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The
SCIENTOLOGY STORY

Newkirk Herald-Journal Extra
Special Report
Reprinted With Permission From The Los Angeles Times
Defining The Theology...
The Religion Abounds in Galactic Tales;
Deepest Secrets Known to Few

By Joel Sappell and
Robert W. Welkos
(c) 1990, Los Angeles Times

What is Scientology?

Not even the vast majority of Scientologists can fully answer the question. In the Church of Scientology, there is no one book that comprehensively sets forth the religion's beliefs in the fashion of, say, the Bible or the Koran.

Rather, Scientology's theology is scattered among the voluminous writings and tape-recorded discourses of the late science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, who founded the religion in the early 1950s.

Piece by piece, his teachings are revealed to church members through a progression of sometimes secret courses that take years to complete and cost tens of thousands of dollars. Out of a membership estimated by the church to be 6.5 million, only a tiny fraction have climbed to the upper reaches. In fact, according to a Scientology publication earlier this year, fewer than 900 members have completed the church's highest course, nicknamed "Truth Revealed."

While Hubbard's "Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health" typically is one of the first books read by church members, its relationship to Scientology is like that of a grade school to a university.

What Scientologists learn in their courses is never publicly discussed by the church, which is trying to shake its cultish image and establish itself as a mainstream religion. For to the uninitiated, Hubbard's theology would resemble pure science fiction, complete with galactic battles, interplanetary civilizations and tyrants who roam the universe.
Here, based on court records, church documents and Hubbard lectures that span the past four decades, is a rare look at portions of Scientology's theology and the cosmological musings of the man who wrote it.

Central to Scientology is a belief in an immortal soul, or "thetan," that passes from one body to the next through countless reincarnations spanning trillions of years.
Together and collectively, thetans created the universe - all the stars and planets, every plant and animal. To function within their creation, thetans built bodies for themselves of wildly varying appearances, the human form being just one.

But each thetan is vulnerable to painful experiences that can diminish its powers and create emotional and physical problems in the individual it inhabits. The goal of Scientology is to purge these experiences from the thetan, making it again omnipotent and returning spiritual and bodily health to its host.

The painful experiences are called "engrams." Hubbard said some happen by accident - from ancient planetary wars, for example - while others are intentionally inflicted by other thetans who have gone bad and want power. In Scientology, these engrams are called "implants."
According to Hubbard, the bad thetans through the eons have electronically implanted other thetans with information intended to confuse them and make them forget the powers they inherently possess - kind of a brainwashing procedure.

While Hubbard was not always precise about the origins of the implants, he was very clear about the impact.

"Implants," Hubbard said, "result in all varieties of illness, apathy, degradation, neurosis and insanity and are the principal cause of these in man."
Hubbard identified numerous implants that he said have occurred through the ages and that are addressed during Scientology courses aimed at neutralizing their harmful effects.
Hubbard maintained, for example, that the concept of a Christian heaven is the product of two implants dating back more than 43 trillion years. Heaven, he said, is a "false dream" and a "very painful lie" intended to direct thetans toward a non-existent goal and convince them they have only one life.

In reality, Hubbard said, there is no heaven and there was no Christ.
"The [implanted] symbol of a crucified Christ is very apt indeed," Hubbard said. "It's the symbol of a thetan betrayed."

Hubbard said that one of the worst implants happens after a person dies. While Hubbard's story of this implant may seem outlandish to some, he advanced it as a factual account of reincarnation.

"Of all the nasty, mean and vicious implants that have ever been invented, this one is it," he declared during a lecture in the 1950s. "And it's been going on for thousands of years."
Hubbard said that when a person dies, his or her thetan goes to a "landing station" on Venus, where it is programmed with lies about its past life and its next life. The lies include a promise that it will be returned to Earth by being lovingly shunted into the body of a newborn baby.

Not so, said Hubbard, who described the thetan's re-entry this way:

"What actually happens to you, you're simply capsuled and dumped in the gulf of lower California. Splash. The hell with ya. And you're on your own, man. If you can get out of that, and through that, and wander around through the cities and find some girl who looks like she is going to get married or have a baby or something like that, you're all set. And if you can find the maternity ward to a hospital or something, you're OK.
"And you just eventually just pick up a baby."

But Hubbard offered his followers an easy way to outwit the implant: Scientologists should simply select a location other than Venus to go "when they kick the bucket."
Another notorious implant led Hubbard to construct an entire course for Scientologists who want to be rid of it.

Shrouded in mystery and kept in locked cabinets at select church locations, the course is called Operating Thetan III, billed by the church as "the final secret of the catastrophe which laid waste to this sector of the galaxy." It is taught only to the most advanced church members, at fees ranging to $6,000.

Hubbard told his followers that while unlocking the secret, he "became very ill, almost lost this body and somehow or another brought it off and obtained the material and was able to live through it."

Here's what he said he learned:
Seventy-five million years ago a tyrant named Xenu (pronounced Zee-new) ruled the Galactic Confederation, an alliance of 76 planets, including Earth, then called Teegeeack.
To control overpopulation and solidify his power, Xenu instructed his loyal officers to capture beings of all shapes and sizes from the various planets, freeze them in a compound of alcohol and glycol and fly them by the billions to Earth in planes resembling DC-8s. Some of the beings were captured after they were duped into showing up for a phony tax investigation.

The beings were deposited or chained near 10 volcanoes scattered around the planet. After hydrogen bombs were dropped on them, their thetans were captured by Xenu's forces and implanted with sexual perversion, religion and other notions to obscure their memory of what Xenu had done.

Soon after, a revolt erupted. Xenu was imprisoned in a wire cage within a mountain, where he remains today.

But the damage was done.
During the last 75 million years, these implanted thetans have affixed themselves by the thousands to people on Earth. Called "body thetans," they overwhelm the main thetan who resides within a person, causing confusion and internal conflict.

In the Operating Thetan III course, Scientologists are taught to scan their bodies for "pressure points," indicating the presence of these bad thetans. Using techniques prescribed by Hubbard, church members make telepathic contact with these thetans and remind them of Xenu's treachery. With that, Hubbard said, the thetans detach themselves.

Hubbard first unveiled his Scientology theories during a series of often breathless lectures he delivered in Wichita, Kan., Phoenix and Philadelphia in 1952.

His talks were sprinkled with tales of interplanetary adventures he said he had experienced during earlier lives.

There was the time, for instance, that Hubbard said he was resting in a peaceful valley on a barren planet in some remote galaxy, and decided to spruce up the place. He said he "fixed up a lake" and "managed to coax into existence a few vines."

Then, "all of a sudden - zoop boom - and there was a spaceship," Hubbard recalled, saying "I got pretty mad about the whole thing."

"I remember bringing a thunderstorm," Hubbard said. "Moved it over the ship. ... And then [I] let them have it."

Hubbard told associates that he had been many people before being born as Lafayette Ronald Hubbard on March 13, 1911, in Tilden, Neb. One of them was Cecil Rhodes, the British-born diamond king of southern Africa. Another, according to a former aide, was a marshal to Joan of Arc.

After Hubbard's death in 1986, a Scientology publication described him as "the original musician," who 3 million years ago invented music while going by the name "Arpen Polo." The publication noted that "he wrote his first song a bit after the first tick of time."

Hubbard realized that his accounts of past lives, implants and extraterrestrial creatures might sound suspect to outsiders. So he counseled his disciples to keep mum.

"Don't start walking around and telling people about space opera because they're not going to believe you," he said, "and they're going to say, `Well, that's just Hubbard.' "
About This Section
The Newkirk Herald Journal today reprints a multi-part series on the Church of Scientology, the controversial organization founded by the late author L. Ron Hubbard. This special report was researched and written by Joel Sappell and Robert W. Welkos, staff writers at the Los Angeles Times.

The series was published by the Los Angeles Times in July of this year, and has also been published by the St. Petersburg, (Fla.) Times.

Los Angeles, Ca., and Clearwater, Fl., both have large Scientology installations, but neither city has a Scientology controlled organization as large as the 167 acre unlicensed and uncertified Narconon facility currently operating on Chilocco Indian School land. For that reason, the series deserves publication in this area. The Newkirk Herald Journal appreciates the co-operation of the management of the Los Angeles Times to whom we are indebted for both the copy and the permission to reprint it.

Since its creation nearly four decades ago, Scientology has grown into a worldwide movement that, in recent months, has spent millions of dollars promoting its founder and his self-help book, "Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health."

In the past five years alone, more than 20 of Hubbard's fiction and nonfictionbooks have become national best-sellers - most of them achieving that status after his death in January, 1986.

Scientology executives estimate the church's membership to be more than 6.5 million, although some former members believe the actual number is smaller.

Scientology's largest stronghold is in Hollywood, the organization's management nerve center. The church is also a major presence in Clearwater, Fl., where Scientologists from around the world go for training.

No other contemporary religion has endured a more turbulent past or a more sustained assault on its existence than the Church of Scientology. It has weathered crises that would have crippled, if not destroyed, other fledgling religious movements - testimony to the group's determination to survive.

Eleven of its top leaders - including Hubbard's wife - were jailed for burglarizing the U.S. Justice Department and other federal agencies in the 1970s. Within the church, there have been widespread purges and defections. Some former members have filed lawsuits accusing the church of intimidating its critics, breaking up families and using high-pressure sales techniques to separate large sums of money from its followers.

In 1986, Scientology paid an estimated $5 million to settle more than 20 of the suits, without admitting wrongdoing. In exchange, the plaintiffs agreed never again to criticize Scientology or Hubbard and to have their lawsuits forever sealed from the public view.

Through all this, the church has persevered, dismissing its critics in government, psychiatry and the media as "criminals" and "anti-religion" demagogues who have conspired to persecute Scientology.

Today, the Scientology movement is writing a new chapter in its history, one that has attracted a new generation of supporters and detractors. Through official church programs and a network of groups run by Scientology followers, the movement is reaching into American society as never before to gain legitimacy and new members.

The apparent intent is to position Hubbard as a sort of 20th-Century Renaissance man, lending new credibility to his Scientology teachings.

Among other things, church members are disseminating his writings in schools across the U.S., assisted by groups that seldom publicize their Scientology connections.
Scientology followers also have established a number of successful consulting firms that sell Hubbard's management techniques to health care professionals and businessmen. In the process, many are steered into the church.

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

There is little question that, although Hubbard is gone, Scientology is here to stay - and doing its best to meet his expectations. "The world is ours," he once told his adherents. "Own it."

L. Ron Hubbard: A Religion of a Man's Imagining
The Mind Behind The Religion
A Path From 'Pulp Fiction' To 'Sacred Scriptures'

By Joel Sappell and
Robert W. Welkos
(c) 1990, Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES - It was a triumph of galactic proportions: Science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard had discarded the body that bound him to the physical universe and was off to the next phase of his spiritual exploration - "on a planet a galaxy away."

"Hip, hip, hurray!" thousands of Scientologists thundered inside the Hollywood Palladium, where they had just been told of this remarkable feat.

"Hip, hip, hurray! Hip, hip, hurray!" they continued to chant, gazing at a large photograph of Hubbard, creator of their religion and author of the best-selling "Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health."

Earlier that day, the Church of Scientology had summoned the faithful throughout Los Angeles to a "big and exciting event" at the Palladium. They were told nothing more, just to be there.

As evening fell, thousands arrived, most decked out in the spit-and-polish mock Navy uniforms that are symbolic of the organization's paramilitary structure.

The excited assemblage was about to learn that their beloved leader, a man who dubbed himself "The Commodore," had died. Yet, death was never mentioned.

Instead, the Scientologists were told that Hubbard had finished his spiritual research on this planet, charting a precise path for man to achieve immortality. And now it was on to bigger challenges somewhere beyond the stars.

His body had "become an impediment to the work he now must do outside of its confines," the awe-struck crowd was informed. "The fact that he ... willingly discarded the body after it was no longer useful to him signifies his ultimate success: the conquest of life that he embarked upon half a century ago."

The death certificate would show that Lafayette Ronald Hubbard, 74, who had not been seen publicly for nearly six years, died on Jan. 24, 1986, of a stroke on his ranch outside San Luis Obispo, Calif.

But to Scientologists, the man they affectionately called "Ron" had ascended.

The glorification of L. Ron Hubbard that brisk January night was not surprising. Over more than three decades he had skillfully transformed himself from a writer of pulp fiction to a writer of "sacred scriptures." Along the way, he made a fortune and achieved his dream of fame.

"I have high hopes of smashing my name into history so violently that it will take a legendary form, even if all the books are destroyed," Hubbard wrote to the first of his three wives in 1938, more than a decade before he created Scientology.

"That goal," he said, "is the real goal as far as I am concerned."

From the ground up, Hubbard built an international empire that started as a collection of mental therapy centers and became one of the world's most controversial and secretive religions.

The intensity, combativeness and salesmanship that distinguish Scientology from other religions can be traced directly to Hubbard. For, even in death, the man and his creation are inseparable.

He wrote millions of words in scores of books instructing his followers on everything from how to market Scientology to how to fend off critics. His prolific and sometimes rambling discourses constitute the gospel of Scientology, its structure and its soul. Deviations are punishable.

Through his writings, Hubbard fortified his clannish organization with a powerful intolerance of criticism and a fierce will to endure and prosper. He wrote a Code of Honor that urged his followers to "never desert a group to which you owe your support" and "never fear to hurt another in a just cause."

He transmitted to his followers his suspicious view of the world - one populated, he insisted, by madmen bent on Scientology's destruction.

His flaring temper and searing intensity are deeply branded into the church and reflected in the behavior of his faithful, who shout at adversaries and even at each other. As one former high-ranking member put it: "He made swearing cool."

Hubbard's followers say his teachings have helped thousands kick drugs and allowed countless others to lead fuller lives through courses that improve communication skills, build self-confidence and increase an individual's ability to take control of his or her life.
He was, they say, "the greatest humanitarian in history."

But there was another side to this imaginative and intelligent man. And to understand Scientology, one must begin with L. Ron Hubbard.

In the late 1940s, Hubbard was broke and in debt. A struggling writer of science fiction and fantasy, he was forced to sell his typewriter for $28.50 to get by.

"I can still see Ron three-steps-at-a-time running up the stairs in around 1949 in order to borrow $30 from me to get out of town because he had a wife after him for alimony," recalled his former literary agent, Forrest J. Ackerman.

At one point, Hubbard was reduced to begging the Veterans Administration to let him keep a $51 overpayment of benefits. "I am nearly penniless," wrote Hubbard, a former Navy lieutenant.

Hubbard was mentally troubled, too. In late 1947, he asked the Veterans Administration to help him get psychiatric treatment.

"Toward the end of my [military] service," Hubbard wrote to the VA, "I avoided out of pride any mental examinations, hoping that time would balance a mind which I had every reason to suppose was seriously affected.

"I cannot account for nor rise above long periods of moroseness and suicidal inclinations, and have newly come to realize that I must first triumph above this before I can hope to rehabilitate myself at all."

In his most private moments, Hubbard wrote bizarre statements to himself in notebooks that would surface four decades later in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

"All men are your slaves," he wrote in one.

"You can be merciless whenever your will is crossed and you have the right to be merciless," he wrote in another.

Hubbard was troubled, restless and adrift in those little known years of his life. But he never lost confidence in his ability as a writer. He had made a living with words in the past and he could do it again.

Before the financial and emotional problems that consumed him in the 1940s, Hubbard had achieved moderate success writing for a variety of dime-store pulp magazines. He specialized in shoot'em-up adventures, Westerns, mysteries, war stories and science fiction.
His output, if not the writing itself, was spectacular. Using such pseudonyms as Winchester Remington Colt and Rene LaFayette, he sometimes filled up entire issues virtually by himself. Hubbard's life then was like a page from one of his adventure stories. He panned for gold in Puerto Rico and charted waterways in Alaska. He was a master sailor and glider pilot, with a reported penchant for eye-catching maneuvers.

Although Hubbard's health and writing career foundered after the war, he remained a virtual factory of ideas. And his biggest was about to be born.< Hubbard had long been fascinated with mental phenomena and the mysteries of life.

He was an expert in hypnotism. During a 1948 gathering of science fiction buffs in Los Angeles, he hypnotized many of those in attendance, convincing one young man that he was cradling a tiny kangaroo in his hands.

Hubbard sometimes spoke of having visions.

His former literary agent, Ackerman, said Hubbard once told of dying on an operating table. And here, according to Ackerman, is what Hubbard said followed:

"He arose in spirit form and looked at the body he no longer inhabited. ... In the distance he saw a great ornate gate. ... The gate opened of its own accord and he drifted through. There, spread out, was an intellectual smorgasbord, the answers to everything that ever puzzled the mind of man. He was absorbing all this fantabulous information. ... Then he felt like a long umbilical cord pulling him back. And a voice was saying, 'No, not yet.' "

Hubbard, according to Ackerman, said he returned to life and feverishly wrote his recollections. He said Hubbard later tried to sell the manuscript but failed, claiming that "whoever read it (a) went insane, or (b) committed suicide."

Hubbard's intense curiosity about the mind's power led him into a friendship in 1946 with rocket fuel scientist John Whiteside Parsons. Parsons was a protege of British satanist Aleister Crowley and leader of a black magic group modeled after Crowley's infamous occult lodge in England.

Hubbard also admired Crowley, and in a 1952 lecture described him as "my very good friend."

Parsons and Hubbard lived in an aging mansion on South Orange Grove Avenue in Pasadena, Calif. The estate was home to an odd mix of Bohemian artists, writers, scientists and occultists. A small domed temple supported by six stone columns stood in the back yard.

Hubbard met his second wife, Sara Northrup, at the mansion. Although she was Parsons' lover at the time, Hubbard was undeterred. He married Northrup before divorcing his first wife.

Long before the 1960s counterculture, some residents of the estate smoked marijuana and embraced a philosophy of promiscuous, ritualistic sex.

"The neighbors began protesting when the rituals called for a naked pregnant woman to jump nine times through fire in the yard," recalled science fiction author L. Sprague de Camp, who knew both Hubbard and Parsons.

Crowley biographers have written that Parsons and Hubbard practiced "sex magic." As the biographers tell it, a robed Hubbard chanted incantations while Parsons and his wife-to-be, Cameron, engaged in sexual intercourse intended to produce a child with superior intellect and powers. The ceremony was said to span 11 consecutive nights.

Hubbard and Parsons finally had a falling out over a sailboat sales venture that ended in a court dispute between the two.

In later years, Hubbard tried to distance himself from his embarrassing association with Parsons, who was a founder of a government rocket project at the California Institute of Technology that later evolved into the famed Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Parsons died in 1952 when a chemical explosion ripped through his garage lab.

Hubbard insisted that he had been working undercover for Naval Intelligence to break up black magic in America and to investigate links between the occultists and prominent scientists at the Parsons mansion. Hubbard said the mission was so successful that the house was razed and the black magic group was dispersed.

But Parsons' widow, Cameron, disputed Hubbard's account in a brief interview with the Los Angeles Times. She said the two men "liked each other very much" and "felt they were ushering in a force that was going to change things."

In early 1950, Hubbard published an intriguing article in a 25-cent magazine called Astounding Science Fiction. In it, he said that he had uncovered the source of man's problems.

The article grew into a book, written in one draft in just 30 days and entitled "Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health." It would become the most important book of Hubbard's life.

The book's introduction declared that Hubbard had invented a new "mental science," a feat more important perhaps than "the invention of the wheel, the control of fire, the development of mathematics."

Hubbard himself said he had uncovered the source of, and the cure for, virtually every ailment known to man. Dianetics, he said, could restore withered limbs, mend broken bones, erase the wrinkles of age and dramatically increase intelligence.

Not surprisingly, the nation's mental health professionals were unimpressed.

Famed psychoanalyst Rollo May voiced the sentiments of many when he wrote in The New York Times that "books like this do harm by their grandiose promises to troubled persons and by their oversimplification of human psychological problems."

But "Dianetics" was an instant best-seller when it hit the stands in May, 1950, and made Hubbard an overnight celebrity. Arthur Ceppos, who published the book, said Hubbard spent his first royalties on a luxury Lincoln.

Hubbard had tapped the public's growing fascination with psychotherapy, then largely accessible only to the affluent. "Dianetics," in fact, was popularly dubbed "the poor man's psychotherapy" because it could be practiced among friends for free.

In the book, Hubbard claimed to have discovered the previously unknown "reactive mind," a depository for emotionally or physically painful events in a person's life. These traumatic experiences, called "engrams," cause a variety of psychosomatic illnesses, including migraine headaches, ulcers, allergies, arthritis, poor vision and the common cold, Hubbard said.

The goal of dianetics, Hubbard said, is to purge these painful experiences and create a "clear" individual who is able to realize his or her full potential.

Catapulted from obscurity, Hubbard decided in the summer of 1950 to prove in a big way that his new "science" was for real.

He appeared before a crowd of thousands at the Shrine Auditorium to unveil the "world's first clear," a person he said had achieved a perfect memory. Journalists from numerous newspapers and magazines were there to document the event.

He placed on display one Sonya Bianca, a young Boston physics major. But when Hubbard allowed the audience to question her, she performed dismally.

Someone, for example, told Hubbard to turn his back while the girl was asked to describe the color of his tie. There was silence. The world's first clear drew a blank.

"It was a tremendous embarrassment for Hubbard and his friends at the time," recalled Arthur Jean Cox, a science fiction buff who attended the presentation.

More problems were on the way for the man whose book promised miracles but whose own life would move from one crisis to the next until his death.

He became embroiled, for instance, in a nasty divorce and child custody battle that raised embarrassing questions about his mental stability.

His wife, Sara Northrup Hubbard, accused him of subjecting her to "scientific torture experiments" and of suffering from "paranoid schizophrenia" - allegations that she would later retract in a signed statement but that would find their way into government files and continue to haunt Hubbard.

She said in her suit that Hubbard had deprived her of sleep, beaten her and suggested that she kill herself, "as divorce would hurt his reputation."

During the legal proceedings, Sara placed in the court record a letter she had received from Hubbard's first wife.

"Ron is not normal," it said. "I had hoped you could straighten him out. Your charges probably sound fantastic to the average person - but I've been through it - the beatings, threats on my life, all the sadistic traits which you charge - 12 years of it."

At one point in the marital dispute with Sara, Hubbard spirited their 1-year-old daughter, Alexis, to Cuba. From there, he wrote to Sara:

"I have been in the Cuban military hospital, and am being transferred to the United States as a classified scientist immune from interference of all kinds. ... My right side is paralyzed and getting more so.

"I hope my heart lasts. I may live a long time and again I may not. But Dianetics will last ten thousand years - for the Army and Navy have it now."

Hubbard, who had earlier accused his wife of infidelity and said she suffered brain damage, closed his letter by threatening to cut his infant daughter from his will.

"Alexis will get a fortune unless she goes to you, as she then would get nothing," he wrote.
He also wrote a letter to the FBI at the height of the Red Scare accusing Sara of possibly being a Communist, along with others whom he said had infiltrated his dianetics movement.
The FBI, after interviewing Hubbard, dismissed him as a "mental case."

In one seven-page missive to the Department of Justice in 1951, he linked Sara to alleged physical assaults on him. He said that on two separate occasions he was punched in his sleep by unidentified intruders. And then came the third attack.

"I was in my apartment on February 23rd, about two or three o'clock in the morning when the apartment was entered, I was knocked out, had a needle thrust into my heart to give it a jet of air to produce 'coronary thrombosis' and was given an electric shock with a 110 volt current. This is all very blurred to me. I had no witnesses. But only one person had another key to that apartment and that was Sara."

After months of sniping at each other - and a counter divorce suit by Hubbard in which he accused his wife of "gross neglect of duty and extreme cruelty" - the couple ended their stormy marriage, with Sara obtaining custody of the child. In later years, Hubbard would deny fathering the girl and, as threatened, did not leave her a cent.

Not only was Hubbard's domestic life a shambles in 1951, his once-thriving self-help movement was crumbling as public interest in his theories waned.

The foundations Hubbard had established to teach dianetics were in financial ruin and his book had disappeared from The New York Times best-seller list.

But the resilient self-promoter came up with something new. He called it Scientology, and his metamorphosis from pop therapist to religious leader was under way.

Scientology essentially gave a new twist to the Dianetics notion of painful experiences that lodge in the "reactive mind." In Scientology, Hubbard held that memories of such experiences also collect in a person's soul and date back to past lives.

For many of Hubbard's early followers, Scientology was not believable, and they broke with him. But others would soon take their place, conferring upon Hubbard an almost saintly status.

But as Hubbard's renown and prosperity grew in the 1960s, so, too, did the questions surrounding his finances and teachings. He was accused by various governments - including the U.S. - of quackery, of brainwashing, of bilking the gullible through high-pressure sales techniques.

In 1967, Hubbard took several hundred of his followers to sea to escape the spreading hostility. But they found only temporary safe harbor from what they believed had become an international conspiracy to persecute them.

Their three ships, led by a converted cattle ferry dubbed the "Apollo," were bounced from port to port in the Mediterranean and Caribbean by governments that wrongly suspected the American skipper and his secretive, clean-cut crew of being CIA operatives.
While anchored at the Portuguese island of Madeira, they were stoned by townsfolk carrying torches and chanting anti-CIA slogans.

"They [were] throwing Molotov cocktails onto the boat but they weren't lit," a crew member recalled. "Fortunately, this was not an experienced mob."

The years at sea were a watershed for Hubbard and Scientology. He instituted a Navy-style command structure that is evident today in the military dress and snap-to behavior of the organization's staff members. Hubbard named himself the "Commodore," and subordinates followed his orders like Annapolis midshipmen.


As former Scientology ship officer Hana Eltringham Whitfield put it: "Scientologists on the whole thought that Hubbard was like a god, that he could command the waves to do what he wanted, that he was totally in control of his life and consequences of his actions."

Staking A Claim To
Blood Brotherhood

(c) 1990, Los Angeles Times

As L. Ron Hubbard told it, he was 4 years old when a medicine man named "Old Tom" made him a "blood brother" of the Blackfeet Indians of Montana, providing the inspiration for the Scientology founder's first novel, "Buckskin Brigades."

But one expert on the tribe doesn't buy Hubbard's account.

Historian Hugh Dempsey is associate director of the Glenbow Museum in Calgary, Alberta. He has extensively researched the tribe, of which his wife is a member.

He said that blood brothers are "an old Hollywood idea" and that the act was "never done among the Blackfeet."

As for "Old Tom," Dempsey has informed doubts. For one thing, he said, the name does not appear in a 1907 Blackfeet enrollment register containing the names of hundreds of tribal members.

For another, "It's the kind of name, for that period [1915], that would practically not exist among the Blackfeet," he said. "At that time, Blackfeet did not have Christian names."

In 1985, church leaders produced a document that they say proves Hubbard was not lying.
Typed on Blackfeet Nation stationery, it states: "To commemorate the seventieth anniversary of L. Ron Hubbard becoming a blood brother of the Blackfeet Nation. Tree Manyfeathers in a ceremony re-established L. Ron Hubbard as a blood brother to the Blackfeet Tribe."

The document actually is meaningless because none of the three men who signed it were authorized to take any action on the tribe's behalf, according to Blackfeet Nation officials.
The document was created by Richard Mataisz, a Scientologist of fractional Indian descent. Mataisz said in an interview he tried to prove that Hubbard was a Blackfeet blood brother but came up empty-handed.

"It's not," he said, "something you go down to the courthouse and look up."

So Mataisz, using the name Tree Manyfeathers, said he held a private ceremony, made Hubbard his own blood brother and, along with two other men, signed the commemorative document.

"You should not give it [the document] very much credibility," said John Yellow Kidney, former vice president of the tribe's executive committee. "I don't."

Burglaries And Lies Paved A Path To Prison

A Web Of Criminal Conspiracy To discredit The Church's Foes
Resulted In 5-Year Sentences For 11 Defendants.

By Robert W. Welkos
and Joel Sappell
(c) 1990, Los Angeles Times


LOS ANGELES - It began with the title of a fairy tale - Snow White.


That was the benign code name Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard gave to an ominous plan that would envelop his church in scandal and send its upper echelon to prison, a plan rooted in his ever-deepening fears and suspicions.


Snow White began in 1973 as an effort by Scientology through Freedom of Information proceedings to purge government files of what Hubbard thought was false information being circulated worldwide to discredit him and the church. But the operation soon mushroomed into a massive criminal conspiracy, executed by the church's legal and investigative arm, the Guardian Office.


Under the direction of Hubbard's wife, Mary Sue, the Guardian Office hatched one scheme after another to discredit and unnerve Scientology's foes across the country. Guardian Office members were trained to lie, or in their words, " to outflow false data effectively." They compiled enemy lists and subjected those on the lists to smear campaigns and dirty tricks.
Their targets were in the government, the press, the medical profession, wherever a potential threat surfaced.


The Guardian Office saved the worst for author Paulette Cooper of New York City, whose scathing 1972 book, " The Scandal of Scientology," pushed her to the top of the church's roster of enemies.


Among other things, Cooper was framed on criminal charges by Guardian Office members, who obtained stationery she had touched and then used it to forge bomb threats to the church in her name.


" You're like the Nazis or the Arabs - I'll bomb you, I'll kill you!" warned one of the rambling letters.


The church reported the threat to the FBI and directed its agents to Cooper, whose fingerprints matched those on the letter. Cooper was indicted by a grand jury not only for the bomb threats, but for lying under oath about her innocence.


Two years later, the author's reputation and psyche in tatters, prosecutors dismissed the charges after she had spent nearly $20,000 in legal fees to defend herself and $6,000 on psychiatric treatment.


It seemed that no plan against perceived enemies was too ambitious or daring.


In Washington, Scientology spies penetrated such high-security agencies as the Department of Justice and the Internal Revenue Service to find what they had on Hubbard and the church.


In nighttime raids, they rifled files and photocopied mountains of documents, many of which the church had unsuccessfully sought under the federal Freedom of Information Act.
The thefts were inside jobs; the Guardian Office had planted one agent in the IRS as a clerk typist and another in the Department of Justice as the personal secretary of an assistant U.S. attorney who was handling Freedom of Information lawsuits filed by Scientology.


So bold had they become that one Guardian Office operative slipped into an IRS conference room and wired a bugging device into a wall socket before a crucial meeting on Scientology was to be convened. The operative rigged the device so he could eavesdrop over his car's FM radio.


The U.S. government was losing a war it did not even know it was fighting. But that was about to change.


Two Scientologists used fake IRS credentials to gain access to government agencies and then photocopied documents related to the church. Their conspiracy was exposed when one of the suspects, after 11 months on the lam, became worried about his plight and confessed to authorities, prompting the FBI to launch one of the biggest raids in its history.


Armed with power saws, crowbars and bolt cutters, 134 agents burst into three Scientology locations in Los Angeles and Washington.


They carted off eavesdropping equipment, burglar tools and 48,000 documents detailing countless operations against " enemies" in public and private life.


In the end, Hubbard's wife and the others were found guilty of charges of conspiracy and burglary. The grand jury named Hubbard as an unindicted co-conspirator; the seized Guardian Office files did not directly link him to the crimes and he professed ignorance of them.


In a memorandum urging stiff sentences for the Scientologists, federal prosecutors wrote:
"The crime committed by these defendants is of a breadth and scope previously unheard of. No building, office, desk, or file was safe from their snooping and prying. No individual or organization was free from their despicable conspiratorial minds. The tools of their trade were miniature transmitters, lock picks, secret codes, forged credentials and any other device they found necessary to carry out their conspiratorial schemes."


The 11 defendants were ordered to serve five years in federal prison. All are now free.
Church leaders today maintain that this dark chapter in their religion's history was the work of renegade members who, yes, broke the law but believed they were justified because the government for two decades had harassed and persecuted Scientology.


Boston attorney Earle C. Cooley, Scientology's national trial counsel, said the present church management does not condone the criminal activities of the old Guardian Office. He said that one of Hubbard's most important dictums was to " maintain friendly relations with the environment and the public."


"The question that I always have in my mind," Cooley said, " is for how long a time is the church going to have to continue to pay the price for what the (Guardian Office) did. ... Unfortunately, the church continues to be confronted with it.


"And the ironic thing is that the people being confronted with it are the people who wiped it out. And to the church, that's a very frustrating thing."

The Final Days...
Deep In Hiding, Hubbard Kept
A Tight Grip On The Church

By Robert W. Welkos
and Joel Sappell
(c) 1990, Los Angeles Times


LOS ANGELES - Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard often said that man's most basic drive is that of survival. And when it came to his own, he used whatever was necessary - false identities, cover stories, deception.


There is no better illustration of this than the way he secretly controlled the Church of Scientology while hiding from a world he viewed as increasingly hostile.


Hubbard was last seen publicly in February 1980, in the desert community of Hemet, Calif., a few miles from a high-security compound that houses thechurch's movie and recording studio. His sudden departure fueled wild and intense speculation.


The church said Hubbard went into seclusion to continue his Scientology research and to resurrect his science fiction-writing career. But former aides have said he dropped from sight to avoid subpoenas and government tax agents probing allegations that he was skimming church funds.


Publications throughout the world ran stories about Hubbard's disappearance. " Mystery of the Vanished Ruler" was the headline in Time magazine.


In 1982, Hubbard's estranged son filed a probate petition trying to wrest control of the Scientology empire. He argued that his father was either dead or mentally incompetent and that his riches were being plundered by Scientology executives.


The suit was dismissed after Hubbard, through an attorney, submitted an affidavit with his fingerprints, saying that he was well and wanted to be left alone.


No doubt, Hubbard would have chuckled with satisfaction over the speculationsurrounding his whereabouts. For he had always considered himself a shrewd strategist and a master of the intelligence game, endlessly calculating ways to outwit his foes.


Hubbard took with him only two people, a married couple named Pat and Anne Broeker.
Pat Broeker, Hubbard's personal messenger at the time, had gone into hiding with him once before and knew how to ensure his security. Broeker relished cloak-and-dagger operations. His nickname among Hubbard's other messengers was " 007."


Anne had been one of Hubbard's top aides for years. She was cool under pressure and able to defuse Hubbard's volatile temper.


Hubbard and the Broekers spent their first several years together on the move. For months, they traveled the Pacific Northwest in a motor home. They lived in apartments in Newport Beach and other suburbs of Los Angeles.


Then, in the summer of 1983, they decided to settle down in a dusty ranch town of Creston, Calif., population 270, where the hot, arid climate would be kind to Hubbard's bursitis.
About 30 miles inland from San Luis Obispo, it was a perfect spot for a man of notoriety to live in obscurity. In those parts, people don't ask a lot of questions about someone else's business.


Hubbard and the Broekers concocted an elaborate set of phony names and backgrounds to conceal their identities from the townsfolk. Pat and Anne Broeker went by the names Mike and Lisa Mitchell. Hubbard became Lisa's father,Jack, who impressed the locals as a chatty old man, charismatic but sometimes gruff.


They purchased a 160-acre ranch known as the Whispering Winds for $700,000, using 30 cashier's checks drawn on various California banks. Pat Broeker told the sellers, Ed and Sherry Shahan, that he had recently inherited millions of dollars and was looking to leave his home in Upstate New York to raise livestock in California.


At the time, the Shahans were suspicious. As Ed Shahan recalled, " They were having trouble deciding whose name to put the property in."


In less than three years, Hubbard poured an estimated $3 million into the local economy as he redesigned the ranch to his exacting and elaborate specifications.


He launched one project after another, some of them seemingly senseless, according to local residents. He ordered the construction of a quarter-mile horse-racing track with an observation tower. The track reportedly was never used.


The 10-room ranch house was gutted and remodeled so many times that it went virtually uninhabited during Hubbard's time there. He lived and worked in a luxurious 40-foot Bluebird motor home parked near the stables.


All this was done without work permits, which meant that Hubbard and his aides would not have to worry about nosy county inspectors.


Like Hubbard's aides in earlier years, the hired help saw extreme sides of the man who was chauffeured around the property in a black Subaru pickup by Anne Broeker.


Fencing contractor Jim Froelicher of Paso Robles remembers asking him for advice on buying a camera. Several days later, Froelicher said, Hubbard presented him with a 35mm camera as a gift.


Longtime Creston resident Ed Lindquist, on the other hand, said painters dropped by the local tavern at lunch to talk about how the " old man" was acting eccentric. They said he had them paint the walls again and again because they " weren't white enough," according to Lindquist.


Scientology officials insist that Hubbard was in fine mental and physical health during his years in seclusion. Most of his days, they say, were spent reading, writing and enjoying the ranch's beauty and livestock, which included llamas and buffalo.


But Hubbard was doing much more, according to former aides. Even in hiding, they say, he kept a close watch and a tight grip on the church he built - as he had for decades.


As early as 1966, Hubbard claimed to have relinquished managerial control of the church. But ex-Scientologists and several court rulings have held that this was a maneuver to shield Hubbard from potential legal actions and accountability for the group's activities.


Over the years, efforts to conceal Hubbard's ties to the church were extensive and extreme.
In 1980, for example, a massive shredding operation was undertaken at the church's desert compound outside Palm Springs after Scientology officials received an erroneous tip of an imminent FBI raid, according to a former aide.


" Anything that indicated that L. Ron Hubbard controlled the church or was engaged in management was to be shredded," recalled Hubbard's former public relations officer, Laurel Sullivan.


For more than two days, Sullivan said, roughly 200 Scientologists crammed thousands of documents into a huge shredder nicknamed " Jaws." Documents too valuable to destroy, she added, were buried in the ground or under floorboards.


In his self-imposed exile, Hubbard continued to reign over Scientology with almost paranoid secrecy.


He relayed his orders in writing or on tape cassettes to Pat Broeker, who then passed them to a ranking Scientologist named David Miscavige, the man responsible for seeing that church executives complied.


Hubbard's communiques travelled a circuitous route in the darkness of night, changing hands from Broeker to Miscavige at designated sites throughout Southern California. To mask the author's identity, the missives were signed with codes that carried the weight of Hubbard's signature.


Sometimes Broeker himself appeared from parts unknown to personally deliver Hubbard's instructions to church executives.


From his secret seat of power in the oak-studded hills above San Luis Obispo, Hubbard also made sure that he would not be severed from the riches of his Scientology empire, high-level church defectors would later tell government investigators.


They alleged that Hubbard skimmed millions of dollars from church coffers while he was in hiding - carrying on a tradition that the Internal Revenue Service said he began practically at Scientology's inception about 30 years ago. Hubbard and his aides had always denied the allegations, and accused the IRS of waging a campaign against the church and its founder.
While Hubbard was underground, the IRS launched a criminal investigation of his finances. But the investigation would soon be without a target, and ultimately abandoned.


By late 1985, Hubbard's directives to underlings had tapered off. At age 74, he no longer resembled the robust and natty man whose dated photographs fill Scientology's promotional literature. Living in isolation, separated from his devoted followers, he had let himself go.
His thin gray hair, with streaks of the old red, hung without sheen to his shoulders. He had grown a stringy, unkempt beard and mustache. His round face was now sunken and his ruddy complexion had turned pasty. He was an old man and he was nearing death.


On or about Jan. 17, 1986, Hubbard suffered a " cerebral vascular accident," commonly known as a stroke. Caring for him was Gene Denk, a Scientologist doctor and Hubbard's physician for eight years.


There was little Denk could do for Hubbard in those final days -the stroke was debilitating. He was bedridden and his speech was badly impaired.


One week later, at 8 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 24, Hubbard died.


Throughout the night, according to neighbor Robert Whaley, heavy traffic inexplicably moved in and out of the ranch. Whaley, a retired advertising executive, said that he was kept awake by headlights shining through his windows.


For more than 11 hours, Hubbard's body remained in the motor home where he died. Scientology attorney Earle Cooley had ordered that Hubbard not be touched until he arrived by car from Los Angeles with another Scientology lawyer.


The next morning, Cooley telephoned Reis Chapel, a San Luis Obispo mortuary, and arranged to have the body cremated. With Cooley present, Hubbard was transported to the mortuary.


Once chapel officials learned who Hubbard was, however, they became concerned about the church's rush to cremate him. They contacted the San Luis Obispo County coroner, who halted the cremation until the body could be examined and blood tests performed.


When then-Deputy Coroner Don Hines arrived, Cooley presented him with a certificate that Hubbard had signed just four days before his death. It stated that, for religious reasons, he wanted no autopsy.


Cooley also produced a will that Hubbard had signed the day before he died, directing that his body be promptly cremated and that his vast wealth be distributed according to the provisions of a confidential trust he had established. His once-ornate trademark signature was little more than a scrawl.


After the blood tests and examination revealed no foul play, coroner Hines approved the cremation. With Cooley's consent, he also photographed the body and lifted fingerprints as a way to later confirm that it was the reclusive Hubbard and not a hoax.


Within hours, Hubbard's ashes were scattered at sea by the Broekers and Miscavige.
Two days after Hubbard's death, Pat Broeker stood before a standing-room-only crowd of Scientologists at the Hollywood Palladium. It was his first public appearance in six years, and he had just broken the news of Hubbard's passing.


The cheers were deafening.


Broeker announced that Hubbard had made a conscious decision to " sever all ties" to this world so he could continue his Scientology research in spirit form - testimony to the power of the man and his teachings.


He " laid down in his bed and he left," Broeker said. " And that was it."


Hubbard left behind an organization that would continue to function as though he were still alive. His millions of words - the lifeblood of Scientology - have now been computerized for wisdom and instructions at the touch of a button.


In Scientology, he was - and always will be - the " Source."

Church Scriptures Get High-Tech Protection

By Robert W. Welkos
and Joel Sappell
(c) 1990, Los Angeles Times


LOS ANGELES - Scientology is determined that the words of L. Ron Hubbard shall live forever.


Using state-of-the art technology, the movement has spent more than $15 million to protect Hubbard's original writings, tape-recorded lectures and filmed treatises from natural and man-made calamities, including nuclear holocaust. The effort illustrates two fundamental truths about the Scientology movement: It believes in its future and it never does anything halfheartedly. In charge of the preservation task is the Church of Spiritual Technology, which functions as archivist for Hubbard's works.


It has a staff - but no congregation - and its fiscal 1987 income was $503 million, according to court documents filed by the church.


The organization has purchased rural land in New Mexico, Northern California and Southern California's San Bernardino Mountains to store the Hubbard gospel.


According to Church of Spiritual Technology documents, the New Mexico site has a 670-foot tunnel with two deep vaults at the end. The tunnel is protected with thick concrete and has four doors with "maintenance-free lives of 1,000 years." Three of the doors purportedly will be "nuclear blast resistant."


All this to house mere copies of the original works, which include 500,000 pages of Hubbard writings, 6,500 reels of tape and 42 films. The originals themselves are being kept under tight security on a sprawling Scientology complex near Lake Arrowhead, Calif.
While details of the facility are sketchy, a San Bernardino County sheriff's deputy, who requested anonymity, said the group had burrowed a huge tunnel into a mountainside.


At the Lake Arrowhead repository, sophisticated methods are being used to prepare Hubbard's works for the bomb-proof vaults. Here, according to Scientology officials and documents, is the process:


First, the original writings are chemically treated to rid the paper of acid that causes deterioration. Next, they are placed in plastic envelopes that church officials say will last 1,000 years.


From there, they are packaged in titanium "time capsules" filled with argon gas to further aid preservation.


Hubbard's writings also are being etched onto stainless steel plates with a strong acid. Scientology officials said the plates are so durable that they can be sprayed with salt water for 1,000 years and not deteriorate.


As for Hubbard's taped lectures, they are being re-recorded onto special "pure gold" compact discs encased in glass that, according to Scientology archvists, are "designed to last at least 1,000 years with no deterioration of sound quality."

Scientology Markets Its Gospel
With High-Pressure Sales Pitch

By Joel Sappell and
Robert W. Welkos
(c) 1990, Los Angeles Times


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


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


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


Church tenets mandate that parishioners purchase Scientology goods and services under Hubbard's "doctrine of exchange." A person must learn to give, he said, as well as receive.
For its programs and books, the church charges "fixed donations" that range from $50 for an elementary course in improving communication skills to more than $13,000 for Hubbard's secret teachings on the origins of the universe and the genesis of mankind's ills.
The church currently is offering a "limited time only" deal on a select package of Hubbard courses, which represent a small portion of The Bridge. If bought individually, those courses would cost $55,455. The sale price: $33,399.50.


As a promotional flyer for the discount observes, "YOU SAVE $22,055.50."
To complete Hubbard's progression of courses, a Scientologist could conceivably spend a lifetime and more than $400,000. Although few if any have doled out that much, the high cost of enlightenment in Scientology has left many deeply in debt to family, friends and banks.


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


"I'm trying to recover my mortgaged home," says Culloden, who spent 20 years in Scientology and obtained three mortgages totaling more than $80,000 to buy courses.
The Scientology Bridge is always under construction, keeping the Supreme Answer one step away from church members - a potent sales strategy devised by Hubbard to keep the money flowing, critics contend.


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


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


Through the mail, Scientologists are bombarded with glossy, colorful brochures announcing the latest courses and discounts. Letters and postcards sound the dire warning, "Urgent! Urgent! Your future is at risk! ... It is time to ACT! NOW! ... You must buy now!"
By far the most expensive service offered by Scientology is "auditing" - a kind of confessional during which an individual reveals intimate and traumatic details of his life while his responses are monitored on a lie detector-type device known as the E-meter.
The purpose is to unburden a person of painful experiences, or "engrams," that block his spiritual growth, a process that can span hundreds of hours. Auditing is purchased in 12-hour chunks costing anywhere between $3,000 and $11,000 each, depending on where it is bought.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Using charts and graphs, the idea is to convince a person that he has some problem, or "ruin," that Scientology can fix, while assuaging concerns he may have about the church. According to Hubbard, "if the job has been done well, the person should be worried."
With that accomplished, the customer is pushed to buy services he is told will improve his sorry condition and perhaps give him such powers as being able to spiritually travel outside his body - or, in Scientology jargon, to "exteriorize."


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


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


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


"We were having trouble with the windshield wipers in our car. Sometimes they would work and sometimes they wouldn't.... We were driving along, and my husband was driving. I got to thinking about the windshield wipers, left my body in the seat and took a look under the hood. I spotted the wires that were shorting and caused them to weld themselves together, like they were supposed to be. We haven't had any trouble with them since."
Scientology staffers who sell Hubbard's courses are called "registrars." They earn commissions on their sales and are skilled at eliciting every facet of an individual's finances, including bank accounts, stocks, cars, houses, whatever can be converted to cash.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


The Wheatons were longtime church members.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


"He is afraid of the peer pressure for not proceeding up the prescribed program. He is intimidated and afraid of being accused of being a dilettante. He is afraid that if he doesn't do it now before the world ends or collapses he may never get the chance. He is afraid if he doesn't claim he received gains and write a success testimonial he will be shunned....
"How many people could stand up to that kind of pressure and stand before a group of applauding people and say: 'Hey, it really wasn't good.'?"


Wollersheim said that the courses provide only a temporary euphoria.


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

The New Man In Control

A Protege Of L. Ron Hubbard Now Leads The Church, Wielding Power With The Stern Approach Of His Mentor

By Joel Sappell and
Robert W. Welkos
(c) 1990, Los Angeles Times


LOS ANGELES - The Church of Scientology today is run by a high-school dropout who grew up at the knee of the late L. Ron Hubbard and wields power with the iron-fisted approach of his mentor. At 30, David Miscavige is chairman of the board of an organization that sits atop the bureaucratic labyrinth known as the Church of Scientology. This organization, the Religious Technology Center, owns the trademarks that Scientology churches need to operate, including the words Scientology and Dianetics. The Religious Technology Center licenses the churches to use the trademarks and can revoke permission if a church fails to perform properly. Therein rests much, but not all, of Miscavige's power. He is the man in control, charting a direction for the organization that is at once expansionist and combative - in keeping with the dictates and personality of Hubbard, his role model. He refused repeated requests to be interviewed for this report.


Church spokesmen say Miscavige is a tireless, no-nonsense leader who works 15-hour days and whose vision is guiding the church's foray into mainstream society. " He has a tremendous ability to cut through bull and get to the point," said one Scientology spokesman, who has worked closely with Miscavige. " He's an initiator," said another. High-ranking former Scientologists describe him as a ruthless infighter with a volatile temper. They say he speaks in a gritty street parlance, punctuated with expletives. One recalled the time that Miscavige became enraged with the performances of Scientology staffers on a church record album. He propped its cover against an embankment outside his Riverside County, Calif., office and shot it repeatedly with a .45-caliber pistol, said the associate. To the public, the Rev. Heber Jentzsch, president of the Church of Scientology International, is portrayed as Scientology's top official. He appears regularly at news conferences and on talk shows, and was one of a group of Scientologists detained recently by Spanish officials investigating the church. In reality, Jentzsch appears to be chiefly responsible for church public relations. The real power is consolidated among a handful of Scientologists, led by Miscavige, who keep low public profiles.


Miscavige's climb to prominence is a lesson in the origins and nature of power in the church that Hubbard built. At the age of 14, with the blessing of his Scientologist parents, Miscavige joined a cadre of trusted youngsters called the " Commodore's messengers." In the beginning, they merely ran Hubbard's errands. But as they emerged from adolescence, Hubbard broadened their influence over even the highest-level church executives. In time, the messengers controlled the communication lines to and from Hubbard - a critical component of power in an organization that revered him as almost saintly. When messengers spoke, they did so with Hubbard's authority. Bad-mouthing a messenger, Hubbard said, was tantamount to personally challenging him. When Hubbard went into hiding in 1980, he left behind but did not forget Miscavige, one of his favorites. It was Miscavige's job to ensure that Hubbard's orders, secretly relayed to him, were followed by church executives. In effect, Miscavige became the sole link between church leaders and Hubbard. Miscavige also was put in charge of a profit-making firm called Author Services Inc., which was established in 1981 to manage Hubbard's literary and financial affairs. The job further enhanced Miscavige's reputation as having Hubbard's confidence.


Church defectors say Miscavige wasted no time flexing his new muscles. Among other things, he spearheaded a purge in 1981 of upper-echelon Scientology executives accused of subverting Hubbard's teachings and plotting to seize control of the organization. He also cracked down on owners of Scientology franchises, or missions, who pay the church roughly 10 percent of their gross income. At a 1982 church conference, Miscavige accused the mission owners of cheating the " mother church." He and his aides announced that " finance police" would audit the missions to ensure that the church was getting its fair share of money. And the audits would cost the missions $15,000 a day. In taking command of Scientology after Hubbard's death, Miscavige survived a challenge from two other Hubbard lieutenants once thought to be his likely successors: Pat and Anne Broeker, who had been in hiding with Hubbard.


The power struggle was so intense at one point that even Hubbard's final Scientology writings, revered as sacred scriptures, became the object of a tug of war between Miscavige and Pat Broeker, who threatened to use them to start his own church. Miscavige today has achieved exalted status within the Scientology movement. He has personal aides who walk his dog, shine his shoes and run his errands, according to Vicki Aznaran, a top Scientology executive who left the church in 1987 after a falling-out. In his rare public appearances, he is surrounded by respectful subordinates. And like Hubbard, who was frequently referred to by his initials, David Miscavige is called D.M.

The Courting Of Celebrities

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

By Joel Sappell and Robert W. Welkos
(c) 1990, Los Angeles Times


LOS ANGELES - The Church of Scientology uses celebrity spokesmen to endorse L. Ron Hubbard's teachings and give Scientology greater acceptability in mainstream America.
As far back as 1955, Hubbard recognized the value of famous people to his fledgling, off-beat church when he inaugurated "Project Celebrity." According to Hubbard, Scientologists should target prominent individuals as their "quarry" and bring them back like trophies for Scientology.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


In April, Alley provided nationwide exposure for the illustrated booklet - which mentions Hubbard but not Scientology - when she unveiled it on the popular Arsenio Hall Show. Since then, it has been distributed to prominent environmental groups throughout the U.S.
Besides Alley and Travolta, the Scientology celebrity ranks also include: jazz pianist Chick Corea; singer Al Jarreau; actress Karen Black; opera star Julia Migenes; Priscilla Presley and her daughter Lisa Marie Presley, and Nancy Cartwright, who is the voice behind Bart Simpson, the wisecracking son on the animated TV hit, "The Simpsons."


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


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


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


Celebrities are considered so important to the movement's expansion that the church created a special office to guide their careers and ensure their "correct utilization" for Scientology.
The church has a special branch that ministers to prominent individuals, providing them with first-class treatment. Its headquarters, called Celebrity Centre International, is housed in a magnificent old turreted mansion on Franklin Avenue, overlooking the Hollywood Freeway.
In 1988, the movement tried to associate itself with a non-Scientology celebrity, race driver Mario Andretti, by sponsoring his car in the GTE World Challenge of Tampa, Fla. But the plan backfired.


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


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


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


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


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


"There were many in the church I felt were treated unfairly," Brodie said.

Defectors Recount Lives Of Hard Work, Punishment

By Robert W. Welkos
and Joel Sappell
(c) 1990, Los Angeles Times


LOS ANGELES - Doris Braine says the transformation of her Patty Jo was heartbreaking.
"It was," she said, "like my darling daughter had died."


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


"Slave labor" is how Canadian authorities in 1984 described the Scientology work force.
Worldwide, there are nearly 12,000 church staff members, many of whom are in Los Angeles, one of the organization's largest strongholds. They have kept Scientology afloat through a turbulent history that, arguably, would have sunk any other newly emerging religion.


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


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


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


The elite of Scientology's workers, at least 3,000 of them, belong to a zealous faction known as the Sea Organization and are given room, board and a small weekly allowance.
They sign contracts to serve Scientology in this and future lifetimes - for a billion years. Their motto is: "We come back."


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


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


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


When staffers observe transgressions of Hubbard's dictums, they are required to inform on each other. The church says "knowledge reports" help the organization correct problems and ensure a high standard of operation. But critics contend that the practice works to stifle expressions of discontent or doubts about the church, even between husbands and wives.
To break the group's rules or fall below work quotas can subject even top Scientologists to grueling interrogations on a lie detector-type device called the E-meter, and perhaps land them in the Rehabilitation Project Force, or RPF.


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


Others, however, have called it in hindsight the most degrading ordeal of their lives - although one that they believed at the time was leading them to spiritual salvation.
RPFers, as they are called, are separated from their family and friends for days, weeks, months or even longer. They cannot speak unless spoken to, they run wherever they go and they wear armbands to denote their lowly condition.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


In Scientology, a staff member is evaluated based on his or her productivity. Hubbard made it clear in a 1964 directive that there is no excuse - short of death - for missing work.
"If a staff member's breath can be detected on a mirror," Hubbard said, "he or she can do his or her job."


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


A recruitment flyer for a school run by Scientologists exemplifies this mind-set:
"If you turn your kids over to the enemy all day for 12-15 years, which side do you think they will come out on?" the flyer asks rhetorically. The enemy, in this case, is public education.


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


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


In time, the staff member's world orbits ever more tightly around one man - Hubbard.
"You finally are to the point where you do not examine, logically, Scientology," said former Scientologist Vicki Aznaran, who until two years ago was one of the most powerful figures in the church and is now locked in litigation with Scientology.


"You are cut off from anything that might give you another viewpoint," she said.
Some stay because they fear calamity will befall them if they are denied church courses they have been told are vital to spiritual and physical stability.


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


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


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


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


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


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


"I have looked back and said to myself, 'What an indoctrinated fool I was. What a fool.' "

Scientology Courts Power Brokers To Help Expansion

From Politicians To The Leaders Of Business, The Courts and The Media, The Church Works To Win Allies To Smooth The Way For Expansion.

By Joel Sappell and
Robert W. Welkos
(c) 1990, Los Angeles Times


LOS ANGELES - To create a favorable environment for Scientology's expansion, church executives are working to win allies among society's power brokers and opinion leaders.
It is a theme expounded in church publications.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


The document suggested that Scientologists, after selecting an appropriate church, should attend Sunday services and praise the minister: " 'Your sermon was brilliant! Would you be willing to speak at our church?' (He'll have a hard time refusing that one!)."
It advised them to establish good communication with the minister's wife because "she can be an ally or an enemy and you want her support if possible."


After the service, "make friends with other congregation members," the document added. "... Circulate, but be sure to spend a few minutes with the minister and to meet his wife and family. ... If you haven't gotten the minister's phone number earlier, get it before you go."
Finally, the document urged, get the ministers to write a notarized affidavit or letter stating that "Scientology is a bona fide religion."

Influence...
Scientology Seeks Broader Role
In Schools, Business, And Scientific Community

By Robert W. Welkos
and Joel Sappell
(c) 1990, Los Angeles Times


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


But as the movement attempts to broaden its reach, evidence is mounting that Hubbard's devotees are engaging in practices that, while not unlawful, have begun to stir memories of its troubled past.

Scientology
and the Schools

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


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


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


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


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


Scientologists estimate that 3.5 million copies have been introduced into 4,500 elementary, junior high and senior high schools nationwide. Altogether, more than 28 million copies have been translated into at least 14 languages and distributed throughout the world.
The booklet is distributed by the Concerned Businessmen's Association of America, an organization not officially connected to the church but run by Scientologists.


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


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


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


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


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


At contest awards ceremonies, the winners and Hubbard's book share the spotlight.
For example, during a ceremony at the Charleston, W. Va., civic center, then-Gov. Arch Moore and other dignitaries were each presented a leather-bound copy of "The Way To Happiness."


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


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


For the most part, school officials whose campuses have participated in the contest said they were unaware of Hubbard's Scientology connection or that his followers were directing the contest. They said Scientology was not openly promoted and they did not regret taking part.
But one California public school system recently banned the contest after administrators conducted an investigation and learned that Hubbard was the author of Scientology's doctrine.


For three years, students at El Capitan Middle School in Fresno participated in the nationwide contest. In spring 1989, the students won second place for organizing an anti-drug relay in which they passed each other a symbolic "torch" - Hubbard's booklet.
Deluxe leather-bound copies were presented to mayors of the 15 cities along the relay route.
Last fall, the contest's sponsors decided to accelerate their efforts in Fresno County, urging the entire 5,000-student Central Unified School District to participate, instead of just one school. But they ran up against Geoff Garratt, the district's director of educational services and personnel.


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


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


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


Garratt said that the association refused to consider the possibility of holding the contest without Hubbard's booklet. "They said flat out, 'Without the book, there is no contest.' "
Scientologists also are attempting to install a Hubbard tutorial program in public schools, using a church-affiliated organization called Applied Scholastics.


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


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


Developed for students of Scientology, the Hubbard program is built upon an elementary premise: learning difficulties arise when students read past words they do not understand.
"The misunderstood word in a subject produces a vast panorama of mental effects and is the prime factor involved in stupidity," Hubbard wrote in 1967. "This is a sweepingly fantastic discovery in the field of education."


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


In promotional literature, Applied Scholastics made claims of remarkable success at Centennial High. While some parents said that the program helped their children, Sanchez said the claims made by Applied Scholastics were unsubstantiated.

Converting the
Business World

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


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


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


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


The strategy appears to have proven effective.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


In the process, WISE profits, too. It trains and licenses the firms to sell Hubbard's copyrighted "management and administrative technology." WISE charges roughly $12,000 for its basic no-frills training course. For consulting services, it charges $1,875 a day.
On top of this, the consulting firms that sell Hubbard's business methods must pay WISE 13 percent of their annual gross income.


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


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


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


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


One of the most successful consulting firms licensed by WISE is Sterling Management Systems, which targets dentists and other health care professionals. For the past two years, Inc. magazine has ranked it among America's fastest-growing privately held businesses.
Sterling, based in Glendale, Calif., claims to be the "largest health care management consulting group in the U.S."


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


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


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


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


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


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


Sterling's paper, Today's Professional, has boasted that "the techniques that produced amazing results when applied to Greg's practice are being applied all over the U.S."
But neither the paper's readers nor those who attend Hughes' seminars are told that his dental office, which employed the high-volume Hubbard techniques that he imparts to others, has been accused by former patients of dental negligence and malpractice.


Hughes currently is under investigation by the California Board of Dental Examiners. The board already has turned over some of its findings to the state attorney general's office, which will determine whether action should be taken against Hughes' dental license.
To date, there are more than 15 lawsuits are pending against Hughes and his dental associates, alleging either negligence or malpractice. He has denied the allegations.
Attorney E. Bradley Nelson is representing most of those who have sued Hughes.
"It is my opinion," he said, "that the overall quality of care took second place to the profit motive. ... I've never seen anything approaching this volume of complaints against one dentist in such a short period of time."


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Singer Consultants was headed by Scientologist David Singer, an accomplished speaker and chiropractor who held nationwide seminars to pitch Hubbard's business methods.
Two years ago, the company was absorbed into another management firm owned by Scientologists.


Although Singer refused to be interviewed by the Los Angeles Times, he told Dynamic Chiropractic: "Hubbard was a prolific writer and wrote on a multitude of subjects. We do not, have not and will not make part of our program the teaching of any religion."

Scientology
and Science

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


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


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


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


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


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


Seeking customers and credibility, the two groups have targeted government and private workers nationwide who are exposed to hazardous substances in their jobs. They have pressed public agencies to endorse the method, lobbied unions to recommend it and written articles in trade journals that seem to be little more than advertisements for the treatment.
One of these groups is the Los Angeles-based Foundation for Advancements in Science and Education. The non-profit foundation has forged links with scientists across the country to gain legitimacy for itself and, thus, for Hubbard's detox method.


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


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


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


Bill Franks was instrumental in creating the foundation in 1981 when he served as the Church of Scientology's executive director, a post from which he was later ousted in a power struggle. Franks described the foundation in an interview as a Scientology "front group."
"The concept," he said, "was to get some scientific recognition" for Hubbard's treatment without overtly linking it to the church.


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


The document was later amended, however, to remove Hubbard's name, obscuring the foundation's ties to the Scientology movement and its founder in official records.
Hubbard's name, however, continues to appear regularly in the foundation's slick newsletter. In the latest edition, for instance, three different articles advocate the "Hubbard method" as an effective therapy for chemical and drug detoxification.


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


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


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


The foundation and HealthMed have attempted to create an impression that they are linked only by a shared concern over toxic hazards. In reality, however, they operate symbiotically.
The foundation, for its part, tries to scientifically validate the Hubbard method through studies and articles by individuals who either are Scientologists or hold foundation positions. HealthMed then uses the foundation's credibility, writings and connections to get customers for the treatment.


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


In 1986, four doctors with the California Department of Health Services accused HealthMed of making "false medical claims" and of "taking advantage of the fears of workers and the public and about toxic chemicals and their potential health effects, including cancer." The doctors also criticized the foundation for supporting "scientifically questionable" research.
The state physicians, who evaluate potential toxic hazards in the workplace, leveled the accusations in a letter that triggered an investigation by the state Board of Medical Quality Assurance. That probe was concluded last year without a finding of whether the detox treatment works. Investigators said that they were stymied by HealthMed's refusal to provide patient records and by a lack of complaints from those who had undergone the regimen.


The four physicians who prompted the investigation said that they decided to study the Hubbard treatment after receiving calls from union representatives, public agencies and individual workers throughout the state who had been solicited by the clinics. Among them were the California Highway Patrol, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Pacific Gas & Electric Co. and the Los Angeles County Fire and Sheriff's departments.
"It was the accumulation of these calls that led us to say, 'Hey, this is going on all over the state. Let's look into it,' " recalled Gideon Letz, one of the doctors.


The foundation and HealthMed have worked particularly hard to tap one large pool of potential clients: firefighters. The Hubbard method has been pitched to them as a cure for exposure to a carcinogen sometimes encountered during fires. Known as PCBs, the now-banned chemical compound was once widely used to insulate transformers.
City officials in Shreveport, La., said they paid HealthMed $80,000 - and were ready to spend a lot more - until they hired a consultant, who denounced the treatments as unnecessary and worthless.


What happened in Shreveport is a case study of how the foundation and HealthMed have worked together to draw customers through methods that critics contend are exploitative.
In April 1987, dozens of Shreveport firemen were exposed to PCBs when they responded to an early morning transformer explosion at the Louisiana State University Medical Center. In the aftermath, some began to complain of headaches, dizziness, skin rashes, memory loss and other symptoms that they attributed to the exposure.


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


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


Lionelli discussed the frightening consequences of chemical exposure and then got to the point. He said that the foundation had found an effective detoxification technique developed by "the late American researcher L. Ron Hubbard" and delivered by HealthMed Clinic.
The article did not mention another of Hubbard's notable developments - Scientology.
The firemen contacted HealthMed, and, before long, were sold on the program. They went next to Howard Foggin, then the city's medical claims officer, and gave him HealthMed literature and a Washington, D.C., phone number the clinic had provided them. It was for the office of EPA toxicologist William Marcus.


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


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


"All he told me was, it seemed I had no alternative but to send those people to Los Angeles" for HealthMed's treatment, Foggin said, adding: "I felt I had to get moving on it fast."
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Marcus acknowledged that he recommended HealthMed, but he denied any conflict of interest.


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


Marcus said he receives only travel-related expenses for the foundation work.
His boss, Michael Cook, said he is satisfied that Marcus did not act improperly. He said that Marcus has insisted "he made it clear that he was not speaking as an EPA employee. Certainly that is what we would hope and expect he [would] do."


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Neither HealthMed nor the foundation would return phone calls from The Times.

Books: Costly Strategy Continues To Turn Out Bestsellers

By Robert W. Welkos
and Joel Sappell
(c) 1990, Los Angeles Times


LOS ANGELES - Call it one of the most remarkable success stories in modern publishing history.


Since late 1985, at least 20 books by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard have become bestsellers.


In March of 1988, nearly four decades after its initial publication, Hubbard's "Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health" was No. 1 on virtually every best-seller list in the country - including The New York Times.


Ten hardcover science fiction novels Hubbard completed before his death four years ago also became best sellers, four of them simultaneously on some lists.


The selling of L. Ron Hubbard was envisioned, planned and executed by members of the Church of Scientology, who say that worldwide sales of Hubbard's books have topped 93 million. The sales have been fueled by a radio and TV advertising blitz virtually unprecedented in book circles, and has put on the map a Los Angeles publishing firm that eight years ago did not even exist.


In some cases, sales of Hubbard's books apparently got an extra boost from Scientology followers and employees of the publishing firm. Showing up at major book outlets like B. Dalton and Walden books, they purchased armloads of Hubbard's works, according to former employees.


As a writer, Hubbard was extremely prolific. He wrote short stories. He wrote books. He wrote screenplays. And, for more than 30 years, he wrote thousands of directives and scores of personal improvement courses that form the doctrine of Scientology.


The promotion of Hubbard's books is part of a costly and calculated campaign by the movement to gain respect, influence and, ultimately, new members. In the process, Hubbard's followers hope to refurbish his controversial image and position him as one of the world's great humanitarians and thinkers.


Hubbard's writings have become a means by which to spread his name in a society that often equates celebrity with credibility. It is not with whimsy that the church often calls its spiritual father "New York Times best-selling author L. Ron Hubbard."


The church once summed up the strategy in a letter recruiting Scientologists for Hubbard's public relations team, an operation that thrives despite his death. Sign up now, the letter urged, and "make Ron the most acclaimed and widely known author of all time."
But apparently Hubbard's followers have not trusted sales of Hubbard's books entirely to the fickle winds of the marketplace.


Sheldon McArthur, former manager of B. Dalton Booksellers on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles, said, "Whenever the sales seem to slacken and a [Hubbard] book goes off the best sellers list, give it a week and we'll get these people coming in buying 50 to 100 to 200 copies at a crack - cash only."


After Hubbard's first novel, a Western adventure called "Buckskin Brigades," was re-released in 1987, the book "just sat there," recalled McArthur, whose store was across from a Scientology center.


"Then, in one week, it was gone," he said. "We started getting calls asking, 'You got 'Buckskin Brigades?' " I said, 'Sure, we got them.' 'You got a hundred of them?' 'Sure,' I said, 'here's a case.' "


Gary Hamel, B. Dalton's former manager at Santa Monica Place, a mall in the Los Angeles beach suburb of Santa Monica, had similar experiences. He said that "10 people would come in at a time and buy quantities of them and they would pay cash."


Hamel also speculated that some copies of a Hubbard science fiction novel were sold more than once.


He said that while he was working at the B. Dalton in Hollywood, some books shipped by Hubbard's publishing house arrived with B. Dalton price stickers already on them. He said this indicated to him that the books had been purchased at one of the chain's outlets, then returned to the publishing house and shipped out for resale before anyone thought to remove the stickers.


"We would order more books and ... they'd come back with our sticker as if they were bought by the publisher," Hamel said.


Hubbard's U.S. publisher is Bridge Publications Inc., founded and controlled by Scientologists - something that Bridge does not publicize. Company officials refused to be interviewed about book sales or any facet of the firm's operations.


But former employees alleged in interviews with the Los Angeles Times that Bridge encouraged and, at times, bankrolled the book-buying scheme.


Mike Gonzales, a non-church member who worked in accounts receivable, said that one supervisor gave him hundreds of dollars for weekend forays into bookstores.


In one month alone, he said, he bought and returned to Bridge 43 books in Hubbard's "Mission Earth" science fiction series. And, according to Gonzales, he was not alone.
"We had 15 to 20 people going all over L.A," he said.


During a shopping spree at B. Dalton in the Glendale Galleria, a Glendale, Calif., shopping center, Gonzales said, he bumped into three Bridge co-workers.


"There we were, four people in line buying 'Buckskin Brigades,' and [the clerk] blurted out, 'You know why they do that? To get on the best sellers list!' "


Corinda Carford, who was Bridge's sales manager for the East Coast, said she was instructed by two superiors to go to bookstores and buy Hubbard's books if sales were sluggish.


"They would tell me to go and count the books and ... if it looks like they're not selling, go and buy some books," Carford recalled. She said she was troubled by the request and bought only four copies of one Hubbard paperback.


Carford said that Bridge executives also asked her in late 1988 and again in early 1989 to obtain the names of bookstores whose sales are the basis for The New York Times best-seller list.


"It happened more than once," she said. " ... My orders for the week were to find the New York Times' reporting stores anywhere in the East so they could send people into the stores to buy [Hubbard's] books."


Carford said she questioned several bookstore operators but they refused to cooperate.
"That is confidential information," she said.


Carford said she left Bridge after a pay dispute and now works for another publishing firm.
Another former Bridge employee, salesman Tom Fudge, said a supervisor once handed him a list of booksellers purportedly monitored by The New York Times. He said he was instructed to promise each one that Hubbard's books would "sell well" if they stocked more copies.


"I was told that they [Bridge] had Scientologists who would go out to specific stores and buy copies of the books," Fudge said.


An attorney who represents Bridge and Scientology denied that the publishing firm possessed a list of bookstores The New York Times uses to determine best sellers.
"The list does not exist," insisted Boston lawyer Earle Cooley, who characterized the former employees as "disgruntled" and "antagonistic" toward Bridge and Scientology.
Adam Clymer, a New York Times executive, said the newspaper had examined the sales patterns of Hubbard's books. In a two-year span, Hubbard logged 14 consecutive books on The New York Times list.


Clymer said that, although the books had been sold in sufficient numbers to justify their best-seller status, "we don't know to whom they were sold."


He said that the newspaper uncovered no instances in which vast quantities of books were being sold to single individuals.


Science fiction and self-improvement books have always been big sellers in America, and Hubbard's works have long had a strong following.


But Bridge learned quickly that to make him a best-selling author in the 1980s, it had to aggressively market his writings, especially within the bookselling industry.
As part of its campaign Bridge has purchased full-page ads on the cover of Publishers Weekly, an important trade magazine.


For a time, the firm was enticing book distributors to place large orders by offering them free television sets and VCRs.


Marcia Dursi, director of book operations for ARA Services in Maryland, which distributes paperbacks to supermarkets and airports, said she was offered a TV for the employee lunchroom.


"I don't have to be bribed," Dursi said she responded.


Former Bridge consultant Robert Erdmann said that, although other publishers offer incentives, he stopped the practice at Bridge because "it could be perceived as influence peddling."


Erdmann, a non-Scientologist, was an industry veteran hired by Bridge to help make inroads in the competitive publishing world.


Because the Scientologists at Bridge "did what we told them to do," Erdmann said, "Dianetics" is no longer "the passion fruit of the Pacific that people in the Midwest are afraid to eat."


When it was first published in 1950, "Dianetics" rode best-seller lists for several months before sales dwindled. But it has remained the bedrock - "Book One" - of Hubbard's Scientology movement.


In "Dianetics," Hubbard said that memories of painful physical and emotional experiences accumulate in a specific region of the mind, causing illness and mental problems. Hubbard said that, once those experiences have been purged through cathartic procedures he developed, a person can achieve superior health and intelligence.


So revered is the book that Hubbard scrapped the conventional calendar and renumbered the years beginning with the date of its publication. To Scientologists, 1990 is "40 AD" (After Dianetics).


From the outset, the Scientology movement has made the book the centerpiece of its campaign to generate broad interest in Hubbard's writings.


In the last few years, millions of dollars have been spent on "Dianetics" advertising to reach a targeted audience of young professionals who want to improve their lives and careers.
The ads have appeared on television, radio, billboards and bus stops.


"Dianetics" has been a sponsor of the California Angels and Los Angeles Rams games on radio. Race cars in world-class competitions like the Indianapolis 500 have sported "Dianetics" decals. In New York City recently, 160 billboards promoting Hubbard were purchased in subway stations.


Next month, in what may be the Scientology movement's biggest promotion yet for the book, Dianetics will be a sponsor of Turner Broadcasting System's 1990 Goodwill Games, an Olympics-style event bringing together 2,500 athletes from more than 50 countries for two weeks in Seattle.


Among other things, there will be Dianetics commercials during the internationally televised competition and Dianetics signboards at sporting venues. Goodwill Games spokesman Bob Dickinson said that Dianetics and 12 other sponsors - including Pepsi, Sony and Anheuser-Busch - have paid "lots and lots of money" for the exposure, but he would not provide a specific figure.


"It is safe to say it is in excess of several million dollars," Dickinson said.
Word of the sponsorship has triggered more than 100 complaints from disaffected Scientologists and critics of the church to TBS, the Atlanta-based cable network owned by media entrepreneur Ted Turner. Most have accused the network of providing a global forum for the Church of Scientology.


But Dickinson said that Dianetics, not Scientology, is the event's sponsor and that "we really don't make any value judgment in terms of the product of the sponsors. They have a right to advertise." He added that Dianetics for years has been buying air time on TBS.


Although Dianetics advertisements never mention Scientology, the book's promotion is a key component of the church's efforts to win new converts. Scientology literature calls the strategy the "Dianetics route." The idea is to attract readers to Dianetics seminars and then enroll them in Scientology courses.


Given the success of the Dianetics campaign, Bridge now seems confident that the public will clamor for Hubbard's Scientology writings.


Hubbard books that for decades had no audience outside Scientology are scheduled to be mass-marketed into the next century, complete with costly promotional campaigns as big as that for "Dianetics."


One of them, Hubbard's 1955 "Fundamentals of Thought," has "Scientology" splashed across its cover, the first test of whether Hubbard's image has been so greatly improved that the public is finally ready to accept his religion.


Even long-forgotten science fiction that Hubbard wrote back in the 1930s will be dusted off, dressed in eye-grabbing covers and pushed as though it were written today.


In recent months, billboards have appeared along Los Angeles freeways and such well-traveled thoroughfares as Sunset Boulevard.


With the sea as a backdrop, they show a smiling Hubbard of earlier years, the wind tousling his red hair. Below his robust image is the phrase: "22 national bestsellers and more to come. ..."


The selling of the late L. Ron Hubbard has only begun.

A Lawyer Learns What It's Like To Fight Scientology

Joseph Yanny represented the movement until a falling out.
Now he says lengthy litigation and mysterious harassment
indicate he's become 'Public Enemy No. 1.'

By Robert W. Welkos
and Joel Sappell
(c) 1990, Los Angeles Times


LOS ANGELES - Los Angeles attorney Joseph Yanny was driving through rural Ohio in the pre-dawn hours in 1988 when he was pulled over by police, who had received a tip that he was carrying a cache of cocaine and guns in his rental car.


A telephone caller had supplied authorities in Ohio with Yanny's name, the car's description and license number, and the route he would be traveling to his sister's house after a rock concert by one of his clients, the Grateful Dead.


Yanny was frisked and the vehicle was searched. No drugs or firearms were found, and he was released.


Police later concluded that the tipster had given a false name, leading them to speculate that Yanny had been set up for harassment.


And Yanny, though he can't prove it, is certain he knows by whom: his former client, the Church of Scientology.


"I am," he said with some pride, "probably Public Enemy No. 1 as far as they are concerned."


Today, Yanny and Scientology are locked in bitter litigation. Their dispute illustrates how battles with the Church of Scientology often degenerate into nasty, costly wars of retribution and endurance.


Yanny worked for the church from 1983 to 1987, earning, by his estimate, $1.8 million in legal fees.


His chief job was to represent Scientology in a suit it brought against a former top church executive accused of conspiring to steal the church's secret teachings. In 1986, Yanny scored a major victory for the church during a pretrial hearing.


But then Yanny and Scientology had a falling out. He says he severed ties because he disagreed with the tactics the group uses against its critics. Scientology says Yanny was dismissed because his performance was "inadequate." They call him an "anti-church demagogue."


Scientology lawyers sued Yanny, accusing him of switching allegiances and of violating the canons of his profession. They say he fed confidential church information to former members locked in legal battles with Scientology. He denies the accusation.
They further accused him of submitting "extremely inflated" bills and of working while intoxicated, an allegation that was subsequently dropped.


Since the litigation began, Yanny says, he and his friends have been the target of harassment.
He says that his Century City Los Angeles law firm was burglarized four times and that Scientology-related documents turned up missing; that he has been spied upon by a church "plant" working as a secretary in his office; and that private investigators have camped outside his Hermosa Beach residence and shadowed him when he left.


Jon J. Gaw, a Riverside, Calif.-area private investigator who has handled a number of Scientology-related probes in recent years, said in a deposition that he used as many as "seven or eight" investigators to conduct surveillance of Yanny between June 1988 and March 1989. Two of his operatives took up residence on a nearby street, Gaw said, and tailed Yanny whenever he ventured outside.


Gaw said he later learned that private detectives for another agency hired by Scientology lawyers had been spying on Yanny at the same time. That agency employed a woman to live next door to him.


The woman, Michelle Washburn, said in a deposition that she was hired by Al Bei, a former Los Angeles police officer who has worked as a private investigator on Scientology-related cases.


She said that Bei instructed her to take notes on Yanny's "comings and goings." She also sat by her window photographing everyone who visited him. She said she regularly gave Bei the film and her notes. Bei declined to comment.


In Bellaire, Ohio, police who searched Yanny's rental car for drugs and guns later discovered that a team of out-of-state private investigators in four vehicles had been tailing the attorney.
Police Capt. Robert Wallace said that one of the private detectives he questioned initially tried to mislead officers, claiming that the detectives were there to subpoena someone in a neighboring town.


Wallace said that the private detective then said he had been hired to follow Yanny by Williams & Connelly, a prominent Washington, D.C., law firm that represents Scientology on tax issues. An attorney who handles Scientology matters at the firm declined comment when questioned by the Los Angeles Times recently. In a published report in late 1988, however, he said that he had no knowledge of the episode.


Yanny, for his part, is pursuing a strategy that is reminiscent of the take-no-prisoners tactics of the church.


He and his anti-Scientology allies have submitted sworn court declarations designed to discredit the church.


Earlier this year, a Los Angeles County Superior Court jury agreed that Yanny had not submitted inflated bills to the church and awarded him $154,000 in damages. The judge who presided over the case is now weighing whether Yanny should be allowed to assist individuals in litigation against his former client, the church.


Yanny said that he initially agreed to be one of Scientology's lawyers because he thought the controversial church was being denied its day in court.


"There came a point where I was rudely awakened that Scientology wanted their day in court," Yanny said, "but they wanted to assure nobody else got them."

Suits, Protests Fuel A Campaign Against Psychiatry

As part of its strategy, the movement created a nationwide uproar
over the drug Ritalin, used to treat hyperactive children.

By Joel Sappell and
Robert W. Welkos
(c) 1990, Los Angeles Times


LOS ANGELES - In recent years, a national debate flared over Ritalin, a drug used for more than three decades to treat hyperactivity in children.


Across the country, multimillion-dollar lawsuits were filed by parents who contended that their children had been harmed by the drug.


Major news organizations, including the Los Angeles Times, devoted extensive coverage to whether youngsters were being turned into emotionally disturbed addicts by psychiatrists and pediatricians who prescribed Ritalin.


Protests were staged at psychiatric conferences, with airplanes trailing banners that read, "Psychs, Stop Drugging Our Kids," and children on the ground carrying placards that pleaded, "Love Me, Don't Drug Me."


In 1988, the clamor reached a point where 12 U.S. congressmen demanded answers from the Food and Drug Administration and three other federal agencies about the safety of Ritalin. The FDA assured the legislators that the drug is was "safe and effective if it is used as recommended."


The Ritalin controversy seemed to emerge out of nowhere. It frightened parents, put doctors on the defensive and suddenly called into question the judgment of school administrators who authorized the drug's use to calm disruptive, hyperactive children.


The uproar over Ritalin was triggered almost single-handedly by the Scientology movement.
In its fight against Ritalin, Scientology was pursuing a broader agenda. For years, it has been attempting to discredit the psychiatric profession, which has long been critical of the self-help techniques developed by the late L. Ron Hubbard and practiced by the church.
The church has spelled out the strategy in its newspaper, "Scientology Today."


"While alerting parents and teachers to the dangers of Ritalin," the newspaper stated, "the real target of the campaign is the psychiatric profession itself. ... And as public awareness continues to increase, we will no doubt begin to see the blame for all drug abuse and related crime move onto the correct target - psychiatry."


The contempt Scientologists hold for the psychiatric profession is rooted in Hubbard's writings, which constitute the church's doctrines. He once wrote, for example, that if psychiatrists "had the power to torture and kill everyone, they would do so. ... Recognize them for what they are; psychotic criminals - and handle them accordingly."
Hubbard's hatred of psychiatry dated back to the 1950 publication of his best-selling book "Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health." It was immediately criticized by prominent mental health professionals as a worthless form of psychotherapy.


Hubbard used his church as a pulpit to attack psychiatrists as evil people, bent on enslaving mankind through drugs, electroshock therapy and lobotomies. He convinced his followers that psychiatrists were also intent on destroying their religion.


A church spokesman said that psychiatrists are were "busy attempting to destroy Scientology because if Scientology has its voice heard, it will most assuredly remove them from the positions of power that they occupy in our society."


Scientologists call Ritalin a "chemical straitjacket" leading to delinquency, violence and even suicide. They claim that it is being used to indiscriminately drug hundreds of thousands of schoolchildren each day. Medical professionals say that the Scientology claims cannot be supported and are causing undue panic.


Known generically as methylphenidate hydrochloride, Ritalin is intended for youngsters afflicted with "attention deficit disorder," more commonly known as hyperactivity. It is a central nervous system stimulant that, paradoxically, produces calmer behavior in young people. The government classifies it as a controlled substance.


FDA statistics show that between 600,000 and 700,000 people (70 percent of them children or adolescents) are being treated with Ritalin. Between 1980 and 1987, the latest period for which statistics are available, the FDA received 492 complaints of serious problems resulting from the drug. The agency said this level number of complaints indicates the drug is safe.


Medical experts agree that some doctors may be too quick to prescribe Ritalin as the sole treatment for problems that warrant a more moderate or creative approach. But, they add, the drug itself is not to blame.


Scientologists have waged their war against Ritalin and psychiatry through the Citizens Commission on Human Rights, a Los Angeles-based non-profit organization formed by the church in 1969 to investigate mental health abuses.


Its members often wear shirts reading "Psychiatry Kills" and "Psychbusters." They have recently broadened their campaign against psychiatric drugs to include Prozac, the nation's top selling anti-depressant, with 1989 sales estimated at $350 million.


Throughout the world, the commission has consistently fought against electroshock therapy and lobotomies, practices that Scientologists believe are barbarous and should be banned.
In the United States, the commission has encouraged parents to file lawsuits against doctors who have prescribed Ritalin to their children and then has provided nationwide publicity for the suits.


The commission's president is veteran Scientologist Dennis Clarke. Although he is not a doctor, Clarke has positioned himself as the country's most quoted Ritalin expert. In public appearances, Clarke cites a litany of alarming statistics, some of which are exaggerated, unsubstantiated or impossible to verify.


Some medical experts agree that the use of Ritalin in the schools has grown dramatically over the last two decades, but not to the level claimed by Clarke.


For example, Clarke has maintained that in Minneapolis, 20 percent of children under 10 attending mostly white schools in 1987 were on Ritalin and the percentage was double that in predominantly black schools.


"If they are saying that is the statistic in Minneapolis, they are lying," said Vi Blosberg, manager of health services in the 39,000-student district. She said that fewer than 1 percent of students districtwide were taking Ritalin or other drugs used to control hyperactivity during the year in question.


Using its statistics, the Citizens Commission in late 1987 lobbied the congressional Republican Study Committee to push Congress for an investigation of Ritalin.
Its campaign attracted the attention of Rep. Cass Ballenger, R-N.C., who is on the House Education and Labor Committee.


Ballenger's legislative director, Ashley McArthur, said that she met with the Citizens Commission because the statistics about Ritalin abuse "caught our attention." She said that Ballenger and 11 congressional colleagues sent letters to four federal agencies, including the FDA, requesting reports on Ritalin usage and safety.


McArthur said she later learned that Scientologists were behind the Citizens Commission and that some of the information they provided did not "add up."


"Once we knew their whole organization was run by Scientologists, it put a whole different perspective on it," McArthur said. "I think they'll try to use any group they can."
A recent Scientology publication said that the anti-Ritalin effort was "one of [the commission's] major campaigns in the 1980s."


"Hundreds of newspaper articles and countless hours of radio and television shows on this issue resulted in thousands of parents around the world contacting [the commission] to learn more about the damage psychiatrists are creating on today's children," the article stated.


"The campaign against Ritalin brought wide acceptance of the fact that [the commission] and the Scientologists are the ones effectively doing something about the problems of psychiatric drugging," the publication added.

Feud With IRS

Neither Side Blinks - Yet

Among its many adversaries, the Church of Scientology's longest-running feud has been with the Internal Revenue Service. So far, neither combatant has blinked. Over the past three decades, the IRS has revoked the tax-exempt status of various Scientology organizations, accusing them of operating in a commercial manner and of financially benefiting private individuals. From the late 1960s through mid-1970s, IRS agents classified Scientology as a "tax resister" and "subversive," a characterization later deemed improper by a judge.


In 1984, the IRS's Los Angeles office launched a far-ranging criminal investigation into allegations by high-level Scientology defectors that the movement's founder, L. Ron Hubbard, had skimmed millions of dollars from the church.


The probe was dropped after Hubbard's death in 1986. A Justice Department source told The Times that, with the primary target gone, the point was moot. But church executives say the IRS had no case because the allegations were untrue.


Scientology, for its part, has brought numerous lawsuits against the IRS, accusing the agency of everything from harassment to illegally withholding public records. In the 1970s, overzealous Scientologists went so far as to bug an IRS office in Washington, D.C. - a crime that led to their imprisonment.


More recently, through a group called the National Coalition of IRS Whistleblowers, Scientologists have embarrassed the very branch within the agency that initiated the criminal investigation of Hubbard.


The coalition, founded in the mid-1980s by the Church of Scientology's Freedom magazine, helped fuel a 1989 congressional inquiry into alleged wrongdoing by the former chief of the IRS's Criminal Investigations Division in Los Angeles and other agency officials.


Based on public records and leaked IRS memos, the coalition disclosed that the former Los Angeles supervisor and several colleagues bought peoperty from an El Monte firm being audited by the IRS. Soon after, the audit was dropped with a finding that the firm owed no money. The supervisor has denied acting improperly.


The whistle-blowers coalition, whose members also include past and present IRS employees, provided the information to a House subcommittee, which was investigating the IRS at the time. The allegations received nationwide exposure during later hearings by the subcommittee, prompting a promise from IRS Commissioner Fred T. Goldberg, Jr. to toughen ethical standards in the agency.


The coalition's spokeswoman, Scientologist Lisa Lashaway, also appeared on NBC's "Today" show with a subcommittee member, where the two criticized the conduct of the IRS unit.


Although Scientologists do much of the legwork for the coalition, its president and chief point man is retired IRS agent Paul Des Fosses, a non-Scientologist who left the IRS in 1984 after a stormy relationship with the agency.


"They've given us a lot of support," DesFosses said of the Scientologists in a recent interview. "That's understandable because people who are under attack by the IRS are suddenly very concerned with IRS abuse."


Despite his close working relationship with Scientology, DesFosses said church members never told him that Hubbard was under criminal investigation by the IRS when they offered to organize and assist his whistle-blowers group.


"No, I wasn't aware of it," DesFosses said when informed by The Times. "I would be very surprised to learn that."


(Ed Note: In late 1993, the IRS exonerated many of the Scientology Organizations with which it had been feuding for years, even some in which the court system, on whose docket the cases were already placed, later agreed that the IRS' position was correct.
-ROBERT W. WELKOS and JOEL SAPPELL

Squirrels...
When The Doctrine Leaves Scientology

By Robert W. Welkos
and Joel Sappell
(c) 1990, Los Angeles Times


The Church of Scientology hates "squirrels."


That is the scornful word L. Ron Hubbard used to describe non-church members who offer his teachings, sometimes at cut-rate prices. Most are ex-Scientologists who say that they believe in Hubbard's gospel but left the church because its hierarchy was too oppressive.
"We call them squirrels," Hubbard once wrote, "because they are so nutty."


Hubbard contended that only church members are were qualified to administer his self-improvement-type courses. Outsiders, he said, inevitably misapply misapplied the teachings, wreaking spiritual harm on their subjects.


But those who have launched "independent" Scientology-style centers say that Hubbard concocted this as an excuse to eliminate competition so he could charge exorbitant prices for his courses.


As far back as 1965, Hubbard demonstrated his disdain for breakaway groups, ordering his followers to "tear up" the meetings of one such organization and "harass these persons in any possible way."


The intolerance still exists.


In 1988, the California Association of Dianetic Auditors - the oldest Scientology splinter group in existence - said that it uncovered a scheme by more than 100 Scientologists to secretly infiltrate the association and seize control of its board of directors.


The association's then-vice president, Jana Moreillon, said that she discovered the infiltration after scanning some Scientology publications. There, she found the names of many of her group's newest members listed among Scientologists who had just completed church training.


Moreillon said the association eventually purged or denied membership to 116 suspected Scientologists.


In recent years, a shadowy group of church members dubbed the "Minutemen" crashed meetings of independent Scientologists. They heckled speakers, screamed obscenities and threw eggs. Los Angeles police officers had to be summoned by the owner of a Chinatown restaurant to evict militant Scientologists who disrupted a fund-raising dinner held there by breakaway church members.


The church has denied any direct involvement in the raids. But a former top Scientology official said in a recent court declaration that the harassment campaign was ordered by church executives.

The 'Org Board'...
Hubbard's Plan For Improving On
'80Trillion Years' Of Management

By Robert W. Welkos and Joel Sappell
(c) 1990, Los Angeles Times


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


Used also by the Church of Scientology, the "Org Board" divides an organization into seven divisions - executive, personnel, sales, finance, training, marketing and qualifications. Each division's duties are spelled out, along with the basis for evaluating employee performance.
In describing the Org Board's virtues, Scientology consultants omit Hubbard's colorful account of its origins - an account reminiscent of one of his science fiction tales.


During a 1965 lecture to Scientologists in England, Hubbard said that his board is a refined version of one that was used for "80 trillion years" by an "old galactic civilization."
Hubbard said that the civilization died (he did not say when) because its organizational board lacked one division that he incorporated into his modern-day version.
Declared Hubbard: "We don't want these temporary fly-by-night affairs!"

Escalante...
Foundation Funds Assist
Celebrated School Teacher


By Robert W. Welkos and Joel Sappell
(c) 1990, Los Angeles Times


LOS ANGELES - The Scientology movement's Foundation for Advancements in Science and Education has befriended one of America's most celebrated teachers, Jaime Escalante of Garfield High School.


Escalante is the East Los Angeles teacher profiled in the hit 1988 film "Stand and Deliver," which chronicled his success in teaching advanced calculus to barrio students.


During the last few years, the foundation has provided Escalante with tens of thousands of dollars for computers, audiovisual aids, tutors and scholarships. In addition, the foundation has solicited contributions from major corporations to help Escalante's Garfield High mathematics program grow in size and sophistication.


In fact, the foundation has been Escalante's primary benefactor.


He is now teaming up with the foundation to develop a series of 12 educational videos for distribution by the Public Broadcasting System. Called "Futures," the series is intended to motivate students by showing them the relevancy of math in the workplace. The foundation's president will be the executive producer, while Escalante will be host of the series.


Escalante says he was unaware of the foundation's links to Scientology. "No, no," he said, "they [foundation officials] never mentioned that name." But, he added, it makes no difference.


"From my point of view," he said, "I really don't mind what they are. The only thing I care about is that they help my students, my kids. That's my main goal."


The foundation, for its part, has not been reticent about publicizing its support of Escalante. Its promotional literature regularly includes photographs of Escalante in his classroom or standing side-by-side with beaming foundation executives.

Attack: Scientology Takes Offensive
Against An Array Of Suspected Foes

By Joel Sappell and
Robert W. Welkos
(c) 1990, Los Angeles Times

"Never treat a war like a skirmish. Treat all skirmishes like wars."
- L. Ron Hubbard

LOS ANGELES - The Church of Scientology does not turn the other cheek.

Ministers mingle with private detectives. "Sacred scriptures" counsel the virtues of combativeness. Parishioners double as paralegals for litigious church attorneys.
Consider the passage that a prominent Scientology minister selected from the religion's scriptures, authored by the late L. Ron Hubbard, to inspire the faithful during a gala church event.

"People attack Scientology," the minister quoted Hubbard as saying. "I never forget it; always even the score."

The crowd cheered.

As far back as 1959, Hubbard warned that illness and even death can befall those seeking to impede Scientology, known within the church as "suppressive persons."

"Literally, it kills them," Hubbard wrote, "and if you don't believe me I can show you the long death list."

He told the story of an electrician who bilked the organization. "Within a few weeks," Hubbard said, "he contracted TB."

Scientology seems committed not only to fighting back, but to chilling potential opposition. For years, the church has been accused of employing psychological warfare, dirty tricks and harassment-by-lawsuit to silence its adversaries.

The church has spent millions to investigate and sue writers, government officials, disaffected ex-members and others loosely defined as "enemies."

Teams of private detectives have been dispatched to the far corners of the world to spy on critics and rummage through their personal lives - and trash cans - for information to discredit them.

During one investigation, headed by a former Los Angeles police sergeant, the church paid tens of thousands of dollars to reputed organized crime figures and con men for information linking a leading church opponent to a crime that it turned out he did not commit.

Early last year, an American Scientologist was arrested in Spain for possessing dossiers containing confidential information on a member of Parliament and a Madrid judge who oversaw a fraud and tax evasion probe of the church. The dossiers included personal bank records and family photographs, according to press accounts.

Before a British author's critical biography of Hubbard was even released two years ago in Europe, the church had him and his publisher tied up in a London court for alleged copyright infringement. The writer speculated that Scientology sympathizers had somehow managed to obtain pre-publication proofs of the book.

Scientology spokesmen insist that the organization is doing nothing illegal or unethical, and is merely exercising its constitutional rights with vigor.

They argue that Scientology has been targeted by hostile government and private forces - including the Internal Revenue Service, the FBI, the press, psychiatrists and unscrupulous attorneys - that have persecuted the church since its founding three decades ago.

As a matter of self-preservation, lamented Scientology attorney Earle C. Cooley, the church has been forced to fight back and then has been unfairly chastised for its aggressiveness.
"When we were attacked at Pearl Harbor we didn't just sit back and defend there," Cooley declared. "We tried to get out on the offensive as quickly as possible. ... To sit back and ward off the blows is ridiculous."

Underlying the church's aggressive response to criticism is a belief that anyone who attacks Scientology is a criminal of some sort. "We do not find critics of Scientology who do not have criminal pasts," Hubbard wrote back in 1967. "Over and over we prove this." When Scientology takes the offensive, L. Ron Hubbard's writings provide the inspiration. Here is a sampling of what Hubbard wrote:

"The purpose of the [lawsuit] is to harass and discourage rather than win."

"If attacked on some vulnerable point by anyone or anything or any organization, always find or manufacture enough threat against them to cause them to sue for peace.... Don't ever defend. Always attack."

"We do not want Scientology to be reported in the press, anywhere else than on the religious pages of newspapers.... Therefore, we should be very alert to sue for slander at the slightest chance so as to discourage the public presses from mentioning Scientology."

"NEVER agree to an investigation of Scientology. Only agree to an investigation of the attackers. ... Start feeding lurid, blood, sex crime, actual evidence on the attack to the press. Don't ever tamely submit to an investigation of us. Make it rough, rough on attackers all the way."

Obedience to these rules is not discretionary. They are scripture and, as such, have guided a succession of church leaders in their responses to perceived attacks.

Ironically, Hubbard's doctrinal dictums have often served only to escalate conflicts and reinforce the cultish image that the church has been trying to shake.

In the early 1970s, British lawmaker Sir John Foster offered a seemingly timeless observation on Scientology in a report to his government.

He wrote that "anyone whose attitude is such as Mr. Hubbard displays in his writings cannot be too surprised if the world treats him with suspicion rather than affection."

Defeating its antagonists is considered so vital to the religion's survival that the church has a unit whose mandate is to bring "hostile philosophies or societies into a state of complete compliance with the goals of Scientology."

Called the Office of Special Affairs, its duties include developing legal strategy and countering outside threats.

Its predecessor was the Guardian Office, whose members became so overzealous that Hubbard's wife and 10 other Scientologists were jailed for bugging and burglarizing U.S. government agencies in the 1970s.

Now, Scientology spokesmen say, attorneys are hired to handle conflicts with church adversaries to ensure that history does not repeat itself. The attorneys, they say, employ private detectives to help prepare court cases - a role that, in the past, would have been filled by Scientologists from the Guardian Office.

But some former Scientologists contend that the private detectives have simply replaced church members as agents of intimidation. The detectives are especially valued because they insulate the church from deceptive and potentially embarrassing investigative tactics that the church in fact endorses, according to this view.

One of the first private detectives hired by the church was Richard Bast of Washington, D.C. In 1980, he investigated the sex life of U.S. District Judge James Richey, who was presiding over the criminal trial of Hubbard's wife and the 10 other Scientologists. Richey had issued rulings unfavorable to them.

Bast's investigators found a prostitute at the Brentwood Holiday Inn in Los Angeles who claimed that Richey had purchased her services while staying at the hotel during trips to Los Angeles. Bast's men gave her a lie detector test and videotaped her account.

That and other information obtained by Bast's investigators was leaked to columnist Jack Anderson, and appeared in newspapers across the country. Soon after, Richey resigned from the case, citing health reasons.

In 1982, Bast surfaced again, this time in Clearwater, Fla., where the church's secretive methods of operating had stirred community anxiety.

Bast's detectives, posing as emissaries of a wealthy European industrialist, lured some of the community's most prominent businessmen aboard a luxurious yacht. Their pitch: the industrialist wanted to invest $100 million in Clearwater's decaying downtown.

But there was a catch, recalled developer Alan Bomstein, one of the businessmen being wooed. The emissaries said that their boss was dismayed by the conflict between Clearwater and Scientology, and wanted the businessmen to help quash a public inquiry into the church's activities.

When the businessmen refused, Bomstein said, the emissaries vanished. Two years later, Bast revealed the deception in a court declaration. He said the undercover operation was necessary to learn whether Clearwater's elite were conspiring to run the church out of town.

More recently, Scientology investigations have been run by former Los Angeles Police Department sergeant Eugene Ingram, who was fired by the department in 1981 for allegedly running a house of prostitution and alerting a drug dealer of a planned raid (In a later jury trial, Ingram was acquitted of all criminal charges).

When he needs help, Ingram has sometimes turned to former LAPD colleagues. Ex-officer Al Bei, for example, played a key role in a 1984 investigation of David Mayo, an influential Scientology defector who had opened a rival church near Santa Barbara. Scientologists believed that Mayo was using stolen Hubbard teachings.

Bei and other investigators questioned local businessmen, handing out business cards that said, "Special Agent, Task Force on White Collar Crime."

Their questions suggested - falsely - that Mayo was linked to international terrorism and drug smuggling, according to court records. At a local bank, Bei tried without success to obtain Mayo's banking records and implied that Mayo was engaged in money laundering, an executive of the bank said.

The investigators rented an office directly above Mayo's facility and leaned from the windows to photograph everyone who entered.

Mayo eventually obtained a court order barring Ingram Investigations and church members from going near Mayo or his facility. The judge said the investigation amounted to "harassment."

On another occasion, Bei surfaced on a quiet residential street in Burbank, Calif, where he questioned neighbors of two highly critical former Scientologists, Fred and Valerie Stansfield. The Stansfields had established a competing center in their home to provide Scientology courses.

One of the neighbors said in a declaration that Bei attempted to "slander" the Stansfields with such questions as: "Did you know that Valerie told someone that she had pinworms two years ago?"

Los Angeles police officer Philip Rodriguez is another who has assisted Ingram in Scientology investigations.

In late 1984, he provided Ingram with a letter on plain stationery saying that Ingram was authorized to covertly videotape a hostile former member suspected by church authorities of plotting illegal acts against the church.

Although the letter was written without official police department approval, Rodriguez's action lent an air of legitimacy to the investigation. In fact, when church officials disclosed its results, they described the operation as "LAPD sanctioned" - a characterization that Police Chief Daryl F. Gates angrily disputed.

Rodriguez was suspended for six months for his role in the affair.

And when the clandestine videotapes were introduced in an Oregon court to discredit testimony by the former member, the presiding judge said: "I think they are devastating against the church. ... It [the investigation] borders on entrapment more than it does on anything else."

Another former LAPD officer, Charles Stapleton, worked part time for Ingram while teaching law at Los Angeles City College.

"Gene is a very thorough investigator," Stapleton said in an interview. "He is determined to do the finest job he possibly can and he will employ whatever methods or tactics are necessary to do that job."

Stapleton said he "bailed out" after Ingram asked him to tap telephones.

"Who's going to know?" he quoted Ingram as saying.
"I will know," Stapleton said he replied.
"I was told that if I didn't want to do it, he knew somebody who would," Stapleton said, adding that he did not know whether any telephones had, in fact, been monitored.

Ingram denied ever asking Stapleton to tap telephones. "I've never done it and I've never asked anyone to do it," Ingram said. "It's just not worth it. It's a crime. You're going to get caught, so why do it?"

Ingram also said that he had not harassed anyone during his probes. He describes himself simply as "aggressive."

"People who claim that I have conducted an improper investigation against them probably have so many things to hide," said Ingram.

Church lawyer Cooley backed the investigator, saying: "I know of no impropriety that has ever been engaged in by Mr. Ingram or any other [private investigator] for the church. Mr. Ingram has done nothing wrong."

Last year, Ingram and his colleagues surfaced in the small town of Newkirk, Okla., to investigate city officials and the local newspaper publisher. The publisher has been crusading against a controversial Scientology-backed drug treatment program called Narconon.

At the core of the dispute is a contention by publisher Bob Lobsinger that Narconon concealed its Scientology connection when it leased an abandoned school outside town to build the "world's largest" drug rehabilitation center.

Lobsinger's weekly newspaper has written about Scientology's troubled past, and published internal documents on the drug program. In the process, he has helped rally community opposition.

Fighting back, Scientology attorneys in September mailed an "open letter" to many of Newkirk's 2,500 residents announcing that Ingram had been hired to investigate Narconon's adversaries. The letter said that "a few local individuals have sought to create intolerance by broadsiding the Churches of Scientology in stridently uncomplimentary terms."

After arriving in town, Ingram tracked down the mayor's 12-year-old son at the local public library, handed him a business card and told the boy to have his father call, Lobsinger said. "It was just a subtle bit of intimidation," he said. "It certainly did not do the mother much good. She was very unnerved."

Lobsinger said that investigators also camped out at the local courthouse, where they searched public records for "dirt" on prominent local citizens.

"They were checking up on the banker, the president of the school board, the president of the Chamber of Commerce and, of course, the mayor and his family, and me," Lobsinger said.

Newkirk Mayor Garry Bilger, who opposed the drug treatment program, said that a man who he believed was a church member tried to coax him into disclosing personal information. Bilger said the man showed up without an appointment and claimed that he was helping his daughter with a report on small-town government for a class at a nearby high school.

"He wanted to interview me and take pictures around the office but I didn't allow that," the mayor recalled. "Finally, I said, 'Are you with Scientology or Narconon?' He said, 'I don't know about those people.' But he did, because he got outta there in a hurry."

Before the man left, he gave Bilger the name of his daughter. The mayor then checked with the school system and was told that no such girl was enrolled.

"They have a standard pattern," Bilger said of the Scientologists. "They try to be very aggressive. They try to intimidate. This is not the kind of atmosphere we need in the Newkirk community. ... This tells me they are far from being harmless."

Scientology critics contend that one church writing, above all others, has guided the organization and its operatives when they fight back. It is called the Fair Game Law.

Written by Hubbard in the mid-1960s, it states that anyone who impedes Scientology is "fair game" and can "be deprived of property or injured by any means by any Scientologist without any discipline of the Scientologist. May be tricked, sued or lied to or destroyed."

Church spokesmen maintain that Hubbard rescinded the policy three years after it was written because its meaning had been twisted. What Hubbard actually meant, according to the spokesmen, was that Scientology would not protect ex-members from people in the outside world who try tried to trick, sue or destroy them.

But various judges and juries have concluded that while the actual labeling of persons as "fair game" was abandoned, the harassment continued unabated.

For example, a Los Angeles jury in 1986 said that Scientologists had employed fair game tactics against disaffected member Larry Wollersheim, driving him to the brink of financial and mental collapse. He was awarded $30 million. In July, the state Court of Appeal reduced the amount to $2.5 million but refused to overturn the case.

Wrote Justice Earl Johnson Jr.: "Scientology leaders made the deliberate decision to ruin Wollersheim economically and possibly psychologically. ... Such conduct is too outrageous to be protected under the Constitution and too unworthy to be privileged under the law of torts."

In a recent lawsuit, former Scientology attorney Joseph Yanny alleged that the church and its agents had implemented or plotted a broad array of fair-game measures against him and other critics, including intensive surveillance and dirty tricks.

Earlier this year, a Los Angeles County Superior Court jury awarded Yanny $154,000 in legal fees that he said the church had refused to pay.

Among other things, Yanny said in his lawsuit that he attended a 1987 meeting at which top church officials and three private detectives discussed blackmailing Los Angeles attorney Charles O'Reilly, who won the multimillion-dollar jury award for Wollersheim.

According to Yanny, the plan was to steal O'Reilly's medical records from the Betty Ford Clinic near Palm Springs, then exchange them for a promise from O'Reilly that he would "ease off" during the appeal process.

Yanny, who later had a bitter break with Scientology, said he objected and the idea was dropped. The church denies such a discussion ever took place.

"There is not a scintilla of independent evidence that Yanny's counsel was ever sought for any illegal or fraudulent purpose," church attorneys argued in court papers.

Numerous other church detractors have said in court documents and interviews that they, too, were victims of fair game tactics even after the policy supposedly was abandoned.

John G. Clark, an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, said he once criticized the church during testimony before the Vermont Legislature. Scientology "agents" retaliated, Clark alleged in a 1985 lawsuit, by trying to destroy his reputation and career.

He said in the lawsuit that they filed groundless complaints against him with government agencies, posed as clients to infiltrate his office, dug through his trash, implied that he slept with female patients and offered a $25,000 reward for information that would put him in jail.
"My sin," Clark said in an interview, "was publicly saying this is a dangerous and harmful cult. They did a good job of showing I'm right."

Scientologists, for their part, have described Clark as a "professional deprogrammer," who in court cases has diagnosed members of religious sects as mentally ill without conducting direct examinations of them. They have branded his professional work as fraudulent and his psychiatric theories as "childish and nonsensical."

In the words of one Scientology spokesman: "It's a crime that he's walking on the street right now."

In 1988, the church paid Clark an undisclosed sum to drop his lawsuit. In exchange for the money, Clark agreed never again to publicly criticize Scientology.

On the opposite coast, psychiatrist Louis "Jolly" West, who formerly directed the UCLA's Neuropsychiatric Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles, said that he also has had felt the wrath of Scientology.

West, an expert on thought-control techniques, said his problems began in 1980 after he published a psychiatric textbook that called Scientology a cult.

West said that Scientology attempted to get him fired by writing letters to university officials suggesting that he is was a CIA-backed fascist who has had advocated genocide and castration of minorities to curb crime.

He said that Scientologists once managed to get inside a downtown Los Angeles banquet room before guests arrived for a dinner celebrating the Neuropsychiatric Institute's 25th anniversary. On each plate, West said, was placed "an obscenely vicious diatribe" against him and the institute -neatly tied with a pink ribbon.

So consumed are some Scientologists by their zeal to punish foes that they have violated the confidentiality of one of the religion's most sacred practices, according to a number of former members.

These former members accuse others in the church of culling confessional folders for information that can be used to embarrass, discredit or blackmail hostile defectors -a practice once called "repugnant and outrageous" by a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge. Some of these former members say they themselves took part in the practice.

The confidential folders contain the parishioners' most intimate secrets, disclosed during one-on-one counseling sessions that are supposed to help devotees unburden their spirits. The church retains the folders even after a member leaves.

Last year, former church attorney Yanny said in a sworn declaration that he was fed information from confessional folders to help him question former members during pretrial proceedings. Yanny said he complained but was informed by two Scientology executives that it was "standard practice."

Church executives have steadfastly denied that the confidentiality of the folders has been breached. They maintain that "auditors" -Scientologists who counsel other members -must abide by a code of conduct in which they promise never to divulge secrets revealed to them "for punishment or personal gain."

"And that trust," the code states, "is sacred and never to be betrayed."

Often, those who buck the church say their lives are suddenly troubled by unexplained and untraceable events, ranging from hang-up telephone calls to the mysterious deaths of pets.
Los Angeles attorney Leta Schlosser, for one, said someone developed "an unusual interest" in her car trunk while she was part of the legal team in the Wollersheim suit against Scientology. She said it was broken into at least seven times.

She said her co-counsel, O'Reilly, discovered a tape recorder, wired to his telephone line, hidden beneath some bushes outside his home.

Then there is the British author, Russell Miller. After his biography of Hubbard was published, an anonymous caller to police implicated him in the unsolved ax-slaying of a South London private eye.

Miller was interrogated by two detectives, who concluded that he was innocent. Det. Sgt. Malcolm Davidson of Scotland Yard told the Los Angeles Times that the caller "caused us to waste a lot of time investigating" and "caused Mr. Miller some embarrassment."

There is no evidence that ties the church to any of these incidents, and Scientology officials deny involvement in clandestine harassment or illegal activities. They suggest that church foes may themselves be responsible as part of an effort to discredit Scientology.

Today, the Scientology movement is engaged in a sweeping effort to gain influence across a broad swath of society, from schools to businesses, in hopes of winning converts and creating a hospitable environment for church expansion.

And Hubbard's followers apparently consider his theology of combat an important component.

In 1987, they elevated to high doctrine a warning he wrote two decades ago in a Scientology newspaper, addressed to "people who seek to stop us."

"If you oppose Scientology we promptly look you up - and will find and expose - your crimes," he wrote. "If you leave us alone we will leave you alone. It's very simple. Even a fool can grasp that.

"And don't underrate our ability to carry it out. - Those who try to make life difficult for us are at once at risk."

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