They didn't say, "Don't talk-to them." They said to be polite, to say hello, but don't discuss anything of your business here or why you were here. Give the pat answer, which was "I'm here for religious counseling," or some
thing like that.
MR. HATCHETT: Didn't you feel you lost your business as a result of Scientology, the events in New York?
MS. TAVERNA: Well, it's directly related. I kind of -- through Scientology, I tend to take a lot of responsibility for my decisions. I don't like to blame people -
MR. LeCHER: What was your business in New York?
MS. TAVERNA: I did -- I had a store at one time, a souvenir store in Times Square in Manhattan. I have computer pictures that go on a tee shirt. I did promotional work for radio stations. And I've had -- every time I came out, I started a new business.
The computer machine I still have; I still get jobs. I do parties and promotional work.
MR. HATCHETT: I'm going to stop at this moment.
MR. LeCHER: Do you have any questions, Mr. Shoemaker?
MR. SHOEMAKER: Yes, Mayor, if I might. Miss Taverna, you went into the education of the children. Do you know, are there any specific types of qualifications that the teachers are to have
MR. SHOEMAKER: -- to teach the courses?
MS. TAVERNA: The people who teach the children are not teachers; they're staff members. They don't have any teaching degree.
MR. SHOEMAKER: They do not have a teaching
MR. SHOEMAKER: -- degree?
MS. TAVERNA: I don't know any. I think there might have been I think there was one in the Ability School where my daughter went in New York. But I know for a fact that the teachers at -- in Los Angeles were not teachers when my daughter was there.
MR. SHOEMAKER: Is that considered to"be, in Scientology, a good job or a bad job or
MS. TAVERNA: To be a teacher?
MS. TAVERNA: I really don't know. I do know from other staff members that to be a nanny,'which is a person who takes care of the children -- I've heard this from other staff members who have to do with personnel that very often*when they have a person that they consider slightly degraded or who can't handle a post, they put them on nanny. I got this from my sister-in-law who was the nanny
for many years in the Sea Organization. She blew a few times and came back because she wanted to help children. She was confronted with a situation where she had to watch thirty and forty infants at a time. And the Board of Health would be coming in for inspection, and she had to hide ten and twenty children in a closet.
She told me they had things called Quiet Drills regularly. Children were trained at certain periods of time they must be quiet; they didn't know why. They were put in a room, the door was locked and, until the officials left, they couldn't make any sounds. I justified this as."We're doing the best we can. We don't have room for the children. we can't close Scientology." All this has been justified. But I will never justify another thing again.
MR. SHOEMAKER: When you initially arrived at the Fort Harrison or during your
MS. TAVERNA: I'm sorry, I just
MR. SHOEMAKER: Sure. At the time you were or during the time when you were in Scientology, did you ever go through a security check or
Ms. TAVERNA: Yes. I've had a security check many times.
When you arrive somewhere -- I was on the -- one of Ron Hubbard's ships in 1968, which is the Royal Scotman. I was there when he was on the ship; I met him. And before you enter anyplace where Ron Hubbard is, you must be security checked. If you are going to get a leave of absence or leave the premises at any time, you have to get a security check. At Clearwater, as an auditor, I was called to do many security checks on people if they were taking a leave or a vacation for a week.
MR. SHOEMAKER: During the time you were auditing and in my understanding of the auditing process, you're actually auditing as to -- whether the beliefs are being accepted or not of the person that you're auditing and for the courses at that time; would that be correct?
MS. TAVERNA: I'm sorry; I didn't understand the question.
MR. SHOEMAKER: If you were -- your audit specifically relates directly to how well the person is doing in the given
course that they might be in at that particular time, such as this NED for OT auditing that you were doing to the
people that were actually doing the course. And you have indicated that you had some concern
about what you were learning in that course.
Did that ever bother you at the time you were doing the auditing to try to determine what the other person
MS. TAVERNA: That I was auditing the other people, was I concerned? I became
MR. SHOEMAKER: That they
MS. TAVERNA: I became very concerned with people that I was auditing because I saw very strange things from the people that I was auditing. Specifically, one person, who I went to the Director of Processing said, "I refuse to audit this person." He had a strange glare in his eyes. He was running this NOTS process. And I won't go into the technical things of the E-Meter, but the E-Meter is supposed to register a certain way when you feel better; the needle will go down.
This fellew was realizing things and the needle was going up. He was -- I could see by his face that he was not there; he was in a daze. And he was like -he sort of had an insane look, and he was saying how wonderful talking slowly -- nothing was happening on the E-Meter. And I said, "There's something wrong with this person," and I said, "I'm not auditing him."
So, they took me off.the case and I understand he