From: email@example.com Newsgroups: de.soc.weltanschauung.scientology Subject: Clearwater 2000 - Tag 4 und 5 Date: Wed, 13 Dec 2000 23:37:31 GMT
Clearwater 2000 - Days 4 and 5
On the fourth day Jeff had to return the van, which meant we had to meet him there at practically the crack of dawn to give his car back to him. Then we picked Tory up for breakfast. On the way there Jeff showed us where Lisa had an apartment. From there she had moved to a place on the beach, which was supposed to be an improvement. Not much after that, though, she moved again to a not so well-off area. We asked ourselves if there could have been a special reason for that ....
We had breakfast at Lenny's, a local place which Scientologists also liked. Then we were off to the LMT, where I could use my time to write the first part of my diary.
The court order for the LMT contained restrictions not only for critics, but also for the Scientologists, who were ordered not to harass the critics in any way. There was a discussion about it that morning and somebody had the idea that the surveillance cameras which filmed everybody who approached the doors of the LMT also constituted harassment. Which Bob responded "I'll get the ladder." :-)
In order to file a legal complaint against the camera, it was necessary to document that the camera hidden in the box was actually directed at the door of the LMT. Oh my, when the Scientologists noticed what was happening there, they really lost it. Right after the LMTers left the scene, one of Scientology's rent-a-cops was posted to guard the camera. Paul Kellerhals came out and loitered in front of the building. Then a young man came with a ladder, supposedly to clean the camera lens. Wow, it was the same one I saw marching in RPF clothes through Clearwater last year. He appeared to recognize me and I called out that I was happy to see he was well again. I didn't want to cause any problems (PK was there the whole time) so I didn't make any attempt to engage him in conversation.
Rod Keller had also appeared on the street and was taking a couple of pictures of the "purification operation." PK walked quite closely by him, then turned around and walked straight towards him with his finger pointed towards him yelling, "ten feet! ten feet! ten feet!" What an absurd action. A policeman who I couldn't tell if he was on duty or was rented by Scientology came around and wanted to tell us that we were blocking the large closed gate of the building. I asked him how it was possible that two pedestrians on the sidewalk could block a driveway, to which he asked who the building belonged to. An intelligent dialogue, don't you think? We shrugged our shoulders and he asked for ID. My purse was in the LMT so I couldn't show him anything, but apparently he didn't care and only took down info on Rod.
Supper together was planned later in the Clearwater Beach Hotel, but I didn't feel I was appropriately dressed for that. So Heather called a taxi to bring us back to the hotel where we could be picked up for supper.
The taxi didn't come and time was getting short. Finally Jeff was nice enough to bring us back to the hotel. A woman of my age needs some time to make herself respectable for a fine meal :-)))), but that evening I broke the world's record. I didn't want to make our driver late for part of supper. We got to the CW Beach Hotel practically on time, and it was a nice evening.
The next morning Jeff pick up the remaining critics from the hotel and we had a nice breakfast at Lenny's. Afterwards off to the LMT.
This was the anniversary of the day Lisa died, and Rod and I had decided to stay in Clearwater for it. Arriving at the LMT, we picked up picket signs in memory of Lisa and made our way to Fort Harrison.
We kept watch there for two hours. During that time the vans stopped right in front of the main entrance of the FH so passengers could debark and embark. We called to them, "Think about Lisa McPherson. She died five years ago in Fort Harrison" and "Who will be next? Leave, now" or "Christmas is getting close. Visit your families." Many, many people heard us, as showed by their reactions.
We didn't see any police that day. There was almost as much reaction from passersby as there had been that weekend. Many honked and waved. One family ran across the street to tell us that their little daughter was scared by these people were running around the streets like robots. So the mother wanted to find out more about Scientology. The little girl asked very intelligent questions, which Rod answered in detail.
Nobody in that family had ever fallen victim to the organization. And thanks to the many people all over the world who had the courage, in spite of Scientology's threats, to stand up and tell the truth, the number of these families is growing daily. Hard times, DM ......
The afternoon, which we spent on a downright cold but beautiful beach south of Clearwater, was topped off by a breathtaking sunset. (I wondered how many Scientologists in CW had never gotten to see the beach yet....)
Jeff brought us from the LMT back to the hotel, but not before he took us on a little detour to Hacienda Gardens. That is a rather large apartment building which Scientology owns. Trees have been planted all around it this year so that the view of the building will be blocked in the years to come.
After a nice supper with Jeff we packed our bags to leave Clearwater the next day with the rest of the critics who had arrived for the occasion.
We'll be back. As long as it's needed. Until the abuses stop. Until freedom is a right for Scientologists, too.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org Newsgroups: de.soc.weltanschauung.scientology Subject: Clearwater 2000 - Tag 3 Date: Mon, 11 Dec 2000 00:27:30 GMT
Unfortunately several people had to go away this day. Nevertheless there was still an impressive number of picketers assembled to demonstrate in front of Fort Harrison. Paul Kellerhals came out of the main entrance and watched us from the other side of the street. Somebody told me they had read in Lisa's logs that this man - no lightweight - had to sit on her chest at least once to keep her down. Now he was standing there looking over at us, apparently unmoved. I called out to him, "hey PK, what was it like to sit on her chest? What did you feel? Was it power? How did you feel?" He started to not look so well, and disappeared behind the fir trees in front of the building. We had to ride him for that, "Hey PK, where is 'hiding' on the Tone Scale?"
Ben Shaw, who looked really bad, got to hear how he should please, please go to a doctor, and that it was obvious that Scientology was not helping with his problem.
Like the day before we got a lot of response from the Clearwater residents. Some only dared to show us covertly that they were behind us, others waved and honked and cruised the street to show encouragement. Amidst all this we saw one stinkfinger :-)), but that was the exception. We got especially strong feedback from truck drivers going by, who put their hands over their heads and gave long honks on their horns. Even police driving by gave us the thumbs up.
Both days several of us were dressed in RPF colors: gray tops, black shorts or long pants, white socks and tennis shoes.
We all went to Emilie's again for lunch. The Lotticks told us that the crosswalk in front of the Clearwater bank building was manned with Scientologists. Apparently they had all be detoured so that they would not be too enturbulated. Therefore several of us decided to check it out, but there was only one problem. The police shooed us off quickly. Demonstrating was explicitly permitted on three corners of the crossing, but not directly in front of the Clearwater Bank Building (CBB), according to the court order. When we walked across that corner, we had to keep our signs down. So we manned the live crossing in the spaces that were free and I made a game of taking turns changing street sides every time the light turned.
Every time I touched the sidewalk in front of the CBB I let my arms drop (which had meanwhile turned into a deed of mercy), and raised the sign when the path over the crossing was clear again. Sometimes someone else did that too, and I/we were, unmoved, filmed by various Scientologists or PIs. The fat one who Tilman called penguin and others called Ollie, mostly stood right in front of the Coachman Building although that made no sense at all since a high-tech camera right above him was filming the same thing he was. When I brought his attention to his waste of material, he involuntary changed his position a little, but not so much that he improved his efficiency to any degree. When a German, who lives in the vicinity, and I marched past him, we heckled, "Take Slim Fast, Slim Fast Slim Fast.... Take Slim Fast, Slim Fast, Slim Fast....". That was too much for him. He disappeared into the building. Later he showed up again and filmed from a narrow spot in the sidewalk (at the place where the walk was divided by trash cans, trees and flower pots), where he was hindering Rod Keller getting by. Rod cordially asked him a few times to let him by, but apparently the Tech does not improve one's ability to hear. Finally it became obvious to a policeman who had to have seen that we were keeping the rules and we were constantly moving. He told Ollie to make way, which Ollie did with a snort.
We ended picketing for the day about three o'clock. Some went to Winter Wonderland in order to get involved a little with Benetta Slaughter and her work, others took a break at the LMR before heading back to the hotel.
Later we heard there was more picketing that evening. About ten young people, probably just of age, showed up because they had heard of the demonstration and wanted to join. Frank and others told them about the rules which they followed to the letter while appearing to have tons of fun at the demo.
That night we met at Joe's Crab Shack for dinner. Tikk got there rather late because he took someone who was not feeling so well back home so she wouldn't have to ride the bus. Would Scientologists be that generous to their friends? Thanks, Tikk!! And thanks to the Lotticks, who gave me good advice and got me pills for my ear infection. I'm doing much better now.
After a little diversion to a pool bar which proved to me one more time that I haven't mastered the game, but had a good time anyway, we went back to the hotel.
To be continued
From: email@example.com Newsgroups: de.soc.weltanschauung.scientology Subject: Clearwater 2000 - Tag 2 Date: Fri, 08 Dec 2000 21:53:51 GMT
We left the hotel about 9:30 to make our way to FH. Funny, this year there did not appear to be any PI's following us, either that or they were considerably better disguised than last year ...
The day before we made ourselves new picket signs. In consideration of what I had seen in the last few months - on more than one occasion - I had let a gifted calligrapher from Austria :-) draw me up a sign that said, "Scientology policies break up families." But that day, unfortunately, that sign couldn't be found anywhere. At the LMT they said it was in the van, and at the van we were told it would be at the Trust. It was a shame, but not a problem, since Frank had set up a picket sign factory in the van in back of FH. He put together materials which had been prepared in advance according to preference. A few months ago I had the idea to draw signs in the shape and color of a stop sign, and Rod came up with potential texts. Frank put it together. They turned out really well, and some of them had http://www.parishioner.org/picket/ on one side. Frank had put other signs together, including DM's head which Arnie put on a pike, also a life-size photo of DM - which barely came up to my shoulder :-))))).
The court order permitted demonstrating directly across from the FH on the side of the Super Power building (it actually grew a little from last year ...). The sidewalk there still had the overhang from last year, but it was not covered with green cloth this time. In front of the overhang on the street side, most of the surface had already been poured in concrete, but there were also spots with grass. Those areas, according to the police, were in different legal categories. For instance there was grass which could not be walked on and there was grass which could be walked on. So a picketer was posted in front of the "illegal" grass to keep us from walking on it ... - oh, well, what can ya do ....
The space we had was a little skimpy since we had to keep moving and about 50 picketers were milling about and bumping signs. Therefore I decided to alternate sides and swung back and forth between the Presbyterian Church and the Clearwater Bank building. In doing that I was practically in the middle of an arrest where several police dragged a young man out of a car and led him off. As it turned out, that had nothing at all to do with our demonstration. Somebody who asked the police found out that the car had been reported as stolen. Despite that I thought it'd be better not to get so far from the other picketers, you never know .....
Shortly after that there was a second arrest. A young guy walked by the main entrance to the FH and yelled out "fuck you" and something like "if you don't believe in Christmas, you don't believe in God." He was quickly overpowered by several policemen, put up against the wall and led away in handcuffs. Right after that a policeman came over to "our" side and threatened to arrest a picketer who interfered with the arrest by yelling out. They didn't do anything more than that though, since they were already familiar with the man they arrested and knew that he was not one of us.
At the end of the overhang Grady Ward set up a stereo and played songs like "We will, we will rock you." At which point a line of dancing girls :-)) formed in front of him and took turns moving with the music. Fun!!!!!!
While we were walking up and down we also tried to recognize what was behind the FH windows. Right around the middle of the building 4 or 5 floors up was a girl with a book in her hand by the window looking down at us. We waved to her and some blew her a kiss - and she waved back. I could hardly believe it! It went that way for a long time, then she disappeared. My conscience really bothered me after that, because, of course the Scientologists would have seen us looking in her direction and waving at her. I was afraid she got in trouble. But after a while she showed up again, this time with another girl. Gawd, was I relieved ...
Tory Bezazian wore red devil's horns for the whole demo and, together with Arnie, rolled up some cardboard into a megaphone. All the better to be heard with :-))
There were several TV stations and newspaper reporters and there were the usual interviews. We took turns going to lunch in small groups to "Emilie's." I recommend the Athenian Salad, it's great!
After picketing we drove back to the hotel to get ready for the candlelight services. This year Rod Keller and I sponsored a wreath, which was really flowers tied together, and we still had to pick it up. Since Jeff's car is relatively small and the wreath was fastened to a rack, we didn't know how we were going to carry it at first. Finally we squeezed it in with Rod in the front seat, who had to spend the rest of the ride with flowers in his face. Good thing he doesn't have hay fever :-))))
At the candlelight services, as every year, Lisa's relatives were there. We gathered in front of the Presbyterian Church and, after a short introduction from Gregg Hagglund, lit our candles. It had been planned for Stacy to carry the flowers, but she was still recovering from her operation, so Ilse stood in for her (Thanks, Ilse). Stacy eventually took the flowers, though, and was supported by Dell Leibreich, Lisa's aunt.
Our procession went behind the FH, where the wreath was put near Lisa's room. Gregg said a prayer, an abridged version of Thomas Gandow's, then we went by the wreath one at a time, blew out our candles and set them there. Many had tears in their eyes. I looked at Sally and Ed Lottik, who lost their son to Scientology, and asked myself how they must be feeling. Even though we were doing all this in Lisa's name, actually we were standing there for all the victims, for all the suffering of innumerable members and families. I went over to Sally and hugged her.
During this service two OSA (?) people were standing only five yards from us, filming us the whole time. Gregg (and he was not the only one) was therefore rather upset and told them that their behavior was irreverent and gruesome, and I thought he was right. It was right at that moment that the true face of Scientology could be seen clearly and unmistakably. Lisa's uncle, whose birthday it was that day, was being filmed quite close up when he was talking with a policeman. He looked directly into the camera and said, "I love you, too." Hard to more vividly demonstrate the difference between Scientology and its opponents than that.
After the service we all had a wonderful dinner together at Ottavio's and later drove back to the hotel. We would have liked to have spent some time in the bar, but they had already closed. So about 15 of us got together to go to a nearby bar. It was late when we got back to the hotel, but not too late. We had another picket day ahead of us.
To be continued ....
Picket Report from ClearwaterFrom: Andrea Newsgroups: de.soc.weltanschauung.scientology Subject: Clearwater 2000 - Day 1 Date: 4 Dec 2000
Picket Report Day 1
I don't want to bore anybody with the flight to Clearwater but will mention just one thing. Flying into London, the pilot had to make a wide turn which brought us over East Grinstead. Seen from above, St. Hill looks magnificent; oh well, as the old saying goes, first appearances are often deceptive.
My plane landed in Tampa after midnight. No trace of PI's, they were probably saving them for the days to come. The shuttle brought me to the hotel where I fell asleep dead tired.
There was a cheerful reunion at the breakfast table with some people from last year and there were several new faces, too. I got a XENU-CITY ball cap, too.
Then Jeff Jacobsen rented a van and let me use his car so that all us picketers could ride relatively comfortably between the Hotel and Fort Harrison. Others also rented their own cars. Jeff's car had been quickly commandeered by the Austro-German contingent. :-)) His license plate reads "NO RPF".
We made it up to the LMT towards noon to get picket signs. Across from the LMT there is a multi-storied parking garage which is not only wonderfully suited to house cars, but also to provide welcome shade for the private eyes hired by Scientology to watch the front door of the LMT and photograph those going in and out. So we were prepared to find somebody there when we drove into the garage. Sure enough, there was a man with his back to us who sprang quickly into his car when he spotted us. Not quickly enough to avoid having a couple of pictures taken by speedy Tilman. The man rolled his window down and said something about "service" before he sped off. Huh?
Three seconds later the door to the stairs burst open and three people scurried towards us. Two of them, one Stallone dude and a rather unkempt woman in a red sweater, had bundles of papers in their hands while the third one, a fat man, recorded the scene on video. The both of them tried to shove papers into our hands while they screamed something about an "injunction" at us. What they meant was a court order which they got the day before. In it were mentioned several staff of the Trust and a few others who were to keep 10 feet away from all Scientologists and from all entrances to their buildings. Besides that the order contained sketches which told you what areas they were not allowed to picket in. Funnily this order applied not only to the people named but to all those "in concert," that means those who did the same as they. That was the reason people were trying to serve us these papers. By accepting them we would have been subject to them.
Unfortunately the English language is not our strong point and we did not have aaaaaaany idea what _that_ was all about. Since they absolutely could not get us to take their papers, they finally threw them at our feet with the words, "now you are served," to which Tilman dryly remarked, "hey, you are littering..." We left the papers lying on the floor and walked over to the Trust. There we got signs or made up new ones and started out to our first practice picket.
We didn't get far, just up to the corner. In front of the SC's bank building as we were waiting for the light to cross the street, we were stopped by a policeman. He amicably asked us to wait while he called his boss to clear up a few things. Probably Scientologists were complaining about us even as we spoke. I don't know if he would have remained so friendly if we would have just kept on walking, but we accommodated him and stood on the corner with him. Since we were not entirely clear as to the legal situation at the moment and we didn't want to unnecessarily annoy anyone, we leaned on our picket signs. When the policeman saw that he walked over and told me in undertones we could hold the signs up, noooobody would complain about _that_. So we did. :-))))) His boss pedaled up on a bicycle in about 10 minutes, took out a copy of the order and patiently explained to his colleague how the legal situation looked to him. After that the first policeman came back to us and gave us the all-clear, "everything is ok. You can go wherever you want".
Picketing itself took place without major incident. The residents showed their approval by honking, giving us the thumbs-up or calling out words of encouragement.
After somewhat more than an hour, we made our way to "Schlotzky's" for sandwiches. After that we Europeans had to take a break since we still had jet lag. That evening there was a Barbecue. About 45 picketers were there, and Lisa's family was there, too. The food was great and we rang out a successful day back at the hotel bar.
I'm using someone else's computer in the Trust to write this report, so I'll be moving on (so as not to waste a minute of valuable enturbulation time). There are a few more nice things I can get to later. Sorry for the typing errors, American keyboards are enough to drive you crazy ....
P.S. special news for xx. The pictures you wanted are in the mail :-)))))))
News :: from around the World
With the state on the cross
U.S. Catholics under pressure
November 27, 1999
Robert von Rimscha
Pompano Beach lies a god 50 kilometers north of Miami right on the beach. The water of the Atlantic Ocean is warm, the area is flat, the houses in the residential areas are humble and surrounded by much greenery. Pompano Beach has 19 churches and a large bone of contention. The third eldest of the churches has been prohibited from sounding its bells on Sunday by the district government. An exception ruling in favor of the church which had exempted it from Florida's strict noise policies was said, in the basis of the decision, to be a violation of the separation between church and state.
Or: the college football association has recently prohibited its players, after scoring a touchdown, to kneel down or cross themselves. That would be too much religion in a public, tax-subsidized stadium. Or: after the 13 murders at Columbine High School in Colorado in April, the school board forbade parents of the killed students to select religious themes for the plaques which were to be mounted on the memorial. A cross, a dove or even a Bible verse would violate the separation between church and state, reasoned the administrator.
For years politicians and executive officials in Washington have been criticizing the German nation for discriminating against Scientology. If one asks a growing and increasingly bitter minority of Americans, the worst religious persecution takes place in the USA itself. The ones who regard themselves as victims are traditional Christians in general and conservative Catholics in particular.
Critics mainly complain that hair-raising contradictions have come about when freedom of opinion is as radically interpreted as is the separation of church and state, two principles which coexist together peacefully only in the U.S. Constitution. Also in Colorado, students successfully protested their expulsion: in the morning before classes they were giving the "Heil Hitler" salute to each other. Unlike Germany, symbols of constitutionally hostile organizations are not forbidden in the USA.
America's conservative Christians have felt mocked by modern art for a long time. There is still contention about the "Sensation" New York exhibition with works of the British Avant-garde. The most offensive, for conservative critics, is Chris Ofili's presentation of the Virgin Mary, surrounded by elephant dung. "Putting the Holy Family in a town square is forbidden; defacing Mary with dung is not only permitted, but financed with tax dollars," scolds Gary Bauer, a former domestic politics advisor to Ronald Reagan and today Republican presidential candidate for the religious right.
Bauer has published a list of anti-Catholic works of art. One gallery in New Hampshire shows a painting in which frogs in swimming trunks are participating in the Last Supper. A high school in Pennsylvania owns a painting which shows an SS man and a minister standing on a Jewish Holocaust victim. The rock band "Rotting Christ" is on Bauer's list, along with a theater play called "Corpus Christi."
Bauer's central argument runs: "Jewish or Islamic symbols would never be made the laughing stock in a similar way with excrement or by pornographic presentations." The small man with the bug eyes sees radical secularists and the liberal elite at work. William Donohue, President of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, has diagnosed a similar fluctuation: "Anti-Catholic fanaticism is not being carried out by the same groups as it was before. It is not just the fringe groups like the Ku Klux Klan or Protestant radicals. Today, anti-Catholicism is the consensus of the establishment and its institutions."
Evangelical Christians and traditional Catholics see anti-Catholicism as the last officially sanctioned prejudice which exists in the USA. And they are not timid about drawing drastic parallels. "Derision of Catholicism has turned into the anti-Semiticism of the liberal elite," Bauer believes. He compares the situation with the suppression of religion in China and in the former East Bloc.
Barely 30 percent of the 270 million US citizens are Catholics. Probably the most important battlefields of the future meaning of faith are the 230 Catholic colleges and universities at which 670,000 young Americans are currently studying. On November 17, the cultural struggle over the education of the academic Catholic prodigies escalated. The USA Bishop's Conference decided to review the doctrinal purity of all theology professors in the future, as the Vatican had demanded.
Most of the institutions of higher learning were against that. There was talk of a "public threat to our academic freedom" in the Jesuit Georgetown University in Washington D.C. Archbishop Rembert Weakland from Milwaukee agreed. "The tension between church hierarchy and theology professors is greater than it has been in 36 years," he thinks. One thing the bishops and the university presidents know for sure: if the church exercises stricter control, it will be inviting complaints from the opposition. The ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) will now take action against any Catholic university which receives tax money.
The religious right, which includes evangelical Protestants and comprises about a third of the population, feels under pressure. That also has to do with the circumstance that their political representatives are fighting an uphill battle. Republican top candidates George W. Bush and John McCain neglect moral questions. Both are following the "Big Top" rule: the republicans have to address abortion opponents and supporters to an equal extent. Otherwise the pre-election campaigns would be a jubilee for the Bible faithful of the right.
In case Gary Bauer, the sole banner bearer of the religious right, against all expectations, should actually become president, he wants to kill two birds with one stone. Bauer has one solution for both Catholic self-assurance and youth violence: he wants the Ten Commandments posted in every classroom.
US Human Rights report comments on judgment against Compuserve
Washington, February 26. (AFP) - The controversial internet judgment of the Munich Municipal Court against the Compuserve internet provider has found a place in the US State Department's human rights report. In the Germany chapter of the report on Friday, the case became an example for the "yet unclear" effect cited which the German multimedia law could have for internet providers. Compuserve manager Felix Somm was sentenced to two years imprisonment suspended and received a 100,000 mark fine. Since then the state district attorney has filed against the judgment as a legal means of defense.
In the conflict between the German authorities and the Scientology organization, the US State Department presented its most well-balanced opinion yet. The report quotes in detail how Germany justifies the surveillance of the organization by the Constitution Security agency. The Bavarian Minister of Interior Guenther Beckstein (CSU) stated in Munich, nevertheless, that he regretted that the "German counter-measures" against Scientology had been taken up in the report, even though the organization itself was said to be responsible for "massive human rights violations." loew/saw
262243 Feb 99
Missing in Happy Valley?
broadcast by: SWR3, Germany, on
February 25, 1999
by Ina Brockmann & Peter Reichelt
In May 1995, 51-year-old Wiebke H. was suddenly relieved of her post. The investigative authorities in the USA believe she was placed in a Scientology reform camp. The Scientology organization asserts that the missing woman is dedicating herself to spiritual advancement.
Jochen Koerner, brother of Wiebke H.:
I called up the Scientologists and said, "where is my sister? I read here in the newspaper.....". I know enough people there, and so I called them up. At first they gave me a little bit of the run-around, then I told them, "out with it, give me the number, otherwise I'll raise a scene here". That is what I did and I called them back, and Wiebke called me back two days later. And after she heard that there was a missing person's complaint out on her, she went to the consulate in Los Angeles and that killed the matter, didn't it? The police never came back here because ... she is not missing. According to the way we gauge things under certain circumstances, she is only at a certain place, as I am told, since I would probably not go there.
[Missing in Happy Valley ?
The Reform Camps of the Scientologists]
Jochen Koerner, brother of Wiebke H.:
So when Wiebke doesn't want to do something, then nobody in the world can get her to do it. So she would have left this camp, too. And she would also have been in the position - here in Hamburg, as well as in L.A. - to find a way out. For example, what she said a little while ago, that if she didn't have anything to wear and that if the things she needed for survival were not there, then she wouldn't be going along with them. She would have become very, very furious if something happened which she didn't want. That's the way she's been her whole life; that's also why she was so successful with the Scientologists, because she wants or wanted exactly that.
For ten years, Wiebke H. was the most successful Scientology manager worldwide. Scientology sees itself as the truest religion on earth. Its presumably positive goal is to use its ideology to create a better world. Income in the millions flowed year after year from her organization in Hamburg to the Scientology headquarters in California. When her sales took a turn for the worse, she was removed from her post as president.
Jochen Koerner, brother of Wiebke H.:
She had - that was quite funny - a male secretary. She was certainly not a highbrow, but she said since she was a woman, she wanted a male secretary. I still think that's funny. He was a nice guy. In principle, Wiebke had the whole organization, that means she was the one who asked, "What's happening here? What's happening with the courses? How are acquisitions made? How is the inner organization?". Yes, they said that she had lied. I don't believe that. I simply do not believe that.
Change of Location. December 5, 1998. Clearwater, Florida. The Mecca of Scientology. In past years, nine Scientologists have died here under mysterious circumstances, among them 36 year old Lisa McPherson. Charges have been brought against Scientology in her gruesome death. On the third anniversary of her death, relatives of the victim and former Scientologists gathered. We have scheduled a meeting with the former members. Among them they have years of experience in the Scientology reform camps such as where Wiebke H. is said to have spent some time. One of them is Gerry Armstrong. He was a coordinator in the Scientology intelligence service and a confidante of Hubbard, the organization's founder. But even he fell from grace. He spent two and a half years in the camp.
I was the first prisoner in Clearwater, the very first. The people there are real prisoners. Scientology says that the people are there voluntarily. Absolutely not. I was so confused that for the first 36 hours in camp I could not eat anything. I thought my entire life had been taken from me. I knew Hubbard and I knew what assignment to the RPF meant.
He received this in writing, as shown by this document. Hubbard had charged him with three offenses: disobeying an order, neglect of duty and poor work performance. Scientology has its own penal system, with prosecutors, judges and reform camps. Of course, Scientology does not call them "reform camps"; they call it the "Rehabilitation Project," RPF for short. These camps in the USA and Europe are run exclusively for people who don't fit into the elitist Sea Org. Hubbard determined the personal restrictions and punishments for them by 1974. The camp laborers are re-educated and made tractable by hard labor, compulsory hypnosis and brainwashing. All according to the slogan, "The RPF is what we make it. The RPF is where we make it."
Scientology sells the RPF to its thousands of Sea Org members as their last chance to stay in the elite unit. By order, the camp inmates have no freedom, they are housed separately and may speak with nobody.
Jesse Prince, former second ranking man in the Scientology management team. Even he was put away in the notorious Happy Valley reform camp for refusal to obey orders. That is also where Wiebke H. was presumed to be.
It was horrible in Happy Valley. I literally slept on the ground in a chicken coop, rattlesnakes, scorpions and spiders all around, terrible.
That is Stacy Brooks. She was a member of management of the Scientology secret service and "I was a puppet for over 15 years," she said.
You know you really, honestly believe, when you are a Scientologist, that it is the only route to happiness. And when you leave, you have no hope of every being happy. You believe in this idea when you are in there, and I don't know how you can accomplish that belief. All I can do is describe it. Vaughn agreed to go back to the RPF because he truly believed that it was essential to life for him to remain a Scientologist. And this is the only way that they permit you to stay a Scientologist. For this reason people put themselves through the most humiliating, abusive and horrible experiences that you can imagine, for this deceptive and delusional idea.
The reform camp is there, but you don't see it: a splendidly renovated hotel in Clearwater - here is Fort Harrison - with every sort of comfort for its guests. In Los Angeles, a former hospital, done over completely in blue. Near there or under there in garages or in basements are the reformatories for the misfits. Outside of the big city, on the edge of the desert, two hours drive from Los Angeles is Happy Valley, the camp for the elite.
The RPF has the goal of guaranteeing the power of Scientology over all members of the Sea Org. The reason is to further its control and domination over its people. Right from the beginning, as soon as you enter the door of Scientology, they try to gain more and more control over your life. And the reform camp is the most extreme form of control because you are completely dominated by the organization and by the RPF regulations. They are incredibly restrictive. You had no newspapers, no magazines, no radio, really no contact. You may not speak with anyone unless you are spoken to. You ate whatever was left after everybody else was fed. You always have to work or run, even on breaks.
Clearwater in August 1998. We succeeded for the first time in filming a group of RPF laborers. They were renovating the Scientology Fort Harrison Hotel. Even old women are exploited for this work where it is 110 degrees in the shade. Their daily wage: $1.50.
Change of Location. At the center in Copenhagen. Another hotel. This time it's the Scientology Nordland Hotel, again with an integrated reform camp. Who would be surprised that they don't want us here? We have made an appointment with the Danish woman, Susanne Schernekau. Almost two years of her life was spent here behind this facade. The organization's buildings are all over Copenhagen. All are being renovated in order to bring Scientology's customers in at a fast pace. There is much work that needs to be done. As was the case with Wiebke H., Susanne was also accused of financial manipulation.
My offense, according to Scientology, was financial fraud, or swindling, and that I had behaved very badly, for example, in Munich I had gone with a normal person to eat. Because I was married, that was not OK.
By November 13, 1989, she had gone too far. She was assigned to the RPF in Copenhagen, as this document shows. Ethics? Morals in Scientology? An offense is severely punished. Scientology's ethics are synonymous with total obedience, suppression and forced re-education. That is where people end up who make mistakes. Forced laborers are produced according to need, sometime more, sometimes less.
For instance, in Copenhagen there was a building which was a total wreck. And we cleaned it from top to bottom, cleaned all the pigeons off the window ledges, rats and mice and so forth. We began to paint, carpet, renovate, everything. We were always the last to eat. Only breakfast was really OK. Other than that the food was very bad; the beds were very bad. We slept twelve people to a room.
The solidarity of the group is emphasized, especially in the elite Sea Organization, Sea Org for short. Created by Hubbard, it is the heartbeat of Scientology. His private army. They want world domination and that needs an army, and into this one come only the best. Immortality, power, consensus and invincibility. Rattling sabers and then the fall, unexpected and final.
You live with the conviction that you already have everything under control. And when that does not happen, you realize that you do not have everything under control. And somehow the whole idea that you were part of an elite group plunges headlong into the ground. You begin the RPF with a black arm band. Then, if your ethics go well, you get a white arm band. The difference is: with the black arm band and as a married person in the Sea Org, you may not see your husband. You may not speak to him if he does not speak with you. With the white arm band you may spend three hours per week together with your second dynamic, that means your family, your husband and possibly children. You may still not speak with your husband unless he speaks to you. Then you get more. That means that you can earn a gold arm band. With a gold arm band, you may spend one night a week with your family.
You can picture the structure of the RPF as Susanne drew it up in the camp and learned by heart. Chief of the group - but a co-prisoner at the same time - is the BOSUN. Under him is the EST_O, responsible for the assignment of work, and the MAA, who is responsible for keeping the rules of the camp. Under that is the TECH, responsible for the material and the equipment. QUAL supervises the performance of the work. The rank and file form the individual sections A, B and C. Work groups have up to ten people. These are assigned to the actual renovation work - as is they cas here in Clearwater. The control over each other is omnipresent and thorough. None can escape it.
You keep all the others under observation and know that all the others are watching you and each other. That is normal. Anybody can get out of line. Those are the people who least want to know themselves. That means that other people bring it to your attention with a knowledge report, that you have made a mistake. That means you have to look at that mistake face on and handle it somehow, in some way. And then show the group that you have made up for it.
Those are the Knowledge Reports with which one shows his true loyalty. Everybody watches everybody else, everybody betrays everybody else and puts this down on paper. Here Susanne turns in another work group to their superiors. The smallest necessity in the RPF camp must be asked for in writing. Susannne requested, "I have only one work suit and no cap. Without a complete uniform I am breaking the regulations, and I have to wash my clothes urgently." Request denied. Instructions: "Wash your work clothes at night and hang them in the boiler room so that they will be dry in the morning."
The European headquarters of Scientology in Copenhagen. Thousands of adherents stream year after year into this building in order to get closer to immortality by taking courses. We wanted to check out Susanne's statements. Together with her we met there with the press spokeswoman of Scientology in Europe. She said she was ready to give information about the rehabilitation camp system. For her it was a unique chance to "ethically" get back into shape.
Mrs. Getanes, CoS:
Well, there is a program that is allowed for a person who made some serious wrongs in the course of work for our church. I would like to explain to you how it works. It is certainly somewhat different from what Mrs. Schernekau has told you. Normally, when a person makes a mistake at work, he would be kicked out of there. However, we offer these persons a program for reconciliation, the Rehabilitation Project Force. There one learns exactly what one has done wrong. It is gotten across to a person that these mistakes are not to be made again. That lasts five hours per day, every day. The rest of the time one has to work hard on renovation projects, there where one is needed. Nor we do not hate the people who leave Scientology. My personal feelings do not count with them. They are simply only bothersome. Bothersome, because they simply will not tell the truth of what Scientology really is. They are annoyed about something or another. But that really does not disturb us. Because we'll always be here. No matter what these critics say. Thousands of people are always starting with us and want to find out what Scientology is. In spite of this, life goes on for us.
Their lives go on. Not only tomorrow and the next day. The goal is billions of years. The Sea Org members sign a work contract accordingly:
"THEREFORE, I CONTRACT MYSELF TO THE SEA ORGANIZATION FOR THE NEXT BILLION YEARS."
And that's for $130 a month, as former members tell us. An elite organization for eternity, the only question is whose?
Mrs. Getanes, CoS:
I am a Sea Org member and I wear my uniform. It makes me proud to be a member here. Consider that everything I have begun to do here is good and rewarding.
They are surely unbeatable when it comes to one thing in particular: delusions of grandeur and fondness for theatrical drama and fine-tuned propaganda. In the center of the power rush is their current leader, David Miscavige. Since 1986, he has been the successor of L. Ron Hubbard.
David Miscavige: (DM):
On October 1, 1993 at 6:37 p.m. we received a letter from the highest tax office of the USA. Since this time none of the Scientology organizations need pay any more taxes. The war is over.
He is actually quite a short person himself. He is paranoid. He is afraid that someone is going to hurt him, so, he has to hurt them first.
David Miscavige: (DM):
Welcome to church!
A hundred miles east of Los Angeles, two hours drive away. Below us is Gilman Hot Springs, the secret world headquarters of Scientology. This is where David Miscavige pulls the strings of his power. The site resembles a vacation resort. Grand houses, the golf course right next to them. Everything including the California sun. There is room for over a thousand people here, his private army. Only a few Scientologists know of this spot and its meaning. One of them, Jesse Prince, the former representative of David Miscavige, tells us what the picturesque setting conceals.
Peter Reichelt (PR):
Is this the world headquarters?
Peter Reichelt (PR):
And David Miscavige lives there?
Yes, he lives there, yes.
Peter Reichelt (PR):
How would you describe his life style?
Very elaborate, very lavish, that I have seen. The houses there all appear very, very beautiful. The countryside, everything is beautiful. Luxurious is the proper description for that. The main reason for that is that they don't have any expenses for their work force. All they have is material costs, because they have their slave camp, their slaves. Those have to work day and night. And even when the slaves are doing well in their work, there is one day, Saturday, on which every staff member in Hot Springs, no matter what position he has, works the entire day on the renovation of buildings the same as the slaves have to do. And it is exactly because of this, when you have no wage expenses, but only costs of material, that you can accomplish quite a bit.
Pure luxury, made possible by the RPF. Zero labor costs and $350 million in donations for a private music studio, wardroom and fitness center. All for the comfort of David Miscavige.
You know if he decides that something has to look a certain way, then that's what has to happen, and if he orders that something must be accomplished in a certain style, then it happens that way, because he is the boss.
The magnificent villa behind the wrought iron fence, a life style which includes a swimming pool, guest house, tennis courts and private movie theater. Luxury in a high security area.
The security there is quite phenomenal. Motion detectors are mounted on all fences. Even if you just run along side the fence, the alarm goes off. At nights automatic flood lights go on. There are night vision cameras, night vision scopes, and on a small hill is a watchtower, code named "Eagle," with someone who watches the countryside day and night. I know these things because I set up the security there. Talking about reaping what you sow! There is no possibility of escaping from there. From a distance you see a nice looking fence, but when you look at it up close you see the razor sharp metal spikes which will slice your hands if you touch them so that you'll bleed like crazy if you try to climb over it.
The headquarters of the Church of Scientology International is here in Gilman. All the income of the organization goes to David Miscavige at Gilman Hot Springs. The organization in Clearwater is micro-managed from here. Everything in Los Angeles is micro-managed by the facility in Gilman. All the organizations in Europe are micro-managed from here. Everybody worldwide. Any area that produces a sufficient amount of income is micro-managed from the Gilman Hot Springs location.
David Miscavige: (DM):
I was put in the RPF. It was in Happy Valley, just down the road from Gilman it is a 20 minute ride by car. You have to go through the Soboda Indian reservation and then you're there. David Miscavige assigned me ,personally, because I wouldn't go along with his plan to get rid of Pat and Annie Broeker [the couple whom Hubbard had chosen to succeed him]. I refused to carry out his order. I refused to have anything to do with it, so he told me, "OK, then you'll go right to the RPF." They woke me up at 5 o'clock in the morning. They love this element of surprise. They brought me to a room; huddled there on the floor, crying and shaking violently was Vickie Aznaran, who, up to that time, had been David Miscavige's boss. The guards had tossed her in here and yelled at her, she was terribly afraid. Miscavige screamed at me, "It's over. You had your chance. You made the wrong decision. You're going to the RPF!" Then he ordered me, "Call me 'sir'." I will never forget that. I just looked at him and he yelled, "Say it, say it, say it!" And I got up and I said, "fuck you!" And I walked out of the room at which point several men tried to keep me there. But I have karate training and I knocked them down. I ran to my room to get my weapon, a semi-automatic. I still had it from Hubbard. Everybody there had weapons, semi-automatic, full automatic and .45 revolvers. I ran back to Miscavige and yelled at him, "What are you going to do now?"
Now David totally changed his character, he said, "Jesse, you know, we've been through so much. Please put the weapon away. Let's talk." He did not take the weapon away from me. I put it willingly on the table. He said to me, "Please accept your assignment to the camp. You are in a high position in the church, your behavior towards me has made an impression on everyone. So that Scientology does not fall apart and its authority is not destroyed, you have to go to the camp. And if you accept it, I will come and personally get you out and put you back in your old position." I didn't believe that, but, at the time, I was convinced that it would be very bad if the entire organization fell apart because of me, so I conceded.
Happy Valley, rehabilitation center for recuperation of inner peace, lies hidden among the mountains, only 20 minutes away from the center of power. Officially the area is called Castille Canyon School. Over a hundred people live here, including Wiebke H., who is said to have been in the camp since 1995.
Just like in a prison. Get up, wash, get dressed, all in ten minutes. Then you stand outside and shiver all over. In the early morning it is ice cold, everybody in a row. They count off like in jail, to make sure nobody has taken off. They tell you what your work is for that day. 20 minutes to eat and then off to the bus for work at headquarters.
In the near vicinity of the company's private golf course and the football field in Gilman Hot Sprints is another attraction in the Scientology program: a circular spot. In the middle is a palm tree. That's not meant for harmless games, that spot is for running. Today clockwise and tomorrow counter-clockwise around. The newest edition is said to be a water sprinkling system for overheated souls.
He put a big may pole up at his headquarters and his people had to run around it all day long. Further punishment for that part of the elite who have suddenly become a problem for David Miscavige. You run from sunrise until night, until you go to bed, always in circles, day and night, for weeks on end.
Twelve hours a day around the pole, until you realize that you have done something wrong and you can think straight again. That is when you again be a proper Scientologist.
Is that how it worked for Wiebke H.? Did she also spend days on this spot? Wiebke H., the successful manager - what became of her?
Letters to her brother. She wrote the last one June 1998. Her brother showed them to us as a sign that she was still alive. She said things were going splendidly with her and she was having a lot of fun. The lines she wrote give the impression that everything is OK. Supposedly nothing is happening with his older sister which he needs to be concerned about. Yet - where is she exactly and is she doing well?
Jochen Koerner, brother of Wiebke H.:
On the one side I know that she has done this voluntarily and on her own. On the other side, of course, it is clear to me that a model of thought is being manipulated. What is the extent of freedom? Where is the part where I can say with certainty that she wants things that way? I have to leave that up to her if I accept her as an equal. On the other hand, one asks if she is manipulated. What happened when she spent three years in this rehabilitation center? Are the trouble and the effort which she has taken upon herself worthwhile? What happens when a monk goes into a cloister and talks with nobody for three months? If one goes to a hermitage? What happens then? Must we permit that? Is it only unpleasant because she is my sister and it happened to us in the middle of Hamburg? It's difficult for me.
Back to Clearwater, to the picket being held by the former Scientologists. This is Frank Oliver. He was an agent of the secret service of Scientology, OSA for short.
An agent of the Scientology secret service is still trying to photograph me. I used to be in the Scientology secret service myself.
By 1996, the Munich state attorney had already found out that Scientology used undercover intelligence methods as defense against inner and external enemies, and that it would not stop at criminal actions.
The Office for Special Affairs, OSA, has two main missions: propaganda and investigations. Both departments work hand in hand. When enemies of the organization are to be silenced, such as authorities, critics, journalists or psychiatrists, the machinery of the OSA goes into motion. The collected information goes into the propaganda department, which then uses it to denounced alleged enemies in public and to make them absolutely untrustworthy. It's not for the general good of the populace. It's very self-serving.
This document clearly shows what assignments are waiting for OSA agents: infiltration, bribery, buying information, burglary, blackmail.
The investigations person, you hardly ever see them. They're the ones in the shadows. They sift through the dirt, look for bodies in the basements of their enemies and critics. They try everything it takes to make things turn out good for Scientology in the end and to make things impossible for the enemy. That's how it works. They work with each other.
Re: phone calls. OSA is also involved in monitoring telephones. We have a list of telephone numbers called from a public telephone booth in Miami. The assignment was to observe these in order to investigate the callers.
They had so many projects going on at the time that even during an extensive shadowing operation I had to work other cases. One day I got the original of a private telephone bill. I was supposed to find out all the people who had been called by the target person. I never found out how they managed to get this private telephone bill.
Perhaps by burglary? A training document for Scientology agents which was confiscated by the FBI shows that the organization will not stop at burglary. Along with exact descriptions, how to break through door locks and even safes is covered, "Pull your prepared metal strip from the lower end of the door to the strike plate of the lock and the door pops open. If you have problems inserting it, use your foot to hold the door open a crack.
Their top guy is Mike Rinder. He is the director of OSA. He knows everything that goes on. The only one over him is David Miscavige. Everything goes directly to him.
Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles. Work place of Mike Rinder and gathering point for OSA. This is where the information is evaluated and prepared for further action. That not only includes Germany, Scientology's declared arch-enemy, but the federal Ministry for Family, Youth and Health. The method of operation against the enemy and the goal of the OSA agents is that one "learns all his plans for the future and uses the material gathered either to bring him to court or to discredit him so that one no longer believes his statements."
OSA is Miscavige's most important department. Without it he would be lost and Scientology would have long since been forgotten.
[Roadblocked in Happy Valley]
You are blocking us. You are arresting us. You are not allowed to block us, you know?
Nobody is blocking you. I am placing you under citizen's arrest right now.
OSA in action. We wanted to go to Happy Valley to Wiebke H. However, our drive was stopped short by a roadblock. We were held up for over two hours on the open road, scolded, yelled at, threatened. There was no way out. What or whom were they concealing there? Many open questions.
You're asked to do things that are illegal. You're asked to do criminal deeds on your post, and it quickly becomes clear to you that you have been incriminated, but so has everybody else. It turns into part of your daily work. If you want to stay on your post, you have to take part of this criminal activity, whether you want to or not. Because everybody does it, everybody is guilty and everybody is quiet about it. Nobody talks about it. The leaders of Scientology do not practice Scientology as it is written in some of those bulletins [Hubbard scriptures].
The entire Scientology management is totally corrupt. They think it is hilarious that Sea Org members below the management level and customers believe in this stuff.
I never wanted to be like the others. I always wanted to be different. Then I met people here who wanted the best of the world. They wanted to help other people.
Mrs. Getanes, CoS:
Scientology is the right place for me and I know that we are in possession of the truth.
They are not only in possession of the truth, they have the services of their own, mobile security troops. The Scientology sheriffs dress like police and follow you around step by step. As Hubbard said, "True is what is true for you." He also thought that they were the only people on earth who have the right to punish. According to whose rules? According to Hubbard's rules, which are still rigidly kept today, 13 years after his death. Even children cannot escape these regulations. They are made tractable with psychological methods in their education into Sea Org members. Over and over again they are subjected to the same security questions:
- Has someone ordered you not to tell us something?
- Do you have a secret?
- Have you ever taken something which does not belong to you?
- Have you ever hurt yourself to cause others anxiety?
- Have you ever not eaten in order to cause others anxiety?
- Have you ever refused to carry out an order which someone has given who was justified in giving it?
- Have you ever done something which you have had to be ashamed of?
- Have you ever done anything criminal?
- Have you ever knocked down a smaller child?
- Have you ever been ashamed of your parents?
- Have you ever betrayed a secret which was entrusted to you?
- Have you ever been a coward?
- Have you spied on your friends?
Correct answers mean happy faces. But the fun stops for these children with failure and disobedience. By 1976, on instructions from Hubbard, the first children's RPF was established in Los Angeles. No time off for play, but a children's reform camp with absolute obedience as its goal. One of the reasons for the camp for children was stated in this document, "Make it clear to the children that any form of vandalism, theft and any other crime committed by a child will be punished by the RPF under aggravated conditions."
Scientology pretends to answer to all questions, heal people, give them special abilities and make better humans out of them. In reality Scientology has only one purpose: to exercise absolute control over all people and they pocket their money.
Scientology street sign:
"Are you really happy? Find out what Scientology is. Come to us."
Jochen Koerner, brother of Wiebke H.:
When you look exactly at what is going on, you see a reactionary, authoritarian mechanism which restricts certain degrees of liberty. When it is understood that something is permissible then it may be done. However, I don't accept that they do that for everybody else. And to make this dependent upon citizenship - there it is explicitly in their index - whether one is a Scientologist and the right to re-educate people in their rehabilitation camps and such... We have had that before and that does not belong here.
Jochen Koerner, brother of Wiebke H.:
The question I've asked many times over, because, of course, call up everybody and tell them all, "You're doing quite poorly now and you have to work hard there." I don't doubt that at all. When they do that voluntarily, then that is their business. If I now go in there and get involved, am I helping them? Am I hurting them? Or am I only helping myself?
Four months later. Jochen Koerner flew to Los Angeles to see his sister Wiebke again after almost four years. They met at a small restaurant in Hollywood. Later they went for a walk along the beach. That evening she rode with the Scientology bus back to the world headquarters in Gilman Hot Springs. As of late, she is a producer there for Scientology recruitment films. She said she did not want to talk over her time in the reform camp with her brother. She does not want to go back to Germany any more.
Madrid, February 5, 1999. The Spanish state attorney brought charges against 18 leading members of the Scientology organization. The charges include establishment of a criminal association, fraud, burglary, grievous bodily harm and mistreatment of a Spanish woman in the prison camp in Copenhagen. The trial begins June 1.
Another article on US Scientology by Peter Reichelt.
"Missing in Happy Valley?"
from: "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung"
February 25, 1999, Feuilleton, page 50
Wibke H. was far ahead of the crowd. She directed the destiny of her enterprise for all of Germany. The first few years she was in power, she could always report increasing income to the headquarters in the United States. Her sudden fall neared as new disciples dropped out. That earned her a trip to Happy Valley, where she can probably still be found today, and where, according to Peter Reichelt and Ina Brockmann, things can hardly be very pleasant. Happy Valley, according to the findings and statements of the two television journalists, is a re-education camp in which members fallen from the grace of the Scientology organization are kept as slaves and are exposed to sick torture.
Up to the end of their documentary, the researchers were not able to find the Scientologist woman from Germany for whom they were searching, but they came away the wiser for it. Even the audience does not find out how things have finally gone for Wibke H., but they can easily picture it from the descriptions of several former Scientology members. A former security chief of the organization reported, for the camera, the manner in which the Chief of the Scientology Security Police "Sea Org", David Miscavige, takes care of unfavored staff members and how he saw to the building of a small, round, sandy area. In the middle of this area is a palm tree, and around this palm run delinquents who have been brought to the punishment camp, as various ex-Scientologists have testified, hour upon hour in the burning sun. Or they are ordered to perform, as repeatedly stated by various witnesses in the film, to heavy, demeaning work, practically without a wage and poorly fed.
The critics of her organization, a European Scientology spokeswoman responded to this film, do not upset her. They are bothersome specters of the times. "We will always be here," she said full of confidence, and probably meant it, as presented in the film about Scientology's alleged contract duration, for one billion years. For the brother of the missing Wibke H. "who does not want to look up his sister as long as believes that she is voluntarily staying in Happy Valley, although he thinks of Scientology as an autocratic association," the authors summed that up with a look on methods of Scientology they had described, "We've already done that." miha.
Only a miracle can help the brothers
From: "Mannheimer Morgen" Germany
February 20, 1999
Bonn attempts to save Germans convicted in the USA from execution
From our correspondent
Washington. "Sometimes miracles happen," Juergen Chrobog tries to be encouraging. The German Ambassador in Washington will once more ask for mercy for Karl LaGrand. If no miracle happens, LaGrand will die that day; his brother, Walter, will die on March 3. The preparations for the executions have begun. The gas chamber in Florence must be cleaned; it has not been used for a long time. Most of the executions in the USA take place by mean of poisonous injection. The gas chamber is only put into use when the convicted person has expressly stated this as a preference. Death in this way is viewed as unnecessarily gruesome.
The crime for which the brothers were sentenced to death was also gruesome. In 1982 they held up a bank in Arizona. They tied up the bank director and stabbed him with a letter opener. Karl LaGrand was 18 years old at the time, Walter, 19. They have been sitting on death row since 1984. Their appeals have run out.
The German administration has made it their business to fight for the lives of the brothers. Federal President Herzog and Federal Chancellor Schroeder have written letters to President Clinton, with the request to forward their letters to Jane Hull, the Governor of Arizona. Chrobog spoke with her this week. "I was not received with a great deal of emotion," he said at the conclusion. Hull has been in office a short time. In her first speech before the state assembly she verified that she was a proponent of the death penalty.
The decision by the LaGrand brothers to opt for the gas chamber may have been an attempt to motivate protest of the death sentence, and, if possible, to obtain yet another postponement of their executions. Hull had listened to the ambassador without stating her own opinion. She only made reference to a process before the board of pardons on Monday. If the board should make a positive recommendation, she will "think over" Chrobog's arguments.
From the view of the German government, the LaGrand brothers are not Americans, but Germans. Walter was born in Dillingen, Karl in Augsburg. They have the same mother, but different fathers. In 1966, their mother married a member of the US Army who was stationed in Augsburg. The next year the family moved to the USA, and Sergeant LaGrand adopted the boys; at least that is what the US officials stated. Chrobog spoke of a "purported adoption."
The German Consulate in Los Angeles is looking after the LaGrand's legal needs. However, the brothers had only public defenders during their trials. From Bonn's point of view, that contradicts the Vienna Consular Rights Convention. Chrobog will state before the board of pardons that the deed was done in the heat of the moment, that the brothers have been "model prisoners," and that they had "a terrible childhood."
The dispute over the death sentence is not untimely for Bonn, since the US State Department will be presenting another report in which "Violators of Human Rights" will be scourged. Once again this brings up the proceedings being taken by the German authorities against the Scientologists. In response to that aspect, Chrobog stated, "Many things about America have also occurred to me."
Federal Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer in Washington -
Unfazed on delicate topics
From: "Saarbrücker Zeitung"
November 4, 1998
Serious yet casual
- by PETER RZEZNITZECK, Washington -
"100 day period of grace? Forget it!" Joschka Fischer has a tired smile for such old customs. "We have already had to decide upon foreign matters of state even before we came into office," recalls the German Secretary of State and refers, over a glass of water in the residence of the German Ambassador in Washington, to the latest Kosovo conflict. Having to jump off the deep end does not appear to have harmed the new chief of foreign affairs. Quite the opposite: assuming his new role in record time, he projects an air of statesmanship. He expounds coolly upon the Balkan and Iraqi crises. When his ministerial seriousness no longer serves him, he still manages to easily keep up the pace. "I was supposed to announce the global economic plan - that could still happen," jokes the 50-year-old on the theme of control of the financial markets. He also keeps calm in matters of Scientology. "As a representative I disapproved of them, nothing has changed," said the Vice Chancellor. That is how the "new guy" spent the evening with 100 reporters. After barely two hours he said more about himself and his politics than his predecessor would have in the same context. Fischer, the calm novice minister - Fischer, the smart tactician.
The last time he was in the US capitol with Gerhard Schröder, anything he said had to be off the record. Barely in office a week, Fischer asks for understanding that not all positions of the new administration can be discussed and reformulated. "Really, I have to rest on the seventh day. . .", jokes the Minister and alludes to the various necessary closed conferences. Example: NATO expansion and Russia. In his predisposition for foreign words, Fisher calls it "koordinatives Stadium," the "coordination phase," which, in so many words, means: we don't have a strategy because of a lack of discussion and agreement. Nevertheless, two things appear to have taken place with the new minister: nothing will change in the fundamentals of German foreign politics. And if sensitive military operations are taking place such as in Kosovo or in Iraq, Bonn will be able to rely upon the decision of the security council. Fischer was asked as to how the German administration would react to unilateral American military action. However he would not respond at all to hypothetical questions. He will cross those bridges when he gets to them.
"Flickers and Rustles"
From: "TAZ Nr. 5641"
September 22, 1998
The homosexual man . . .
. . . may once more have hope. After all the offtrack trends and innovations of the past 30 years - such as Christopher Street Day, fist fucking, The Village People, drag queens, queer and gender studies - renewed assistance comes from the USA. This time it is called "Exodus," "Courage," or "Homosexuals Anonymous" -- sincere Christian therapy groups who only know one goal: "cure" the homosexual, turn him around, or "re-orient" him. The involvement of more than 15 religious organizations is accompanied by an advertising campaign in all the big newspapers. The message is, "homosexuality is a sin, but God lends all sinners a helping hand." They [the sinners] will learn in the so-called "transformation groups," completely discrete and therapeutically correct. In training, which lasts months, the black sheep will unlearn any obvious homosexual expression or movement. Men may no longer hold out the little finger while drinking tea. When sitting down, one leg is not gracefully crossed over the other. He who elegantly spreads the five fingers of his male hand and arches them suggestively toward an imaginary male cleavage is probably threatened with purgatory.
Ever since homosexuality was invented, people have been asking "where does it come from?" and then "how do you get rid of it?" In answer to the second question, many men have had many ideas over the last 100 years. The Nazis tried it with forced castration and hormone operations. In the 1950's and 1960's, more hormone experiments were tried, along with attempts at brain surgery, medication and psycho-analytic therapy. As late as the 1970's homosexuality was treated with electroshock in the USA, and the sexual scientist, Martin Dannecker, reported in 1972 of a Munich psychologist who tried to "cure" his victims with a "revulsion therapy." The gays were shown pictures of men, alternating between attractive and then with boils, wounds and rashes. Compared to that the little game of behavior therapy by the American Christians seems almost to be an improvement.
Yet even the endeavors of this new therapy are proving to be in vain. Homosexuals remain resistent. 13 local "Exodus" groups have had to close because manifestations of heterosexuality have eluded them. The "Exodus" founders, Michael Busse and Gary Cooper have since then, in spite of their "successful cure," gotten happily engaged and married, and have several children.
Today Michael Pattinson from Beverly Hills is still waiting for a "successful re-orientation." He put himself in the hands of the Scientologists and believed in their "cure program" and their advertisement with Hollywood star John Travolta, who was supposed to have been "cured." Through the course of the years, Pattinson let the sect have a half million dollars. Now he is poor, but he is still gay, and he is suing Scientology. He feels "deceived, disappointed and robbed of his human and civil rights." The Scientology secret service reacted casually to the suit. They say it is "unfounded" and that John Travolta is "a happily married man."
© Contrapress media GmbH
Gay man sues Travolta and Scientology
From: "Berliner Zeitung"
August 11, 1998
Sect member allegedly paid a half million for "cure" for homosexuality
by Marc Fest and Frank Nordhausen
MIAMI/LOS ANGELES, 11. August. Does the Scientology sect charge big money for a fake homosexuality "cure"? Do they use film star John Travolta as living proof for the effectiveness of their treatment? These are the questions asked in a lawsuit recently brought by a gay artist in Los Angeles against the sect and John Travolta.
For 25 years, Scientology has falsely promised him the cure for his homosexuality, says the complainant, Michael Pattinson, from Beverly Hills. He says that he has paid the sect a total of a half million dollars to that end. John Travolta, one of the most prominent Scientology members besides his fellow actor, Tom Cruise, is said not to have personally recommended the "treatment," but had been "present in the building." Travolta is a long-term guest of the sect-owned Celebrity Center, a showplace in Hollywood where Scientology "handles" their celebrities for big money, including many film stars. According to Pattinson's suit, the organization had offered Travolta as proof that he would be able to be completely cured of his "ruin." He was "lied to, deceived and robbed of his human and civil rights," for a half million dollars, says Pattinson's attorney, Graham Berry, from Los Angeles. He was continuously being "squeezed" for more money. Berry says that he is one of "the five attorneys in the USA who will risk representing clients against Scientology."
Scientology, according to Berry, is not a church, but a political and commercial organization which disguises itself as a church. The attorney describes Scientology's so-called "rehabilitation center" in Hemet, California, as a gulag. Since 1994, former leading Scientologists have testified in court that "forced laborers" were used to build luxurious cottages and sport areas for sect celebrities like Tom Cruise and John Travolta in the desert camp.
Travolta, attached to actress Kelly Preston since 1991 and star of films such as "Saturday Night Fever," "Pulp Fiction" and "Get Shorty," has often had to deny his alleged homosexuality in the past. In April, 1990, porno star Paul Barresi stated in an eye-opening article in the National Enquirer, a expose newspaper, that he had had a relationship with Travolta for a period of years in the 1980's. Barresi, who had received $100,000 from the Enquirer, later retracted his claim. Travolta's lawyer had promised him a "soft landing" in return for his retraction, Barresi later stated in the gay magazine, "The Guide" in March. Meantime, he regrets his retraction. The porno star has also been represented by Berry, the Pattinson attorney.
Travolta's sexual orientation is also said to have played a role in his dealings with Scientology. Time Magazine report in 1991 in a cover story about Scientology that the sect had exploited its knowledge of Travolta's homosexuality. Whenever their famous walking advertisement wanted to leave, he was allegedly told that his files would be "unpacked." Travolta's attorney, Jay Lavel, now describes all accusations as "complete nonsense." Also, Kurt Weiland from OSA, Scientology's secret service, calls Pattinson's lawsuit "unfounded." In contrast to the New York Daily News, he says, "John Travolta is a happily married man."
However, the sect has to view the lawsuit with mixed feelings. In the 1980's, a legal proceeding cause a furor in Portland, Oregon. The former Scientologist, Tonya Burden, had sued the organization for punitive damages because her weak eyesight had never improved from the expensive "therapy," as promised. The court awarded her $39 million, which was overturned on appeal. Finally the sect gave in to a compromise. Scientology has yet to pay the deceived adherent over a hundred thousand dollars.
From: "Mannheimer Morgen"
July 28, 1998
Scientology Shows its True Face
in "Happy Valley" California
TV reporters from Mannheim must fear for their own lives as they search for signs of missing Germans
by our editorial staff member, Stephan Tongi
Ina Brockmann and Peter Reichelt have had nothing to do with sheriffs since the cowboy and Indian games of their childhood. On this day, however, the natives of Mannheim received a letter at home from Larry D. Smith, the sheriff of Riverside County, California. The reason was that both freelance journalists were held by force on a public road for two and a half hours in the San Jacinto Mountains by members of the controversial Scientology organization last March. They had been filming a documentary about the organization's prison camp. Now the Scientology staff is being investigated for unlawful detention and unlawful coercion, as Reichelt told our paper. The primary accused include Ken Hoden, second man after David Miscavige in the organization, which has the word "church" in its official name, though only God knows why.
"The jig is up," shot through the heads of both Mannheim natives as it became obvious to them that they had been trapped. But one thing at a time. For years, Reichelt had been trying to show the true face of Scientology. In 1997 he published an explosive book which turned out to be one big accusation against Scientology starting from page one and going through page 489. In Spring he and his co-producer, Ina Brock, flew to the USA for a week to deliver the first photographs of the Scientologists' forced labor camp to the world. They had several names of Scientologists from their relatives in Germany, who had not seen any sign of life from them for years. Among them was Wiebke Hansen. She had been chief of the German offshoot of Scientology, and had apparently disappeared from the face of the earth in Fall of 1995.
In California, the native of Mannheim hired a cameraman, a former police sergeant, as well as a pilot together with his helicopter and headed out in the direction of "Happy Valley." Life in the valley is - in spite of the name - anything but happy. In his book, Reichelt cited sworn testimony given by a former presiding member of US Scientology in 1994 before a judge. Andre Tabayoyon was not only an adherent of the empty teachings of L. Ron Hubbard, but had even been his butler before he left the sect - as security director. He described the camp as comparable to "a type of gulag or concentration camp."
Several small, secret prison and work camps were supposed to be in the desert-like setting of "Happy Valley." According to Tabayoyon, high ranking Scientologists who had begun to doubt the teachings, as well as members of the Sea Organization elite unit, were interned there. Round the clock they were said to be under guard by armed watchmen who forced them to work. In addition, they underwent hours-long brainwashing sessions every day. Hubbard's son, Arthur, was said to have been hidden away in Happy Valley for a year after the death of his father, when Arthur had wanted to leave the "Sea Org." According to Tabayoyon, 60 children and youths as well as 30 adults live in the camps today.
Late in the morning of March 9, both of the curious Germans flew the 40 minutes from Palm Desert to the highly secret camp. From their lofty height, they spotted over 20 children and youth. "When the caretakers noticed our helicopter, they quickly drove the camp inmates into the barracks [photo]," said Reichelt. "They immediately put several jeeps in motion in order to follow us on the ground." Reichelt and his crew circled the area and let the cameras roll. Then they traveled back to the landing field. Somebody was already waiting for them...
By motor vehicle they traveled - pressed and pursued by four passenger vehicles and jeeps, photographed and filmed by Scientologists - back again in the direction of "Happy Valley." They drove past "Gold [photo]," the secret seat of Scientology Chief Miscavige in Gilman Hot Springs. The name, "Gold," comes from the fortune in gold bars which are stored underground there, and which are under heavy guard, according to Tabayoyon.
The Mannheim residents were driving through an Indian reservation on a public road. At that point, they recalled the warning given to them by the German consulate in Los Angeles that this area, "because of the trigger-happy Indians", should only be visited with bullet-proof vests. However, the danger was lurking elsewhere: suddenly Ina Brockmann had to stamp on the brakes - a yellow bulldozer blocked the road. To the right and left were large trees, so that there was no way of getting around it. Behind that were two automobiles. Brockmann tried to turn around, but the pursuers, along with a white delivery van, cut off her retreat. Men sprang out of the cars and surrounded the vehicle of the people who had intruded into the secret world of Scientology - who were travelling, as mentioned, on a public road. "You are Germans. You are all under arrest," screamed the ringleader, who turned out to be Scientology Vice-chief Ken Hoden. Along with five armed men, he tried to intimidate Brockmann and Reichelt. His purpose was to obtain the surrender of the videocassette. Hoden handed over his visiting card and asked what the reporters were looking for. "Scientologists who have disappeared without a trace, among them Wiebke Hansen," answered Brockman, "and we assume that she is in Happy Valley." Hoden confirmed the assumption, "Yes, she is here for rehabilitation."
Only he would not let anybody in to see her. One word led to another, until Hoden gave a warning to all Germans who enter the vicinity of the Scientology region, "All Germans will get the same as you have. Germany is our arch-enemy number one, especially here in California."
The psycho-terrorism with the unmistakable allusions to the clubs and pistols lasted for two and a half hours. Then the sheriff finally showed up. At first he believed Ken Hoden, who claimed that Reichelt had gone deep into their property and endangered the residents there. The Mannheim resident defended himself and told of the roadblock with the bulldozer - which had long since gone. It was not until Reichelt showed the sheriff the snapshots from his digital camera that the man with the star took Hoden along with three other Scientologists into custody - the others were able to talk their way out of it. Since they could prove they had a fixed address, they were let free.
Even after being let go by the sheriff, their adventures were still not at an end. Round the clock, Brockmann and Reichelt were shadowed in Los Angeles by four cars, who kept a distance of one meter and who shined their high beams. They managed to shake their pursuers with the help of the police. "For the first time in my life, I was afraid," admitted Peter Reichelt, "and I was with Dietmar Shoenherr in the war zone in Nicaragua." Today he admits, "I had completely underestimated the danger." He brought his film, which included shots of other penal camps in Hollywood near the Scientology Secret Service as well as in Clearwater, Florida, safely back to Mannheim. Sometime soon, ABC broadcasting in New York is going to show 60 minutes of it. The footage will also appear in the Fall on German television.
"I am certainly no James Bond, although I acted like one," said Reichelt. At least he had helped to let Wiebke Hansen's brother, Jochen, know that she was still alive. In the meantime, a postcard came from the USA, in which she wrote, "I am doing fine, don't worry, I'll soon be out when I make some progress." Then she gave a telephone number so that her brother can keep in contact with her. The number belongs to Mike Rinder, the Director of the notorious Scientology Secret Service in Los Angeles.
May 12, 1998
Washington (dpa) - The US government wants to prevent a law which would have provided for automatic economic sanctions against countries with restricted religious freedom.
The State Department regards this process as counter-productive, said a high official in Washington on Tuesday. Theoretically, Germany could also be affected by the legislation being brought before congress this week because of its politics concerning the Scientology organization.
The so-called Wolf-Spectre Law would assign a commissioner for religious freedom who would judge the situation in individual countries. If he should decide that religious persecution is taking place, sanctions would result.
The Clinton administration does not go along with such an automatic procedure, said the official. If the proposed legislation receive a majority of the vote in congress, State Secretary Madeleine Albright would recommend to the President that he veto the bill.
The Scientology organization, which is recognized in the USA as a church, claims that its members are persecuted in Germany.
SCIENTOLOGY / A Banker brings his financial means to bear against the sect
From: "Rheinischer Merkur"
Weekly Newspaper for Politics Economy Culture Christians and World
April 23, 1998
Bob Minton appears as an intrepid representative of sect victims: He wants to uncover the consequences of a religious philosophy
Stephan Strothe, Miami
In large, awkward letters Bob Minton writes his message on a poster: "Scientology wants your money and your life." Then the 51 year old banker takes a deep breath, crosses the street with a determined stride, and begins his one-man demonstration - directly in front of the "spiritual headquarters" of the Scientologists in Clearwater, on the west coast of Florida. The sect members remain behind the walls of the former luxury hotel, "Fort Harrison." But outside, only a few yards from Bob Minton, Scientology's security officers observe each step of the lone demonstrator. Also the SAT-1 camera, which has accompanied the crusade of Bob Minton for three weeks, has, since the arrive in Clearwater, constantly been in the sights of the sect "sheriffs": armed with cameras and camcorders, they report each movement over walkie-talkies to the sect headquarters. When Bob Minton, the millionaire, starts a protest demonstration, the Scientology management in Los Angeles and Clearwater go to first stage alert. The man with the soft voice and the decisive appearance fights Scientology on multiple fronts: on talkshows and presentations, on the street and over the internet, above all with his millions of dollars.
Enlightenment over the Internet
Bob Minton is not only brave and determined; he is also rich. The banker from the Boston financial elite earned his millions by helping developing countries in the re-structuring of their billions of dollars of debt. At 46 years old, he retired, tended to both of his small daughters, and puttered about his favorite playground, the internet.
That is where computer freak Minton learned how rabidly the Scientology leadership advances on the virtual battlefield against their critics: with threats, carrying out searches of homes because of alleged copyright violations, and costly legal procedures against former members who disseminate embarrassing internal information from the inner life of the sect.
"I thought we lived in a free country. Who really protects our freedom of speech?" ponders Bob Minton. Because Scientology is recognized as a church in the USA, and is therefore widely protected from undercover police investigations, the millionaire decided to take it upon himself, to see to it that "the odds are evened up a little bit." Up to now he has paid out almost 3 million marks ($2 million) for his crusade. Checks for "a couple of hundred thousand more dollars" are ready to be written.
The Robin Hood of the cult opponents supports, in the meanwhile, a dozen Scientology ex-members who are at their wit's and financial end in their years-long disputes with the sect. For two high-ranking ex-Scientologists, Stacy and Vaughn Young, Bob Minton recently provided a house on an island in the northwestern USA, so that the couple could finally have some peace and quite from the persecution of the sect. That was supposed to be a hideaway for a half a million marks (about $300,000), over 4,000 kilometers (2,000 miles) away from Clearwater - but apparently not far enough. Anonymous fliers warn the neighbors of the Youngs of alleged "publicly dangerous activities" of the former members of Scientology.
From the material battle against the sect, Bob Minton shifts gears to a finely-tuned drive in the halls of international diplomacy: at dinner in New York he meets with Abdelfattah Amor, who, on assignment for the UN, follows up on the string of accusations of the Scientologists, and investigates "religious intolerance and discrimination" in Germany.
At least Minton's intervention has not hurt the Scientology opponents. In his recently released final decision, the diplomat characterized the Scientology accusation, that the sect was persecuted in Germany with Nazi methods, as "senseless and childish." True to the simple friend-enemy scheme of the deceased sect founder, L. Ron Hubbard, Bob Minton's drive in world politics could only mean one thing: the man has to be an agent of the German government. Nowhere, however, is the deep breath and the deep pockets of the millionaire feared by the sect so much as on the battlefield of choice for the sect: in the halls of American justice.
Where the aggressive Scientology attorneys, up until now, have been able to intimidate through their sheer numbers and a seemingly inexhaustible war chest, Bob Minton now actually brings about a slightly better balance in weaponry. His checks help ex-Scientologists who report their painful experiences, and should have, according to the handbook of the "church", been silenced. The biggest sin in the eyes of the Scientologists is the over 200,000 marks ($140,000), which Bob Minton has given, up to now, to Kennan Dendar's small legal practice in Clearwater. Mr. Dendar is suing the sect for 144 Million marks ($100 million) punitive damages in connection with the death of a Scientology member, Lisa McPherson. The 36 year old woman died two years ago under unexplained circumstances after a seventeen day "observation" by Scientology sect members in Clearwater's Fort Harrison Hotel.
Records by Scientologists, taken down during her "observation", prove that Lisa McPherson, in a state of mental confusion, was repeatedly refusing food and water. She was first brought to the hospital on the seventeenth day, where she died shortly after arrival. The autopsy report cited the cause of death as a blood clot which had been loosened by "too much bedrest and extreme dehydration." Clearwater's district attorney is still looking into whether the Scientologists must answer before a judge.
The McPherson Case
The death of Lisa McPherson has long been a nightmare for the sect, which likes to present itself as a beneficial and generally misunderstood "religious philosophy" in the USA. Because of this, Bob Minton, quite consciously, shows up in front of the former Fort Harrison Hotel in Clearwater, where the young lady suffered through her final days. Most of the time Brian Anderson is waiting there for him. The speaker of the Clearwater Scientologists compared Bob Minton, in a talk with German reporters, to a "Nazi who finances anti-Jewish organizations."
American media, which had not published a Scientology story for years, either out of disinterest, or fear of the suit-happy lawyers of the sect, have not let the case of Lisa McPherson slip by. The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and several large TV broadcasters have recently been reporting critically about the methods of the sect and about the man who fights them so bravely.
Long Arm in the Caribbean
Bob Minton needs courage in this test of power, because the millionaire and his family have also felt the anger of the Scientologists. Scientology members demonstrate in front of Minton's city home in Boston's prestigious Beacon Hill. At a birthday party for one of Minton's daughters, insulting leaflets with Bob Minton's picture on them were pressed into the hands of the guests.
Private detectives in the employ of the Scientologists investigate Minton's relatives and business partners for damaging material. A PI even finds his way to a secluded country home of the family in the forests of New Hampshire, where he questioned the town police about the millionaire in the name of the "church."
The Mintons learned, three weeks ago during a vacation in the Caribbean, how much money the Scientologists expend in the fight against their opponents and how long the arm of the sect reaches: upon their return from the beach, they found leaflets, which accused Bob Minton of financing "hate and intolerance," on the cars and trees along the boardwalk,
This kind of expenditure only strengthens Bob Minton in his resolve to lead his battle against Scientology - regardless of how much power, will, and money this crusade will cost him.
The author is a Sat-1 America correspondent
24 Special -- Stephan Strothe
US Millionaire Fights Sect --
Crusade against Scientology
Any visitor to the former pirate haven of Clearwater on Florida's west coast quickly realizes who is fighting for power today. Scientologists have taken over the street scene, predominantly in the downtown area. In Clearwater they are a great deal closer to their dream of having their own Scientology city. Of the 100,000 inhabitants today, 6,000 are said to belong to the sect. On top of that, Scientology tourists come here from all over the world.
They make the pilgrimage to this former luxury hotel and pay thousands of dollars for courses which promise them a higher level of enlightenment. Fort Harrison is their religious center. Whoever approaches it is under observation. The sect's security service accompanies our team step by step. Scientology sheriffs report every enemy movement by radio to their center.
On this particular morning the lookouts would be even more nervous if they knew who was en route to Clearwater: the man whom the Scientology management probably fears the most today. Bob Minton is a millionaire banker, who does not want to stand by idly while the sect tries to intimidate their critics.
Bob Minton (driving his car):
It's a little bit like going into the lion's den. Former sect members have warned me, "no matter what you do, don't go into the Fort Harrison Hotel. The Scientologists could arrange for something to happen there." My friends tell me, "You're not paranoid. The Scientologists are out to get you."
Mr. Minton is driving to Clearwater because he believes in the democratic saying, "If you want something done, don't wait for the government. Do it yourself."
"Scientology wants your money and your life," warns the home-made picket sign. As the sect mobilizes against its critics on the internet, the 51 year old computer fan begins his own crusade.
As you can see, the Scientologists are mobilizing quite a few people. Apparently our little protest operation is upsetting them.
The speaker for the Scientologists in Clearwater, Brian Anderson, launches his counter-attack.
Bob Minton's attack on us, that is as if a Nazi was supporting an anti-Jewish organization. Giving money to someone so that he can attack a religious minority, that is, that is simply EVIL.
The evil, Bob Minton believes, lies on the other side of the street.
So many people must suffer terribly, only because they were once Scientologists. I think it's especially bad that the church seeks to destroy former members who express themselves in a critical manner. These ex-members are financially ruined, or overwhelmed with endless lawsuits. I want to use my money to even up the playing field, so that former members can defend themselves.
To the annoyance of the Scientologists, Minton is quite well off.
How much have you given so far?
About $1.4 million so far. And I still have a couple of hundred thousand I haven't given yet. If I have to, I'll give more.
4,000 kilometers (2,500 miles) from Clearwater, Bob Minton bought two sect ex-members an island house, because Scientology demonstrators regularly appeared in their former neighborhood.
A safe haven for a half a million marks ($350,000). Stacy Young does not feel safe here any more. A short time ago, her neighbors received anonymous warnings, "The cats in the Youngs' animal refuge are infected with dangerous, contagious diseases." This came as no surprise for the former sect member.
Where we used to live, it was becoming unbearable. One evening two employees from the mental institution stood at our front door. Anonymous callers had told them that I was crazy. Both of them were surprised when they found out who I was, and I told them that the whole thing was an operation by the Scientologists. Bob Minton heard about our problem, simply called us up and said, "I'll help you." The man saved our lives when we were at a loss as to what to do.
In American commercials, Scientology advertises itself as a "religious philosophy." Expensive, newly generated courses promise life assistance and a better world. Stars such as John Travolta openly admit to Scientology and do what they can to drum up business for the sect. His message is, "Look how far I've gotten with Scientology!"
Most people just don't understand what Scientology is all about,
says the superstar at a book party.
Scientology has given me answers to so many questions. I have waited for a long time for this help.
Each Scientologist is supposed to believe in the pure teachings which come from L. Ron Hubbard. The deceased science fiction author took elements of traditional religions and mixed them with a generous dose of psycho-analysis and space fantasy into a new ideology.
German courts have decided that the sect in involved, for the most part, in making money. In the USA, however, Scientology is recognized as a religion. Because of this, Sabine Haag has moved to Clearwater, with her four children, from a village outside of Stuttgart.
We were not permitted to film a Scientology church service. What was permitted was an interview in the administrative center.
I used to live in a small village with about 1,500 inhabitants. Whenever I came into a building, people fell all over themselves trying to leave because they knew that I was a Scientologist. It was as if I had leprosy. My children were beaten up every day on their way back from school. They were afraid to go to school. Every morning I had to bring them to the classroom door, then pick them up there in the afternoon or evening. They never went out by themselves. My children didn't have any more friends. We have our Sunday services here. We have marriages here. When someone dies, we have the funeral here. We have baptisms here. We have all the normal serv... all the normal things which a normal church has. Only... we ... have ... much more enjoyment in them.
Apparently Sabine does not know that ex-Scientologists from her sect have been put under undue pressure.
I am 100 percent positive that if they wanted out of the church, no one would hold them back. Because, we are taught, or, Scientology is a teaching which they learn... teaches them to be free. And freedom means that they are self-determined, so ... that would be the exact opposite to the teachings, if they were to hold someone back.
But that is exactly what happened in the Fort Harrison hotel, according to the reports of ex-Scientologists. This is why Bob Minton demonstrates in front of the so-called religious headquarters. After speaking with former sect member from many parts of the USA, Minton is convinced:
There is a long list of former cult victims who have come to great harm in this hotel.
What has been confirmed is that in Fort Harrison a 36 year old woman spent the last days of her life. The police have been working on Lisa McPherson's case for over two years. In 1994, the Scientologist had given half of her income for sect courses. One year later, she celebrated her "clear" status. This is a Scientology level of enlightenment which promises particular happiness. Only two months later, she pulled off all her clothes after a minor auto accident and said, "I need help." An ambulance brought her to the emergency room. Then several Scientologists showed up. Lisa went with them back to Fort Harrison. What happened there has still not been explained.
However, Scientologists did note down, in detail, how her condition was rapidly deteriorating.
From Scientology notes:
"Tried to feed her. She ate nothing. Needs two liters of liquid, when she wakes up. Has scratches and sores all over her body."
On the seventeenth day, the Scientologists finally decided to bring Lisa McPherson to the hospital. However, they drove her past a nearby hospital. They did not stop at the next one, or the hospital after that. They brought her on a 45 minute ride to the New Port Ritchie Hospital, because that is where a Scientology doctor was working. Too late for Lisa McPherson. She died emaciated and almost without liquid in her body. The next step is for the district attorney in Clearwater to decide whether any charges will be brought against the Scientologists. The medical examiner has confirmed the existence of bleeding and skin wounds which look like insect bites. The autopsy report named the cause of death as a blood clot in the lung, combined with excessive bed rest and severe dehydration.
Lisa's Aunt Dell Liebreich is the next of kin of the deceased. She is suing Scientology for 144 million marks ($100 million) damages. This is not about money, she says. She wants to obtain a judgment against those who, in her opinion, are responsible for Lisa McPherson's death.
I think it's terrible. How could they just sit there and watch somebody die? They didn't help her. They watched Lisa die.
On the second anniversary of Lisa McPherson's death, Scientology critics held a memorial service in front of Fort Harrison. Bob Minton was there, too.
Three thousand counter-demonstrators accused Clearwater's police chief of conducting a witch hunt against the church. What does Sandy Weinberg, Scientology attorney, say to the medical examiner's conclusion that Lisa died of dehydration?
That is what the medical examiner said in her autopsy report, but this woman is mistaken, and she has a strong prejudice against Scientology.
Would you say that the test results were tainted?
The blood clot that caused the embolism in the lungs was not caused by severe dehydration, but came, quite certainly, from an earlier injury.
Attorney Ken Dandar is suing Scientology on behalf of Lisa's aunt. His fee is being paid by the millionaire, Bob Minton.
The Scientologists have absolutely no medical proof of their blood clot theory. Everything indicates that Lisa died a slow, painful death. The clot let blood flow through. Without water you're dead. Lisa had to die because she did not want to be subject to the laws of the Scientologists. She wanted to leave the church. There are several witnesses to that. She did not want to give in, and the Scientologists let her die.
For the sake of caution, many residents of Clearwater would rather not say anything about the Scientologists. But this man told us:
When I grew up, Clearwater was a nice little town. When you go downtown today, you see Scientologists all over the place. (imitates robot) Like zombies!
Oh, they don't bother me. They are nice young people. I don't understand why they are there, but they are just nice-looking, young people.
All I know is that Ron Hubbard wrote this book. For me that is a religious cult. And I know that a lot of land here belongs to them.
Most of the Scientologists of Clearwater live in this well-guarded compound. The appearance of our camera team was immediately reported. As was the fact that Gabe Cazares accompanied us. He was mayor when the sect came to Clearwater in the 1970's.
I don't know if this fence is supposed to keep people out, or keep the Scientologists in. Nobody goes in or out without the OK of the guards.
In the middle of the interview, the former mayor suddenly stops talking. Brian Anderson, the Scientology speaker, has appeared, and Gabe Cazares, after a legal battle, does not want to say another word.
Journalist to Anderson:
Did you just want to say hello to us?
German television shows up here and brings a few demonstrators with them.
Are we bothering you?
Exactly. With your puppets that are demonstrating here.
The former mayor would rather hold our interview a few kilometers away, in Clearwater's downtown. As we get there, Scientologist Brian Anderson is there waiting for us.
- Sabine Haag is listed as a "German Patron Meritorious" of Scientology by Martin Ott in a post to alt.religion.scientology of 11 Jan 1997 00:00:00 GMT [Return]
Why is this site here?
In an on-going attempt to familiarize myself with the German language, I had subscribed to the "Süddeutsche Zeitung," (SZ) an international newspaper with offices in Munich, Germany, but distributed in the U.S. at the time by "German Language Publications" in New Jersey. In January, 1997, I read of the "Open Letter to Chancellor Kohl" signed by Goldie Hawn and other Hollywood celebrities, in which an analogy was drawn of Scientologists in today's Germany to Jews in Hitler's Germany.
From the tone of the 1997 SZ article about the letter to Chancellor Kohl, I was concerned that the German readers, who would not be that familiar with Scientology, would uncritically accept what Goldie Hawn was telling them as true. So I wrote to the editors of "Sueddeutsche Zeitung." To my surprise, they published my letter in the "Sueddeutsche Zeitung," circulation 1.4 million. Also to my surprise, my comment, published January 29, 1997, is apparently applicable in the halls of the U.S. Congress today.
"The Scientologists compare the Federal Republic of Germany to Nazi Germany and themselves to the Jews. This comparison is a real-life example of the tendency of the Scientologists to see Hitlers everywhere, not only in Germany, but wherever they are withstood."
The assertion that Scientology "sees Hitlers everywhere" is not an empty allegation. Bridge Publications, a Scientology organization, is using the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to purge copies from the internet of a "Secret Guardian Order" written by the Scientology founder on May 6, 1971 which leaves no doubts that, for Scientology, "Naziism was continued on three networks as a means of world conquest." As a result of this "working hypothesis," persecution of alleged enemies is an integral part of the Scientology.
The following are excerpts of a document seized by U.S. law enforcement officials from the Church of Scientology:
From page 1 of 4
First of all, here is the title, which contains the identification of the document, and the statement that hypothesis and theory mean the same thing.
From page 2 of 4
This lists exactly what the Scientology working theory is. This is the essence of this document which explains the above quote, that Scientology does see "Hitlers" everywhere.
From page 4 of 4
This states why Scientology's working theory is very much in use today in "the creation of a saner planet." The writer of the document, L. Ron Hubbard, acknowledges in this section that his theory may not be agreeable with law enforcement officials.
Finally, a statement of continued intention as far as the theory goes. This issuer of this document is L. Ron Hubbard, the founder and sole prophet of Scientology. He is the one whose writings, such as this, are regarded by Scientologists as sacred scripture which is not to be desecrated by mortal eyes such as yours or mine. From the above statements, now you can see why.
The following is proof provided by a Scientology organization called "Bridge Publications" that the above "Secret Guardian Order" is the real thing and not a fake:--- Surpreet P K Farid firstname.lastname@example.org: From Surpreet P K Farid Mon Apr 24 10:50:41 2000 Message-ID: 39048971.2E2259E5@deja.com To: email@example.com Subject: Notification of Article Removal This e-mail is to notify you that certain Usenet postings (identified by the headers listed below) made from your e-mail address have been made unavailable to users of the Deja.com Web site at the request of Bridge Publications, Inc, pursuant to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act ("DMCA"), based upon allegations that the posting(s) infringes Bridge Publications, Inc's copyright and/or other proprietary right(s). Sincerely, surpreet farid customer support team lead From: Joe's Garage firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: GUARDIAN ORDER - SECRET Date: 24 Mar 2000 00:00:00 GMT Message-ID: Pine.LNX.3.96.1000324194542.163Bemail@example.com References: firstname.lastname@example.org X-Sender: email@example.com Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII Organization: http://extra.newsguy.com Mime-Version: 1.0 Reply-To: Joe's Garage firstname.lastname@example.org Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology [...] GUARDIAN ORDER S E C R E T GO 060571 LRH 6 May 1971 WORKING THEORY What is called an "Intelligence Hypothesis" (working intelligence theory for a given situation) is of vital necessity in extending an org's reach and economizing on action and work while increasing effectiveness. [...]
That means Scientology's "Bridge Publications" is trying to prevent the free dissemination of the "Secret Guardian Order" even though it is part of a set of documents which "in the possession of anyone but the district court, the government, and Scientology may be freely disseminated." - from the Appeal of the Church of Scientology
As evidence that Scientology does actually pursue its working hypothesis as described in the above "Secret Guardian Order" and that the working hypothesis is not merely a "religious belief," you are invited to peruse actual Scientology operating orders seized by Greek law enforcement officials. Notice these are dated September 2, 1995, which is AFTER Scientology was recognized by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service as a tax-exempt religion. The operating orders were to be carried out by the Scientology Office of Special Affairs, which is the successor organization to the Guardian Office.
A full page advertisement in the New York Times (estimated cost $50,000) on September 22, 1994 by the International Association of Scientologists (IAS). About 20 of these were placed by the IAS in the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Chicago Tribune at an estimated total cost of over $1 million. Scientology does, indeed, "see Hitlers everywhere" it is resisted.
Here is an index to Scientology's vast array of anti-Germany pages. However, there seems to be no evidence of widespread discrimination against Scientology in Germany (comparable to the evidence of discrimination against African-Americans in the United States, for instance) which is admissible in international courts in Europe. Two cases in point are: SCIENTOLOGY KIRCHE DEUTSCHLAND e.V. against Germany and
Wolfgang, Ingrid, Maya and Iris KELLER against Germany.
Search for yourself at the Council of Europe.
Have a nice day.
Date: Wed, 18 Mar 1998 02:26:51 -0500
Subject: "Radio Free Scientology"
Back in the days of the Cold War, the US, among others, sponsored an operation called "Radio Free Europe." It was meant to counter the Soviet communist "truth", which they called Pravda.
Radio Free Europe was broadcast from strategically placed stations so that it could be easily heard from behind the Iron Curtain. People in the communist countries would tune in whenever Radio Free Europe broadcast.
Soon the communist dictatorships found out about this and set up blocking stations, which were stations which broadcast static on the same frequency as those used by Radio Free Europe. This was done in an effort to prevent people from hearing news from the "decadent" west. It was similar to Scientology's spamming of the Internet.
Radio Free Europe got around this by periodically changing location and or frequency. Eventually, though, even the top communist leaders tuned in to Radio Free Europe, because that was the only place they could get reliable information, the same as Scientology leader David Miscavige reads the Internet whenever he wants to find out how Scientology is really doing.
This is where a Scientologist can learn that truth is free.
, a Film from the television magazine, "Gesucht wird ...", broadcast in the first program by ARD on April 2, 1997, filmed by Botros and Koch, TV reporter from Bremen:
February 1997, Los Angeles. We have called the police for assistance. Our chief witness, Garry Scarff, former Scientology agent, is suffering a nervous breakdown.
Garry Scarff: They're going to kill me and they know where my parents live.
5 days earlier, Clearwater, Florida. Shooting some scenes in front of the Fort Harrison Hotel, the spiritual headquarters of Scientology. We are immediately photographed by one of the organization's security men. Garry Scarff knows the game. Until 1992, Scarff was on the other side, a Scientology agent. Then he defected and became an embittered opponent. Weeks before he had told us of penal camps, mysterious deaths, and even of, in 1991, a planned murder. We wished to pursue these serious accusations against the organization. Scarff, shown here on the right, wanted to help us. We are also accompanied by Martin Ottmannfrom Stuttgart, on the left. He worked until 1992 as a member of the paramilitary Sea Org, the elite unit of Scientology here in Florida.
The presence of Scarff and Ottmann makes the Scientology staff members very nervous. Never before have former members of the sect who possess such an intimate knowledge appeared on television with such serious accusations.
Scientologist #1: How much are you getting paid for this?
Scientologist #2: What's happening here is a joke.
Garry Scarff: I was on staff of the Office of Special Affairs, OSA. That is like the intelligence service of Scientology. That is where the nerve center, the "war room" is, in the headquarters in Los Angeles. The organization has a special computer and communications network which they use to collect and evaluate information on the activities of Scientology critics worldwide around the clock.
Scarff has given extensive testimony under oath as to his activities for the Office of Special Affairs.
Reporter: Did you participate in any criminal activities?
Garry Scarff: One time there was an assignment to which I was supposed to later testify under oath. At the time I claimed my right to remain silent, and will do so again today. Otherwise I would go to prison for a very long time. The take from that assignment went directly to the OSA intelligence service.
Meeting to plan the footage for the next day. We want to try to track down alleged inmates of the organization. The so-called "Rehabilitation Project" (RPF) is, in reality, a labor camp of the Sea Org, says Garry, for members who have failed in their assigned duties on post. Also somebody who has not brought in enough income must go into the labor camp. Martin Ottmannhas regularly observed black-clothed inmates in a Scientology living quarters, the so-called "hacienda."
Early the next morning on the way to the "hacienda." Once again we recall the directives of the organization for the so-called "Rehabilitation Project":
- Personal restrictions and punishments:
- may only speak when spoken to,
- sleeps and east in area separate from others,
- has no liberty.
Garry Scarff: There is a inmate. They are having a meeting. They are sitting in a circle together. There he is, there he is. He is making a security check. He is running. Look, he's running.
Martin Ottmannsays that the prisoners must always be in motion. Occasionally, as punishment, they must run around a tree for days at a time.
Reporter: What is hidden behind the concept of "Rehabilitation Project"?
Ottman: It is a type of punishment camp, about the same way I would picture a gulag from Stalinistic Russia to be.
Reporter: How could a lay person envision a labor camp such as this?
Ottman: First of all you receive black clothes which you have to wear everyday. You have to work at least 16 hours a day. You have to explain your own case for five hours a day. And you have no contact of any sort with the outside world.
Reporter: But the people don't leave. They can leave but they don't do it.
Ottman: Yes, but they are dependent upon it. They have been made dependent and they have made themselves dependent upon Scientology. From their perspective, their lives depend completely upon Scientology and they would rather be humiliated that way than turn away from Scientology.
On the way to Cape Corell. Martin has recommended that we speak with Hana Whitfield. We read again what she has stated under oath: "Sea Org members were often locked up in a dark, dirty and smelly hole in which rats lived." Gerry and Hana Whitfield were members of the elite unit, the Sea Org, for years. Hana even made it to Deputy Commodore, representative of Scientology's Founder, Hubbard.
Hana Whitfield: These pictures were taken in the early 1970's. That's me in the middle. That is Diana, the oldest daughter of Ron Hubbard and his third wife, Mary Sue. Here I am again. That is Hubbard's daughter and his son, Quentin. My loyalty to Scientology knew no bounds, nevertheless I was accused of having bad thoughts about Hubbard. That was my alleged crime. I was dragged by two powerful men to an area in Fort Harrison which was next to the garage. The punishment camp was on the second and third levels. I was locked for two days in a room without windows, all by myself. I didn't have a bed, nothing at all. Just a mattress on the floor. The lights were sometimes on, sometimes off. We had to perform a lot of repair work. We did the dirty work. Cleaned the bathrooms and the rest rooms. And when they did construction work in Fort Harrison, we had to carry away the refuse in buckets from the highest floors, then carry mortar back up. We were not allowed to use the elevators.
Here is the three level garage at Fort Harrison, and a black-clothed Scientologist, apparently an inmate. A co-inmate of Hana's was even chained in the basement.
Hana Whitfield: She worked for the Guardian's Office. Today it is called the Office of Special Affairs, OSA, and it's like the CIA of Scientology. The undercover espionage department of the organization. Linn had the assignment of conducting certain inquiries in Washington. She found irregularities and wanted to have the case investigated. Her employer had decided against that, however, and wanted to cover up everything. As a result, Linn was sent to the punishment camp at Fort Harrison. They chained her to a pipe there. She was locked in the basement for 2-3 weeks. She slept down there. She ate down there. She was forced to clean the pipes. Sometimes I thought of calling the police for assistance. As soon as I'd think of doing that, it would occur to me that that would be the greatest crime against Hubbard and the organization. I could not have done that in any case.
We made an appointment to speak with Sergeant Greg Tita, the Sheriff of Pinellas County, where the Scientology enclave of Clearwater is located. We have learned that there is even a penal camp for children in the organization. An internal report talks about cadets who tried to flee [from it].
Tita: I've had run-away cadets here that must have gone into the children's prison camp. Pinellas County has also had experiences with Scientology children. In a visit to the cadet school, my colleagues have determined that there were signs of child neglect and abuse. They wrote up a report and the case was forwarded to the juvenile office. However, Scientology lodged a complaint against the publication of the report in the press and won. It is still sealed today. I don't think that it has to do with a dispute over the investigation, they just wanted to make sure no information got to the public.
Ariane Jackson can assess what happens with Scientology children. She was forced to separate from three of her four children.
Ariane Jackson: At the time they were two, four and six years old. Scientology put them in a children's establishment, later they made cadets out of them. That was 10 years ago.
Later she had only sporadic contact with them. Since Ariane has left Scientology, she may no longer see her children.
Reporter: Can you still remember leaving them?
Ariane Jackson: I hate to think about it. They climbed into a special bus. An older man from the Sea Org tore me away and pushed me into the car. I could still wave to them and then we drove to the airport.
Reporter: Does it often happen that children are separated from their parents?
Ariane Jackson: Yes.
Reporter: Do you know of other cases?
Ariane Jackson: Yes, if the partners separate in a divorce and one of them is in the Sea Org, then that is the better person. The children are awarded by the organization. Then what could be better for their children than Scientology training, Scientology schools, just Scientology everything.
The Clearwater police station is within line-of-sight distance of the Fort Harrison Hotel, the headquarters of Scientology in Florida. We again meet Ariane Jackson there the next day. Martin Ottmann has talked her into giving testimony in an investigation which the police are in the process of investigating. It has to do with the mysterious death of a young Scientologist who was last seen alive in Fort Harrison. Garry Scarff also wants to support the investigation, and has offered his assistance to the investigating officials.
Lisa McPherson, shown here with her mother, died in December, 1995 under mysterious circumstances a short time after she had successfully graduated a Scientology course. Lisa had wanted to leave the sect, said the family's attorney. After a nervous breakdown, 17 days before her death, the organization completely isolated her inside Fort Harrison.
Kennan G. Dandar (attorney): Our research has determined that she was unconscious. She received no nourishment, no water. She was extremely dehydrated. Before she lost consciousness, she was beating against the walls.
Reporter: How do you know that?
Attorney: The Scientologists themselves have admitted that she beat against the walls.
According to the autopsy report, Lisa must have received strong medication before her death.
Reporter: In order to sedate her?
Anwalt: Whether she fell into the coma because of the sedative, or whether she had a psychological breakdown that led to the coma, in any case they were very late in deciding to bring her to the clinic. And instead of driving her to the nearest hospital which was only a few blocks away, she was brought 20 miles away to the Columbia New Port Ritchie Hospital. A Scientology doctor worked there. They had called him up in advance. He say, yes, bring her to me.
Was Lisa already dead when she arrived at the hospital? According to the Scientology doctor in the clinic, Lisa died in the emergency room as a result of a bacterial infection. Was the report falsified? In any case, it contains a false birth date. Besides that, the pathologist who performed the autopsy on Lisa McPherson said that no sign of an infection was found. It was much more likely that she had died from severe dehydration. Scientology has complained before a court in Clearwater about the release of test results from the autopsy. The case has raised considerable apprehension. Did Lisa McPherson die because she was locked up and because she was denied any medical care? This was the question Sergeant Wayne Andrews was trying to answer as he led the police investigation in the McPherson case. He was not ready to appear in an interview. However, he let us research other cases in the police archives. We came across a series of peculiar deaths among the Fort Harrison guests in the past 20 years. These also included German Scientologists.
South of Clearwater. This is where Sergeant Greg Tita, who was working for the harbor patrol at the time, found a man's corpse in the water. It was later determined to be that of Andreas O., a 38 year old German, Chief of the Stuttgart Scientology Mission. He had apparently been in Florida for months. Scientology was unhappy with him and his sales. They had prescribed special courses for him. Despite the no-swimming zone and although a storm was fast approaching, the German had gone into the water two days prior. He believed, we later learned, that as a Scientologist he had supernatural powers. According to the police report, the Scientologists had given a false name for the missing German before the body was found. In order to mislead the police? Tita found that somewhat remarkable.
There are still other unexplained deaths among the guests of the Fort Harrison Scientology Hotel on record:
- 1980 Suicide: The woman suffered from depression, but was not permitted to take any medication for it.
- 1980 A puzzling death in a bathtub full of boiling hot water. Probable drowning.
- 1988 Death by drowning. Unexplained circumstances, accident, murder or suicide.
- 1989 Death in the basement near the boilers, carbon monoxide poisoning.
- 1988 Death in room 758. The victim: a 31 year old German man.
According to investigation documents, Heribert P. died the night of August 28, 1988 while suffering a severe epileptic seizure, during which time he hit his head on the nightstand. Until early 1988, he had been treated by Dr. Klaus Ballin, a doctor from Munich. He, also a Scientology adherent, was coincidentally also in Fort Harrison at the time. A swimming pool is in the rear of the hotel, so that people can relax between their expensive courses. Heribert P., son of a well-to-do construction contractor, also apparently enjoyed his life in the Scientology refuge up until his death.
Back in Germany, in Friedrichshafen am Bodensee. Here is where the German lived. We wanted to look into the case because the police report has made us curious. It said that despite regular seizures, the Scientology doctor had prescribed vitamins for his patient instead of medication which would prevented the seizures. Those would not have been discovered in his blood at the autopsy. His mother said that the Scientologists had promised to cure her son without medication by giving him expensive courses in Florida. Immediately following his marriage, at the recommendation of his wife, Heribert was treated by Ballin, the Scientologist doctor. The mother is still very upset.
Mother: A human life is not a factor for this organization. You don't just cavalierly make promises that you can't keep.
Reporter: Do you believe that the death of your son, Heribert, could have been prevented if he would have been taking his medication?
The mother thinks that Heribert had wanted to give huge amounts of money to Scientology.
Mother: It wasn't until after his death that we learned that he had called from a bank in Florida requesting a loan of a half million. The reason he gave was that he would like to procure real estate in Florida.
Reporter: And what do you think the money was really for?
Mother: It would have gone straight to Scientology.
Munich: We tried to set up a meeting with Dr. Klaus Ballin. How would he reply when asked about taking his epileptic patient off medication? Ballin did not want to go on camera. He preferred to make a written comment:
At the time, he prescribed vitamins and Scientology concentration exercises as an alternative treatment. Although he says he has separated himself from the organization since then, he dismisses any complicity on his part in the death of Heribert P., the epileptic.
We show the documents on the case to Professor Gunther Schwendemann. He leads the neurology section in the East Bremen Hospital. Schwendemann says that vitamins are completely ineffective in treating epilepsy.
Schwendemann: It is against the fundamentals of therapy to take a patient who is having seizures every night off medication, rather than find a medication which is suited for him. Furthermore, vitamins and minerals are not effective against seizures. Therefore, one could say that the patient would very likely still be alive today if he had received adequate treatment.
Los Angeles airport: We see Garry Scarff again. He was not surprised when we told him of the case of the epileptic from Friedrichshafen. Garry had stated that he was ready to help us in the search for the abortion clinic, as well as the labor camps and children's camp of which we had heard from former members. He'll be traveling back to his old workplace, and can count on running into his ex-bosses there.
The next morning. Sight-seeing tour of the Scientology headquarters.
Scarff: Here in the middle building is where they locked up prisoners when I was here.
Several weeks before, we had actually observed Scientology inmates at work at this location.
In the offices of the Office of Special Affairs, up there, Scarff said that a plot to commit murder was hatched in 1991. That is what led him to leave, he said.
Scarff: I was supposed to have done the worst thing that can be demanded of a person, namely, take the life of another human being. It was horrible to see that much of an enemy in a sect opponent, so that something like that would be ordered of me. It was an order, not a request. I was put under pressure to carry out this murder. The plan was that she should lose control of her vehicle after I had cut the brake line. In case that didn't work, I was supposed to ram her car from behind in order to cause an accident. I was supposed to do everything to make sure she was dead. In case she should have survived the accident, my assignment was to suffocate her with a pillow.
Scarff has also testified under oath to these horrible accusations, which have been contested by Scientology
Scarff: As we were talking about the murder of the sect opponent, the mood was very casual. People were laughing a lot. The whole thing looked like a big joke. It was a feeling of power. Power that we had over this individual. And then we talked about what would be done in case the investigating authorities should react so swiftly that I would not be able to flee. In this case, I was supposed to make a TKO. A TKO is "Total Knock Out" - suicide. Somebody showed me exactly how I was supposed to do that. He took his finger, as if it were a revolver, and pressed it into his mouth. It had to point upwards, so that the bullet would penetrate the brain stem. Then he said to me, that in case I didn't die immediately, then at least my brain would be destroyed and I wouldn't be able to talk and would just be a lifeless shell.
Scientology also contests this.
A little later, in the middle of Los Angeles. High ranking people from Garry's former department suddenly fell upon us with cameras. They must have been following us.
Reporter: What's going on?
Scientologist: We're making a film about your film.
Elliot Abelson is a legal counsel for Scientology International. Mike Rinder is the Chief of the Secret Service. Lisa Goodman is an official spokesperson on his staff. Then came the confrontation between Garry Scarff and Mike Rinder. They mutually revile each other as liars.
Rinder: Garry, you are a liar!
Scarff: No, Mike you are the liar!
Rinder: No, you are, Garry, Garry!
Rinder accused Garry of publicly lying years before when he was a member of an anti-sect organization.
Scarff: Yes, everything I did on assignment from OSA was a lie.
In the offices of Graham Barry, attorney in Los Angeles. Garry shows us photographs from his time in Scientology. The court transcription of his "sworn testimony" is contained in a 1,000 page document.
Graham Berry has represented a number of Scientology opponents. In the course of a proceeding he had Garry participate in a so-called "deposition," which is an examination under oath. That is how the former Scientology agent became a leading witness for the alleged criminal machinations of the organization.
Graham Berry:Scarff's examination lasted a very long time. There were numerous attempts on the part of the Scientology attorney to prevent him from testifying. They constantly asserted that Scarff was not credible, that the evidence was not relevant, that we only wanted to annoy the church, etc. In spite of all these objections the presiding judge ordered that the witness's testimony should continue.
It was a cross examination with Graham Berry on one side and the Scientology attorneys on the other side. The examination lasted 17 days. It was recorded, in its entirety, by court stenographers on video. Garry Scarff had demanded the highest security measures from the attorneys. He was afraid for his life. And he gave the reason for his fears in his examination. After his departure, he said an attempt was made to kidnap him.
Garry Scarff:I saw a hand on the side door of a step van. And a face was looking in my direction. I said that I was going to call the police right away, and heard, at the same moment, the step van tear away. I saw then that a second vehicle was following it.
Reporter: What do you think they had in mind?
Garry Scarff: I know what they had in mind. They wanted to kidnap me. I think they would have brought me to Hemet.
Reporter: What is Hemet?
Garry Scarff: Hemet, Gilman Hot Springs, that's where the prisoners go. And I think that I would never have gotten away from there. My life would have ended.
[He weeps uncontrollably.]
After the visit with the attorney. The camera man from Scientology was waiting outside. Secret service chief Rinder and Abelson, the attorney, also hurry to their vehicles. Two, then three cars begin the pursuit. A huge show is made of following us. It appears to be put on for the benefit of our fellow traveler, Garry Scarff. We call the Los Angeles police, as Garry has requested. He appears worse and worse off.
Reporter: A television team accompanied by a man who is threatened by Scientology. And those are the ones who are following us.
The police, however, showed little interest. We tried, unsuccessfully, to shake off our pursuers on the highway. We are on the way to the center in which the women of the Sea Org have their abortions, which they are compelled to do, as stated in sworn testimony. The more the woman wants to have her baby, the greater the pressure put on her to have her abortion.
X: I was induced to have an abortion. Women who get pregnant are driven to a clinic in Riverside to get abortions as a matter of course.
Do our pursuers know what our destination is? Are they already putting the pressure on the management at the abortion center over their cellular phones?
At the Planned Parenthood Center. The director on duty is already expecting us. In a nearby parking place, one of our Scientology pursuers provokes an accident. It is apparently an attempt to prevent our planned interview, but it doesn't work.
Janet Honn-Alex: We thought that it was really very peculiar that all the women were making the same decision. Independent of the individual woman's condition, all of them had made the decision to have an abortion. It made no difference how old they were or how many children they had already had. We thought that was very strange. And as we took the trouble to look into individual cases more precisely, because the whole thing was beginning to look suspicious, they stopped coming to us altogether.
The police arrived outside and started taking statements about the accident. In the meantime, we told Janet about Scientology instruction Nbr. 3905: In the event that a married Sea Org member has a child, they are transferred out of the Sea Org.
Reporter: Wouldn't that be the same thing as having to leave your family? An extreme pressure?
Janet Honn-Alex: I didn't know anything about that. And we had asked the women if they could have a child and still remain in Scientology. They always said yes. I think that is alarming, that there is a rule which says that women should be excluded from a group if they would like to have a child. I think that's terrible!
After the interview, on the way back to our hotel. We have picked up 4 Scientology vehicles which are following us. One of them is a green van, which, we later learn, is possibly outfitted with electronic eavesdropping equipment.
Garry Scarff: Even as we speak, four vehicles are parked outside our hotel. They will watch us all night, in case we get the idea of taking off. They will maintain their readiness round the clock. Naturally, those people are not just sitting around in their cars. All of them are in constant contact with the secret service headquarters in Los Angeles. The attorneys, the OSA people, everybody who is assigned to your surveillance is at work at this very moment.
The next morning - Hollywood, Los Angeles:
The night before we hired body guards who are supposed to see to Garry's safety while we speak with Scientology. We have before us an interview with Mike Rinder, the Chief of the OSA secret service, and Elliot Abelson, attorney. Garry does not want anything more to do with these people. The entrance of one of the private detectives we have hired to come along as a witness is barred at the door by Abelson and Rinder. The interview takes place in the Celebrity Center, which serves Scientology's Hollywood stars.
Mike Rinder: Scientology is not dangerous. There are eight million Scientologists worldwide. They find it totally good. You have three, four, five or six people, a small handful that say something about it is not right. We have even heard and read that we are supposed to have gulags. That claim is outrageous. It is particularly outrageous because it is being made by somebody from Germany. If any country should be especially sensitive when it comes to the rights of religious minorities, that is Germany.
Elliot Abelson (Scientology Attorney): You are agents of the German government. You are not concerned with reality, but with confirming your prejudice.
After the scolding, we steer the discussion to Lisa McPherson, the Scientologist who lost her life under peculiar circumstances in Clearwater, Florida. Question about this are apparently unwelcome.
Reporter: Had Scientology given her all the medical assistance she required?
Mike Rinder: If you claim in your broadcast that someone has done something to murder her, then I will haunt you until the end of time. That is an insolent lie.
Nevertheless, Rinder and Abelson unintentionally gave themselves away. They admitted that Lisa was already dead when she arrived at the clinic. Then Rinder conceded that she had died in a hotel room.
Reporter: In a hotel room?
Yes, Lisa McPherson died in the care of the Scientologists.
The golf course at "Gold." That is the largest Scientology base, the real center of power. Mike Rinder drove out with us. Here, especially, he wants to keep our filming under control. Right on the golf course, asserted André Tabayoyon, the former security chief of "Gold", after his departure [from Scientology], there was an apartment for Tom Cruise, the Hollywood star...
Reporter: Tom Cruise profited from slave labor of Scientology prisoner.
Mike Rinder: That is another one of André Tabayoyon's lies.
Reporter: That's not right?
Mike Rinder: Absolutely not. No, he doesn't come here. You wanted to come here and take a few pictures, not ask me any questions. We've already had the big interview.
Rinder gave us aerial photographs of the area which were not free from technical defects. Nothing suspicious was in view; Rinder had seen to that. Tabayoyon's sworn testimony also stated that the Scientology base is defended with firearms. There are semi-automatic machine guns, pistols, all unregistered. "I trained the security force in the use of these weapons, and I trained them in various methods of killing people."
That evening we plan out the next day with Garry. We wanted to rent a helicopter and fly over the alleged children's camp. It lies several miles from "Gold" base.
The next morning. Rinder called up and said that Garry had told him our plans.
Garry Scarff: I didn't call up last night. I think I know what is really wrong here. I have a suggestion: I'll fly back home. You continue, but don't say anything more to me. These people are running an operation against you and against me.
Reporter: Did Garry call them up, or did the Scientologists eavesdrop on our discussion of the night before from one of their vehicles? We drive back to Los Angeles. We are unsure.
The situation comes to a head in a parking place in Los Angeles. We called the police and our bodyguards for assistance. Garry is suffering a nervous breakdown. The Scientology pursuers observed the event from their vehicles.
Reporter: Did you call Rinder last night and tell him what we had in mind?
Garry Scarff (weeping): Yes! They don't say anything for fun. If they say that they are going to kill somebody, then they do it. You can't play around with Mr. Rinder. He doesn't joke around. I will give them what they want, so that they will leave me alone. These people have told me that I should not come to Los Angeles, or else there'd be trouble. And I didn't listen to them. They are angry because I called them murderers in front of the camera.
Reporter: But that was the truth.
Garry Scarff: They are going to kill me. And they know where my parents live.
[Weeping, he ends the discussion.]
Our private detective, Roger Johnson, advises that we call off our filming.
Roger Johnson: They know that you want to take pictures out there, and they have a helicopter on call. That much I know.
Reporter: What could they do?
Roger Johnson: They will cut you off in the air. Two helicopters could look pretty exciting, but it would be dangerous. They will do anything to disrupt your filming.
We accompany Garry to the airport. We stay with him until the engines start. And we decide to stop the filming.
Three weeks later. Clearwater, Florida. Scientology-opponents demonstrate in front of Fort Harrison. They blame the organization for the death of Lisa McPherson. Garry is also here. We have stayed in close contact with him ever since we shot in Los Angeles. He hopes that public appearances such as this can protect him from further psychological terrorism or even acts of revenge.
Attorney Elliot Abelson has organized a counter-demonstration by Scientology adherents. Mike Rinder, chief of the OSA Scientology secret service, has also flown out from Los Angeles. He wants to personally observe the appearance of the Scientology opponents.
Meanwhile, back in California... Preparations for a helicopter fly-by. Our goal is difficult to find. It lies on the edge of an Indian reservation. The organization's children's camp (the Scientologists call it a cadet school) lies in an inaccessible region of the San Bernadino Mountains.
One of the Scientology directives says that Sea Org members may only sporadically see their children. In any case, one hour per day is too much. And we read, once again, the internal directive on the so-called children's "Rehabilitation Project." We had heard about a boy named Gavin. He had cut both his arms up with a razor blade. He was a problem. He had to go into the children's camp. The barracks appear deserted; the work areas are abandoned. Not a soul is in sight.
It gives us the impression that the children were sent into the buildings at the first sound of the approaching helicopter. This region is known as "Happy Valley" to the Scientologists. Anybody who has read the internal directives of the organization - anybody who has read the reports on neglected Scientology cadets would have a hard time imagining that happy children live here.
A Film by Mona Botros and Egmont R. Koch.
A shocking documentary, with a tragic hero, Garry Scarff.
"I am darned glad"
Copyright: DIE WELT,
January 18, 1997
Why Michael Douglas did not sign the Open Letter to Kohl
By Hanns-Georg Rodek
Cologne - The American actor Michael Douglas ("Basic Instinct", "Wall Street") refused to sign the Open Letter to German Chancellor Kohl, in which prominent members of the US film industry accused Germany of persecuting Scientologists today in the same way that Hitler did in the 1930's. "I did not feel right about the parallels that were drawn between the Nazi government and present-day Germany", said Douglas to the WELT in an interview.
Douglas, who is promoting his new Film "Der Geist und die Dunkelheit" ("The Spirit and the Darkness") in Europe, was approached by Bertram Fields, one of the most influential attorneys of the US entertainment industry last September. "We are often asked to support public causes, and we often do", said Douglas. "Fields had drafted a strongly worded text in which this dramatic comparison was obviously very provoking. I am darned glad that I didn't sign it. That was a close call."
Douglas is not the kind of guy to hide his head in the sand; he supports Cease Fire, and organization that struggles to attain better control of private weapons. Nevertheless he knows "that you have to be careful if you're going to meddle in the politics of other countries." And despite the fact that he had just shot a film with public Scientologist John Travolta, he had never talked with him about this subject: "I learned very early: if you don't talk about politics or religion, you can get along with anybody."
The Oscar prize winner supports the honest motivations of most of the people who signed the letter, motivations which are rooted in the Holocaust: "If they are in show business, most of them are probably jewish", he said half in jest, half seriously. He gives an analysis of the names that he knows personally. None of them are Scientologists themselves, but many have direct connections to both of the most prominent Hollywood sect members, Tom Cruise and John Travolta.
John Calley is the head of Sony Pictures, the company that manages Cruise's new film "Jerry Maguire". Sherry Lansing from Paramount, only woman at the top of a Hollywood studio, manages Cruise's current success "Mission: Impossible." Terry Semel, Boss of Warner Bros., will produce Cruise's forthcoming film. Jack Rapke and Rick Nicita are two of the most influential agents in the film industry and represent Cruise in the most important agency, Creative Artists Agency. Paula Wagner is Cruise's partner in their own company. Fred Westheimer tends to John Travolta in the William Morris Agency.
One week after the first big advertisement appeared in the "International Herald Tribune" another large advertisement, this time taken out directly by Scientology, appeared under the title "You are always welcome at the Church of Scientology.