"Corrupt, sinister and dangerous"' were the words used to describe the Church of Scientology in a judgment given by Mr Justice Latey this summer. He also referred to it as "immoral and socially obnoxious".
But who controls the Church now?
A major Sunday Times Magazine investigation into the activities of the cult in America and Britain has uncovered a disturbing and extraordinary story - the takeover of the organisation by a small band of youthful fanatics following the disappearance of the Church's founder and inspiration, L. Ron Hubbard.
The temperature must have been well over 100°F, a dry burning heat that shimmered the figures on the roof. They were dressed in faded blue denim, heads bare under the on. One looked towards the road and our car. But the guard below yelled and the man bent his head back to his work of resurfacing the roof. My companion in the car said quietly, "That's a Rehabilitation Project Force. They're RPFers, psychological prisoners -slave labour - , in a way."
This was America, summer 1984, on a major highway between the southern Californian city of Riverside and the millionaires' playground of Palm Springs. Here, in the cactus hamlet of Gillman Hot Springs, where the masts of a $565,000 clipper ship sways incongruously in the desert winds, is the world headquarters of the Church of Scientology.
Yet the great helmsman of this bizarre cult was not on board. No one knows for sure whether L. Ron Hubbard, the 74-year-old founder, is even alive. His round, smiling face gazes down from the walls of more than 100 Scientology offices around the world, orders are given in his name, but he hasn't been seen in nearly five years. He may be in seclusion, as Church leaders claim, or he may be, as recent defectors believe, either dead or in failing health and under the control of half a dozen young followers who are manipulating big fortune.
These are the children. Well, actually, they are in their early 20s now. But they were only 11,12,13-year-olds when Hubbard, haunted by fear of enemies, was sailing the world's oceans aboard a 3280-tonne convened British ferryboat called the Apollo. Some 500 scientolo-gists, many of them English, took their children with them aboard the boat. Hubbard was the Commodore. The kids were the elite "Commodore Messenger Org."
"They were mostly good-looking girls, smart, too," said Bent Corydon, a New Zealander who had been in the Church for over 20 years and had run his own scientology mission on a franchise basis. "They weren't much use to the ship particularly, to Hubbard used them as his eyes and ears, spies really, running around, asking questions, observing things. They were considered to be Hubbard himself and any discourtesy to them was regarded as a personal discourtesy to Hubbard. By the time they all got off the boat in 1975, some of the girls bad been replaced by teenage boys. The worst part was when these kids started turning in their parents, getting them 'declared' [purged] as 'supressives' - that's evil people, to translate Church language."
By the mid-Seventies, Scientology's aggressive proselytising had attracted, by its own count, more than 6 million followers around the world. It had also earned the enmity of numerous governments, including Britain's, and many hundreds of disillusioned individuals who claimed they had been hoodwinked by high-pressure Church salesmen into spending thousands of dollars on Scientology programmes. As authorities began cracking down, the Church's leader found his boat no longer welcome in Mediterranean and Atlantic ports.
Hubbard decided it was time to go home. He dropped anchor in Clearwater, a quiet beach town on the Gulf of Mexico just west of Tampa, Florida. On October 27, 1975, the central Fort Harrison Hotel, which rises 11 storeys over Tampa Bay, was bought for $2.3 million by an unknown company called Southern Land Sales and Development with money from a Luxembourg bank. A few days later paid $500,000 for the Bank of Clearwater building. Only after a newspaper investigation did the true identity of the buyer emerge.
By the summer of 1976 about 1500 Scientologists, including some 800 full time staff members, had moved into their new headquarters, which they described in colour brochures as a "religious retreat" and the "friendliest place in the a whole world". Ron Hubbard, in green tam-o'shanter, was seen directing training films in the grounds. Always at his side was a slim, intense-looking teenager named David Miscavige, smartly dressed in the naval uniform of the Commodore's Messenger.
In a confidential memo, Hubbard issued orders to his staff to turn a section of the Fort Harrison Hotel into a hide away for himself. But June 1976, Hubbard flew instead to California, first living in , a Church owned apartment complex in Hemet, a small town at the foot of the San Jacinto Mountains. His top aides set up headquarters on the golf course of a country club they bought by Gillman Hot Springs on the edge of the Mojave Desert, a few miles from Hemet.
By this time, Hubbard had become a "Hughesian kind of creature" (A -reference to the reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes in his final years), according to Gerry Armstrong, who had been a member of Hubbard's "family unit" from 1971 until 1980. "I saw him deteriorate both -physically and mentally," said Armstrong, who claimed that one of his tasks was to shuttle suitcases stuffed with $50 bills to various Hubbard accounts in Liberia, Luxembourg and Liechtenstein.
Armstrong said that his boss talked to to one but the young Messengers who had been with him since their childhood days aboard the Apollo. "He was child-like and bullying." He had also become a hypochobdriac, said Armstrong, terrified of germs, taking injections of drugs and vitamins.
About a dozen senior Scientologists lived in the apartment complex with Hubbard. One of them was David Mayo, who was Hubbard's personal auditor (confessor) and the Church's leading authority on its philosophy. A 22-year Scientology veteran, Mayo earned his place at the top of the hierarchy through his close friendship with Hubbard. But in February, 1980, Mayo left for a two-week visit to his native New Zealand. When be returned, Hubbard had vanished.
The young naval-uniformed Commodore Messenger Org had pulled a preemptive coup for control of the church and its finances. "It was like Lord of The Flies," said Mayo. "The kids - fanatics, a11 of them - bad taken over."
Hubbard disappeared in the company of Ann Broeker, an attractive young woman in her mid-twenties who had been with. him during his Apollo days, and her husband, Pat. Ex-Scientologists who know the Broekers describe them as personable, articulate, good-looking and slavishly devoted to Ron Hubbard, the kind of people he loves to have around.
No Scientologists except for the Broekers have seen him since. The three of them are believed 'to be living in a southern California beach town. But it is no more than a guess, based on Hubbard's love of the ocean and the time it has taken for one of the Broekers to rendezvous with Church leaden to give them instructions from their leader.
From their 500-acre estate in Gillman Hot Springs on the edge, of the desert, the now commanders of Scientology planned the removal of those they perceived as their enemies within the Church. The place looks more like a prison camp than the headquarters of a religion. Brown-shirted guards scrutinize passing cars through binoculars. A golf course, abandoned and gone to weed, and is lined with No TRESPASSING signs. A notice outside a black wrought-iron gate Says GOLDEN ERA STUDIOS. Set back from the road are rows of one storey buildings with blue roofs.
It is not advisable to stop and stare. During our visit the guards didn't seem to be inhibited by the fact that the road passing the Church headquarters is a California State Highway. One banged on the boot of my car. Two others chattered away on walkie-talkies. I could see another holding an animated discussion on the phone, in the guardhouse by the gate. I drove on. A guard on a motorcycle pulled in behind us. As I passed another guardhouse a mile along the road, a young man with a movie camera jumped out on to the highway and filmed.
These lads get $17 a week plus board and lodging," said Bent Croydon. "They live in dormitories and study Scientology when they're not working. There's no television. Once a month, a Church van takes them into Riverside for an evening at the movies. Why do they do It? They signed billion-year' contracts to become members of Ron's Sea Org. He's promised them that they will join him in future incarnations." But these are merely the troops. The commanders, dressed in black pseudo-naval-officer uniforms, live in comfortable bungalows around a swimming pool, close to a replica of a masted ship's deck that carries a bronze plaque dedicated to "L. Ron Hubbard, Master Mariner."
The new leader it 22-year old David Miscavige, who became a Scientologist at the age of 12 aboard the Apollo. He has had no education since then except for Scientology. Consequently, he speaks a language that Is more Scientology org speak than English.
Miscavige took over control of the Church in June of 1981. He had never held any position in the Church hierarchy. He was merely one of the Messengers who served in Hubbard's entourage. But as his cameraman, he gained a privileged place in the pecking order because be was constantly by Hubbard's aide when they were film-making.
At first, the young Messengers shared power at Scientology's headquarters. According to one of them, Miscavige seized control of the Church and its assets with breathtaking simplicity. He handed the then Commanding Officer, Diane Voegeding, a message supposedly written by Ron Hubbard, ordering her to resign her post. It was signed "##", which is the way Hubbard has signed his oommunications for the past four years for fear that his real signature could be used against him in the multitude of legal actions that have been brought against the Church. The order was hand-carried to Gillman Hot Springs by Ann Broeker. Until then her main function bad been to look after Hubbard, wash his clothes and cook his food.
Diane Voegeding said that Hubbard disappeared because be feared be would be caught up in a trial in which one of his former Messengers, Tanya Burden, claimed that she bad been forced to be his serf from the age of 14. The Broekers went with him because it was felt that senior Church officials couldn't be spared. "What a mistake we made," said Voegeding, "We should have realised that whoever controlled communications with Hubbard controlled the Church."
In fact, it's a troika.. While ultimate power now rests with the Broekers, it is their friend David Miscavige who wields it. The current Commanding Officer, Commodore Messenger Office, is Marc Yager, a close friend and supporter.
Yet Miscavige helds no official position in the Church of Scientology. At the beginning of January 1982, he formed a new corporation called the Religious Technology Center, which controls Hubbard copyrights, techniques and signature. Other RTC trustees are Vicky Aznaran, Deputy Inspector-General, Lyman Spurling and Warren McShane. Five months later the same people incorporated a separate body called the Church of Spiritual Technology, enabling them to transfer the trademarks for only $100 if the Church came under attack. The Church of Spiritual Technology has authority over RTC. Directly below Micavige in the hierarchy are other young turks, mostly in their mid-20's: Yager; Vicky Aznaran and her husband Rick, Chief of Security; Steve Marlowe, Inspector General, Religious Technology Center; and Commander Wendell Reynolds, International Finance Dictator. RPFers, the Church's labour force, tend to their every need - cleaning house, waiting at table, washing dishes,forbidden to talk, moving at a run. Bent Corydon explained why the RPFers don't simply escape. "Most of these guys am in their 30s or 40s. They've never known anything else in their adult lives except Scientology. Some of them were very big in the hierarchy - maybe in the top 10 or 20 in the whole Church. They believe in Scientology. The fact is they don't know what hit them . One moment they were in charge, the next they're on their bands and knees scrubbing floors. They faced a Spanish Inquisition-type tribunal: they had either squirreled the tech' [heresy - misinterpreting Church doctrine] or had 'ripped off the orgs' [the worst sin of all - keeping money taken from Scientologists who had paid for courses or auditing instead of giving it to the Church].
"RPF sentences can last two or three years, depending on the crime," said Corydon. "They're convinced that when Ron hears about the miscarriage of justice they'll get cleared or at least get a fair bearing, but that never happens, and what are they going to do? They don't have any money. They don't know anybody outside except their family and they severed those ties, years ago. Anyway, they love Ron. He is their God." .
As many as 2000 top Scientology staffers have been declared "suppressive persons" and expelled from the Church. And sometimes heroes have become rogues with breathtaking swiftness. On July 8, 1982, Ensign Ken Macfarlane was "highly commended" for training Scien- tology registrars (salesmen) on hard-sell techniques so successfully that his first graduates produced $25,000 in their first week. But just one month later, Macfarlane was accused by the International Finance Dictator of "crimes and suppressions against the Church" and was thrown out of the organization.
The purges have reached out to every part of the world where Scientology has taken hold, particularly in Canada, Australia, South Africa, Germany, Scandinavia and Britain. Present and former leaders of the Church are bombarding each other with costly law suits, all of them claiming, to be the true guardians of Hubbard's religion.
Caught in the crossfire, the "raw public" or "wogs" (the terms often used by Church members to describe outsiders) have not been "going up the bridge" and emptying their bank accounts into Scientology coffers as they used to. Membership has plummeted so fast that some recent defectors believe that the Church is disintegrating. In Britain, when the Church once boasted 200,000 supporters, Michael Garside, the public relations officer at the national Scientology headquarters at East Grinstead, recently admitted that member ship had fallen to around 1000.
This small Sussex town used to be a hive of Scientology activity - hundreds of staffers at the luxurious estate of Saint Hill Manor and a constant stream of Scientologists from all over the world arriving to take courses. But in recent months, East Grinstead his become a battleground between staffers (their numbers reduced to around 70) and former Church members who live in town. There have been demonstrations and arrests.
Recent defectors claim that staffers have been living on low cost diets such as rice and beans because most of the British Church's L2 million-a-year income is being sent to America. In an effort to keep the money flowing, prices for Scientology courses have soared and continue to rise almost every month. It now costs L40 to buy a copy of Dianetics, the bible of the Church. And after the introductory £100 communications course, charges for training And counselling can run into thousands of pounds.
British banks have become increasingly reluctant to lend Scientologists money to pay for Church courses, so the Church has been using one of its own wealthy American members to act as a money-lender. Lee Lawrence, who lives in East Grinstead, has been making loans of over L5000 at interest rates of up to 30 per cent. The borrowers never even see the money. It goes straight to the Church. And Lawrence imposes "heavy penalties" if the loan repayment is even one day late. He warns those who fail to pay up that he is "quite unreasonable" and will "resort -promptly to Scientology ethics and justice", which could mean a visit from the Church police.
The Church's leaders claim that they no longer indulge in the kind of excesses that made headlines a few year ago and resulted in the jailing of members of their espionage unit, including Hubbard's wife Mary Sue. Those people, they say, have been thrown out of the Church. But recent defectors deny this.
A remarkable story is told by Jay Hurwitz, who was Commanding Officer of the Church in Los Angeles - until the summer of 1982, that is, when he was told to report to the Gillman Hot Springs headquarters for a briefing. The first night there, guards came for him in his room and dragged him off for a "sec check" (interrogation) by David Miscavige and three other leaders of the Church. "Their first question to me was 'Who is paying you?' I didn't understand what he was talking about. I was then subjected to enormous duress with statements like: "We will stay here all night until you tell us who is running you"
Hurwitz said that for the first five days be and others were kept locked up under guard. "We were brought our food and we slept on the floor. We had to use the aame toilet facilities in the presence of one another."
Although Hurwitz didn't know it at the time, he was actually in the Scientology penal camp called "Happy Valley" in an Indian reservation several miles from Gillman Hot Springs. At least 18 other senior Scientology staffers were there at the same time in different rooms - one of them Ron Hubbard's former closest associate, David Mayo.
Mayo had been working late on the night of August 29, 1982, in his staff quarters when guards came and took him away to Happy Valley. At his first interrogation, Miscavige told him he was going to be removed from the Church for being anti-management.
The previous winter Mayo, Corydon and 120 other senior scientology staffers had attended a meeting in Clearwater organised by Bill Franks, the then new. Executive Director International of the Church of Scientology. Its purpose was to reform the Church after the Federal bugging convictions involving Mary Sue Hubbard and to bring down the soaring cost of membership of the Church. Unknown to Franks, his own office had been bugged. In January of 1982, 15 Church security officers physically threw him out of the Clearwater building. "It was just a power grab," said Franks, who admits he used to control $150 million in Scientol- ogy accounts in Luxembourg banks and that up to $1 million a week was being taken in from counselling and auditing at Clearwater while he was in charge.
When Mayo faced his accusers, he readily admitted that he wanted to reform the Church. He says Miscavige told him that RPF duty was far too good for him, that he was going to suffer a lower stratum of Hell. For the next six months, he dug ditches in the desert heat, and when he wasn't digging he was often made to run around a pole.
Explaining why he submitted ,to such indignities, Mayo said "People will submit to unbelievable things to prevent being deprived of their spirituality. I believed in Scientology - I still do - and I felt that, as so many thousands of Scientologists; around the world regarded me as the authority on the technology of the Church, it would have been as though I had admitted that all the charges against we were we."
Day after day, he was ordered to write a confession. He refused. For others out at Happy Valley, the treatment was even tougher. Hurwitz claims that three "interested parties" - Scientology jargon for those under investigation - were physically abused and spat upon while they were held by guards.
After seven weeks of isolation, Hurwitz finally signed a typed confession and walked out on to the highway, where he hitch-hiked his way to the Dearest town and caught a bus to Los Angeles Interna- tional Airport. Hurwitz said that several of the RPFers had their marriages broken up, that Scientology officials had "worked over" wives to make sure that they left their "suppressive" husbands.
While Hurwitz and Mayo were broiling in the sun during the summer and autumn of 1982, David Miscavige and the other new leaders of the Church were turning their attention to the owners of Scientology missions around the country. These were senior Scientologists who ran franchise operations, giving 10 per cent of their take to the Church. "I knew something was going on when we started to hear these new terms like 'finance police', 'inspector general network' and the technology center'." said Bent Croydon. "And people were being excommunicated all over the place. A lot of them were people like myself, running their own minions."
In the summer of 1981, Corydon had received a visit from members of the Finance Police. They said the Finance Dictator wanted $40,000. "They said they wen going to stay in my office and charge me $15,000 a day until I paid up. They said they were ping to put me in jail. I asked them what they meant. They said: 'You'd just better dam do what you're told or you'll find out.'
Terrified at what they might do to his family - be has a wife and two small children - Corydon paid up. But be was then sent to Clearwater to serve a six-month Rehabilitation Project Force sentence, waiting on tables and taking courses to "clear" his "doubt condition", for which be had to pay an extra $10,000.
Corydon said he was reinstated by the Church's Executive Director, Bill Franks, who told him that he was determined to clean up Scientology to prevent the kind of excesses that had caused so much public controversy. When Franks was kicked out of the Church, Corydon knew it would be only a matter of time before the Church police arrived. He was ordered to appear in San Francisco for a meeting with the leadership of the Church at the Hilton Hotel. He says that what happened them was the most terrifying experience of his life.
It was October 17, 1982. One hundred mission holders from around the country and a number of other senior leaders of the Church were herded into a lecture hall on the fourth floor of the hotel. The door was locked and guarded by Finance Police while the young, uniformed Commodore Messengers lectured their captive audience from 9 o'clock in the evening until 2 o'clock in the morning.
Miscavige first explained that then had been a corporate reorganisation which had made the Church "impregnable" and, according to the Inspector-General Steve Marlowe, would put a stop to "squirrels" and "schisms". Later came a violent denunciation by International Finance Dictator Wendell Reynolds. "Collectively, you guys are in come weird lower condition. You have allowed the minions to go squirrel and I mean squirrel ... because you guys are sitting on the public, you're ripping off the orgs. You've just had it. You see these guys standing around here. They're International Finance Police and their job is to go out and find this stuff."
To understand this org-talk, it's necessary to realise that Scientology is a money-making machine. Members pay the Church for services such as counseling and auditing to clear their "engrams" so that they're better able to solve their own problems and the world's. There are no religious services or clergymen. The job of Scientology minions is to get new recruits, sell them basic courses, then pass them on to Church-run centres for more expensive counselling and auditing. In America the basic course only costs $50 but is looked upon as a "loss leader". The more advanced courses can cost S300 an hour. What had provoked the rage of the
IMAGE: Bent Croydon, once among the leading mission holders, was ejected and, like Mayo, has started a business
new young leaders of the Church of Scientology was their conviction that Church mission holders had been keeping recruits instead of passing them on to Scientology-owned centres. Not only were the missions skimming the gravy, there were suspicions that they were faking their statistics with lower body counts to reduce payments to the Church.
For seven hours, the captive audience was lectured, cajoled and denounced. "We weren't allowed to move, go to the bathroom, or speak unless spoken to," recalled Corydon. "There were only 15 of them and there were 100 of us. If we had gone for them, there was no way they could have controlled us. But we were terrorised. Right at the beginning, three mission holders were randomly picked out and expelled right them and then, their lives finished.
"We were told that those being expelled would be put in jail. We were told to applaud and we did. It's a sad commentary on all of us. But when you've been in the Church for 20 years and believe in it, you don't want to be told you can't do it anymore, that your friends can't speak to you because you've been excommunicated. Well, I finally quit and told them what they could do with their Church. But at the time, we were all cowed."
Corydon said they were lined up and "mug-shot". Then they had to write up their crimes. "They wanted to know how much money we had been bolding back from the Church. That's the biggest crime of all. We had to write down our `out 2Ds' - that's sex crimes, had we been unfaithful to our wives? That's to give them better control.
"I wrote down whatever I had. Why? I bad been withholding stuff. We all had. They kept jacking up the finances, ordering us to charge $300 an hour for courses. outrageous prices. No one can afford it unless they're totally hooked. So I just wrote down things they already knew.
"Then, before we were allowed to leave, we had to pay $75 for the seat that we'd sat on for hours. We had paid our fares and for our room. Some of us were told that we had to be security checked. And we had to pay another $1000 for the privilege."
SCIENTOLOGY Attacks, intensify
For most of the mission holders, it was their first glimpse of David Miscavige, Security guards never left his side during the evening. Apart from introducing each speaker, he had little to say to the audience. He merely warned them what would happen to anyone who turned against Scientology: "That person's future is black. It is so black I can't even describe it right now. l can't even find the words to describe bow black that person's future is ... I mean it is really black."
Within a few days, some of them found out exactly what he meant. Eighteen were taken out to the Scientology prison camp at Happy Valley where they joined David Mayo, who had been there since the summer. They were kept for several months before being released.
"Outrageous and personal abuse permeates the organisation," said Boston lawyer Michael Flynn, who represents 28 people who claim they 'have been victimised by Scientology. Millions of dollars' worth of lawsuits have been going back and forth between the Church and ex-Scientologists. Bill Franks, the former Executive Director International of the Church, said that while he was running the international operation it was spending as much as $l million a month on lawyers to fight legal battles.
"It': a con -it was a fraud from the very beginning," claimed Hubbard's former archivist Gerry Armstrong, who said his eyes had been opened after being authorised by Hubbard to write his biography. "I went from being a devotee - I thought it was the hope of mankind - and I learned it was all based on lies and deceptions."
At the end of a six-week trial in Los Angeles Superior Court this summer, Judge Paul G. Breckenridge called the Church of Scientology:
"schizophrenic and paranoid"; adding that "this bizarre combination seems to be a reflection of its founder".
Judge Breckenridge ruled that the Church -bad no right to reclaim documents taken by Gerry Armstrong after he had discovered that Hubbard's claims to have been a wax hero, nuclear physicist and world explorer were as fictional as his novels.
But the Church lost more than just the case. For the first time in an America court of law, some of its more outlandish activities were revealed by former Scientologista, and tape recordings were played of senior Church officials openly discussing fraud.
At one of the meetings, a highranking legal officer of the Church admitted that yet another body, known as the Religious Research Foundation, which was established four years ago to take over control of Church assets from Hubbard, was no more than a "sham corporation".
Hubbard's top public relations ad- viser, 34-year-old Laurel Sullivan, was present at that meeting. She had later left the Church and she testified in court that she had been in charge of secret opera- tions to transfer Scientology funds into Hubbard's bank accounts in Luxem- bourg and Liechtenstein.
Most of this money had been paid to the RRF by Scientologists in England and other parts of the world for courses costing thousands of pounds which they took at the international headquarters in Clearwater. The money then found its way into Hubbard's accounts instead of the Church's. "It was a fraud, a rip-off," said Sullivan, who believes that Church funds totalled between $200 million to $300 million in 1981, when she left.
No one knows how much remains in Church coffers, but one former president of the Church believes it has dwindled to little more than $100 million.
Other Church assets are increasingly being fought over by warring factions. According to senior officers of the Church, in 1982 Hubbard assigned certain key trademarks, including his signature, to the Religious Technology Center, set up by Miscavige and his associates. But the document which is supposed to have passed these valuable rights to the RTC as a gift has been challenged as a forgery. According to two handwriting experts, Hubbard's signature at the end of the document is a clever fake and is certainly not Hubbard's writing. Remarkably, the Notary Public before whom Hubbard should have appeared in person to authenticate his signature turns out to be none other than David Miscavige, cofounder of the RTC.
In the spring of 1982, at the same time
as he formed the Church of Spiritual
Technology, Miscavige incorporated
Author Services International, a profit-making corporation which is used to
funnel income to Hubbard from the sale
of his books. According to Howard
"Homer" Schomer, who was treasurer-
secretary of Author Services, during one
period $1 million a week was being
moved from Bridge Publications, a Hub-
bard company in the US, to New Era
Publications, another Hubbard firm in
Denmark, and then bank-wired to Hub-
bard accounts in Switzerland and Liech-
tenstein. Within six months, Schomer
testified, Hubbard's wealth grew from
$10 million to $40 million.
Finally, Schomer said, he could no
longer go on skimming money from the
Church and make it look legal: "It was
fraudulent as far as I was concerned." He
told the Los Angeles court that be was
arrested by Church security police and
dragged into a tiny room, where he was
interrogated for 10 hours by David
Miscavige and other Church leaders.
"During this time I was bombarded with
questions asking who I was working for.
Was I working for the CIA? Was I a
plant? Was I working for the FBI? Where
was am the Money I stole?"
Schomer said he was warned that, if
be didn't confess: 'They wen going to
make sum that I spent a good deal of time
in jail . . . They said `Don't worry about
the evidence. We will find people who
will testify against you.,
But perhaps the most fascinating
testimony u the trial came from a former
Scientology intelligence officer who ex-plained bow the Church used confidential
information from "auditing" files to
blackmail members, a practice the
Church has often denied.
Edward Walters, who is now manager
of a Las Vegas cuiao, told the court: "If
a person is a threat to the organisation
and 'suppressive', then we know from L.
Ron Hubbard's technology that he is
probably connected with the enemy. So
the first place we look for crimes is his
PC (personal counselling) folder. We do
a survey for 'buttons' (sensitive material)
to set what the individual is reactive to.
"The Individuals, remember, are
coming in for counselling and they are
Usually in emotional turmoil, etceters
... if a wife is having marital problem
but she's had an affair on the side and she
tells her auditors about it; we could put
that down, knowing that If the ever went
to a lawyer we could call her in - and I
have participated personally in this - &W
tell her: 'Well, now, you don't want to go
to a lawyer because if you want to do this,
we will be glad to sue and we will be glad
to bring your files out and show the
public what type of person you are."'
After listening to Walters and other
Scientologists; talk of blackmail and
intimidation, a visibly angry judge
Breckenridge called such practices both
"repugnant and outrageous".
In his decision, the judge wrote of
Hubbard; "The evidence portrays a man
who has been virtually t+ pathological liar
when it comes to his history, background
and achievements." lit was a man
gripped by "egoism, greed, avarice, lust
for power, and vindictiveness and
aggressiveness against persons perceived
by him to be disloyal or hostile".
. Church lawyers bitterly attacked both
judge Breckenridge's decision and his
comments. They have appealed the case
and obtained an injunction to keep the
documents from being looked at by the
pre". However, there's no doubt that the
adverse publicity from this and other
court dam have begun to cripple the
Church financially and to discourage
Hubbard's estranged son Ronald
DeWolf believes that his father is now
either totally incompetent to handle his
affairs or is dead. Last year be petitioned
the California courts to be appointed
conservator of Hubbard's estate. But the
Judge dismissed the suit after the Church
produced a handwritten letter with Hub-
bard's fingerprints in which he declared:
•'I am not a missing person. I am in
seclusion of my own choosing."
His son remains unconvinced. "I
don't )mow who they we. 'But I believe
there's a group of people who have him
under their control." Alan Walter, who
ran a major scientology mission in the
midwest for 20 years until he was excom-
municated, was more specific; "Hubbard
was set up by that kids. It's a reign of
Heber Jentzsch a 38-year-old former
actor who was elevated by the new leaders
to be titular President of Scientology (a
public relations poet without power in the
hierarchy), claims that the allegations against the Church have been made "by
people who am criminal - extortionists,
perverts, etc". And he attacks the media
for being "rapacious" in its coverage of
Church affairs. "Then am 6 1/2 million
people who an living good lives, with a ;
tremendous capability. but I don't find
the media wanting to cover any of that."
Church officials also point to the
publication in late 1982 of a new Hub-
bard sci-fi novel, Battlefield Earth, a UP
of planetary slavery and intergalactic
war, u evidence that their leader is alive
and in full possession (if his faculties.
Maryanne Mazzola a spokeswoman for
St Martin's Press, the publishers, said
that "stylistically, the book is consistent
with everything he's done in the past".
I And literary agent Forrest Ackerman
received a copy with the handwritten
inscription, dated November 17, 1982,
that mod: "To G (abbreviation for For-
rie), my favourite monster and long time
friend. L. Ron Hubbard. Earth, what's
left of it-1982." However, David
Mayo says he saw a manuscript of the
book in 1980 before Hubbard disap-
peared. As for the signature, he points
out that the Church leaden bold the
Jentzsch claim he received a copy of
Hubbard's letter to the judge in the
oonservatorship cue, and he has
no doubt that the founder is alive and
well. However, Jentzsch refused to be
interviewed and his spokeswoman,
Kathy Gorgoa, mid it would be impos-
sible to arrange a visit to Gillman Hot
Springs to speak with David Miscavige.
"He: never talks to the press," the said.
Further doubts about Hubbard are
raised by Ron's journal 38, which pur-
ports to be a tape recording of his per-
sonal message to Scientologists for 1983.
Dissidents claim it is a fake, and phonetic
analysis of the voice compared with
Hubbard's in earlier samples raises the
distinct possibility that they were not
produced by the same person.
The tape blames all past misdeeds on
Mayo and his fellow "squirrels". "Scien-
tology, churches are very vast and influen-
tial global organisations and there were
people around whose claws itched to take
them over and in a perverted form exploit
them for their own profit," intones the
voice. "At lost a small bard-core group of
founding members - devoted on-policy,
in-tech Scientologists - who suddenly
understood what was happening, used
their powers u trustees and, just as it
looked as if the churches wen finished
and about to fall into hostile bands, they
suddenly isolated the infiltrators and
threw them out."
The tape goes on to attribute a long
list of "major wins" to the activities of the
Religious Technology Center, in par-ticular "wins against squirrels: RTC has
been the major driving force behind
handling squirrel groups internationally
:o that Scientologists am protected
against those who deal in shoddy sub-
stitutes for their own personal Pin."
Kathy Gorgon claims that Scientol-
ogy his attracted 550,000 new members
in the put two years. This figure is
regarded with scepticism by former '
executives, who believe the bitter inter-
nal battles have caused massive defec-tions. Certainly one of the complaints of
the Church leaders at the San Francisco
meeting in October 1982 was that the
--flow of raw, public" had been
"inadequate" : In his angry letter after
being kicked out of the Church, Jay
Hurwitz stated: "From July until
December 1982 the Scientology interna-tional stats (membership figures) C-R-A-S-
H•E-D with a capital C." The reason he
gave: "The, producers are getting
knocked out ... Then are many many
more old-timers that have been shot."
Many members have quit to sip up for
cheaper Scientology courses with the
breakaway groups that have sprung up all
over the world. At David Mayo's
8000-member Advanced Ability Center in
Santa Barbara, the largest of the spin-off
groups, Church-hired private inves-
tigators bought out the family living in the
penthouse above Mayo's Spanish-style
offices and then moved in with listening
devices and cameras to photograph am the
visitors to the Center. At the same time)
the burly private eyes paid visits to banks
and stores in Santa Barbara to warn that I
Mayo was under "Federal investigation",
in untrue but damaging allegation.
Presumably, this is the kind of activity
Ron's Journal 38 his in mind when it says
hopefully: "The response to RTC's hand-
ling of the squirrels has been excellent -
the public detest them,"
The net of the Church's perceived
enemies is closing tighter by the month.
In Tampa, a Federal Grand jury is.
secretly hearing testimony that Scientol-ogist laden attempted to entrap local
Judge Benjamin Krentzman. He is hearing the case involving former Com-
modore Massenger Tanya Burden which,
according to Diane Voegeding, has
caused Hubbard to go into hiding. The
Grand jury was convened to bear testi-
mony from a former high executive of the
Church, who recently defected. All-
egedly, be has documents that :bow the
involvement of David Miscavige and Ron
Hubbard in an effort to entrap judge
Krentzman in a compromising situation.
In September, the Federal tax court
in Washington DC issued a 222-page
decision stripping the Church of its tax-
exempt tutus. Assessments and penalties
from 1970 could cost the Church as much
u $30 million. The Internal Revenue
Service in Lot Angeles has already
attached the Church's property In
California, all of which could be seized
to pay off tax debts. The court found
that the Church of Scientology had a
substantial commercial purpose for its
operations, that its income benefited
Hubbard, his family and other Church
officials, and that the Church "had the
illegal purpose of conspiring to impede
the IRS from collecting taxes due".
The IRS . criminal investigation
division is also believed to be investigat
ing Hubbard for possible tax evasion. Bu
the-US may have to take its rum in the
queue, because Canadian authorities ii
Toronto at believed to be close to
handing down -indictments for fraud
against Hubbard, his wife Mary Sue
Miscavige, the Broekers and other top
'officials of the Church. According to a
source am to the investigation, the
Canadian government will seek Huh
bard': extradition. ]f he then chooses to
remain in hiding, he will become a
fugitive from justice. FBI agents and US
marshals will go out hunting for him and
his "wanted" picture will appear on post
office walls throughout the country.
U any serious charges Stick, the
Church's leaden art likely to find that
being "Operating Thetans" with the
ability to surge to the stars will not save
them from a prison sentence in a land-
based cell in a penitentiary. Whether that
will also apply to Hubbard will depend on
bow well be has distanced himself legally
from his Messengers and whether be is,
in fact, alive. According to his son, after
being treated for a second pulmonary
embolism in 1978, Hubbard gave his
personal medical attendant instructions
to "bury me in the date fields and don't
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