IN THE shimmering heat of the Southern Californian desert, a movie crew huddled around their camera. The director was slumped in his canvas-backed chair, his belly bulging out of the trousers held up by a single suspender slung across his shoulder. His long red hair, tinged with grey, was sticking out from under the cowboy hat that shaded his face from the sun. Beside him was a slim youth who was acting as cameraman for the scene which was about to be shot. 'You G-d-d--n, son of bitch,' yelled the director. 'More blood, you f-----g fool! Make it more gory!' Makeup assistant Dell Hartwell, a middle-aged woman who had followed her daughter into Scientology, obliged with more blood from the gallons they had made up by mixing Karo syrup and red food colouring. But it was impossible. The hot sun was drying the glutinous mixture so quickly that the actors' clothes were sticking firmly to their bodies. Once the director had ordered so much that the actors' clothes had literally to be cut off. But you didn't argue with the director. Especially when he was Lafayette Ron Hubbard. They were filming a movie called 'The Unfathomable Man'. It was an appropriate title for Hubbard himself, Mrs Hartwell mused: the founder of a religion who spoke the filthiest language she had heard, and she considered herself broad-minded.
The young cameraman moved quietly about, doing the director's bidding. He had just arrived the month before (in February 1978) and was obviously totally devoted to Ron. He was watching and learning - learning that when Ron wanted something, he shouted. If he didn't get it right away he shouted harder. David Miscavige was barely twenty and was learning by example that if you wanted to get something done you screamed and then it usually *did* get done. He was one of the batch of youngsters from the Commodore's Messenger
Organization who had grown up aboard the *Apollo* and come ashore in Florida. There were others: the young girls who followed Hubbard everywhere, lighting the cigarette that was never out of his hand and even catching the ash when he dropped it.
Hubbard was always dressed in the same outfit - the baggy pants, the cowboy hat and a bandana around his neck - but his clothes were washed and washed and washed again in a special soap. Ron was a stickler for ultra cleanliness and if the set was not clean when he walked on at 8 p.m. then there would be another screaming session,
Day after day they worked on the film, and others, sometimes all through the night with scarcely a break. As often as not the films were never shown. Someone would screw something up and Ron would order the film shelved. Mrs Hartwell and her husband didn't last long. But others did. Miscavige, for instance, who went from strength to strength under the desert sun, as did several of the 'Young Turks' who formed the charmed circle around the leader. Those were energetic times. Hubbard was working hard on developments to the 'tech' of Scientology with David Mayo at his right-hand by day and then turning to the films at night, when Miscavige became the king-pin.
In the autumn of 1978 two big developments took place. The 'New Era Dianetics' breakthrough occurred in September and, a month later, David Mayo was appointed to the newly-created post of Senior Case Supervisor. Mayo was Hubbard's personal auditor from the latter days on the *Apollo* on. Ron once described Mayo as 'the best C/S (case supervisor) in the world.' Eventually Mayo was to suffer a similar fate to McMaster and be expelled ignominiously in the power struggle which was to develop around Hubbard.
The second development in the autumn of 1978 was the purchase of more properties in the area. The film unit had been operating on a 140 acre ranch called Silver and had been using a nearby 10 acre ranch (Monroe) as a studio. Then in October 1978 a former golf and health resort at Gilman Hot Springs was purchased for $2.7 million in cash, along with Massacre Canyon Inn. Gilman was on Route 79, six miles south of Route 10 and about 100 miles south-east of Los Angeles. Hubbard himself lived in nearby Hemet from April 1979 and had a cancer operation on the front of his head shortly after moving there. Kima Douglas, one of his personal physicians, was with him and Mayo arrived to administer 'assists' to the Scientology guru. All mail to the personnel living in these Southern California complexes was channelled through the 'Flag Land Base' at Clearwater, creating a security screen around Hubbard's exact whereabouts. There were
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then four main centres of Scientology: Saint Hill in Sussex, England, which was barred to Hubbard and other leading Scientologists because of the British Government ban; Clearwater, the Flag Land Base at which many of the higher level courses were available; Los Angeles where the Guardians had their headquarters and where the Church of Scientology had acquired the former Mt. Sinai/Cedars of Lebanon Hospital, a huge blue building at 4833 Fountain Avenue, plus an up-market Celebrity Center to cater for the show-biz personalities who expressed an interest in taking Scientology courses. Finally, there was the enclave in Southern California, the ranches and the houses among which Hubbard moved like a dice beneath a series of upturned cups, it being a matter of guesswork where to find the elusive Commodore of the land-locked fleet.
The security became increasingly necessary as the case against the eleven Guardians was built. In May 1979 the Watchdog Committee was formed with David Miscavige assuming a prominent role despite his tender years and junior rank in the hierarchy of Scientology and the Sea Org. In July, Norman Starkey, a South African who had served his apprenticeship on the *Apollo* in the CMO, announced that the CMO was not a management unit but had the authority to investigate, bypass and 'handle' any area of international management. The Sea Org monsters were beginning to stir and the days of the Guardians were drawing to a close. On 1 September the Watchdog Committee, composed entirely of young CMO types, announced that it had taken over senior management of the church. The power had moved to Southern California and was soon to pass into hidden hands.
In December 1979, the Guardians were sentenced. In January 1980 Ron Hubbard was indicted by the Grand Jury in Tampa, Florida, and other indictments were pending elsewhere throughout the United States, including a lawsuit by a former CMO member, Tonja, who alleged she had been made into Hubbard's serf. The escape plan was sprung. Hubbard hurriedly left Hemet with Pat and Annie Broeker to begin his life as a recluse. Officially the news was that he had gone away to write the sequel to the magnum opus *Battlefield Earth*, which was already on its way to the publishers and would revive his career as a science-fiction writer. Behind the scenes it was perfectly clear that Hubbard was fleeing the courts and what they could do to him in the wake of the revelations from the Guardians' Office documents.
Two other matters were on Hubbard's mind - money and mortality. He was approaching the lifespan of three score years and ten and had
not been in the best of health in the late seventies. 'Dropping the body' - in org-speak a term for death - might not be far away. Taking the tenets of Scientology at their face value, this would entail coming back again in a future life and thus it was logical that Hubbard would want to enjoy a leading role within the organization he had rounded when he came back from the dead. A giant among thetans could not be expected to work his way up, so there were to be trust funds set up so that Ron could again inherit his kingdom. His treasure on earth was assessed according to the use which the Church of Scientology had made of trademarks, copyrights and so forth. Remember that every little piece of paper which became a HCOB, every taped lecture, every slogan across the wall of an org building, all had the tiny subscript 'Copyright L. Ron Hubbard'. Ron was owed a lot: $85 million was the agreed sum.
It is not easy to untangle the web of Church of Scientology finances. Scientology is a multi-national company for some purposes and just as opaque as any multi-national corporation to any prying eye which wishes to view a balance-sheet. It is in many countries a tax-exempt charity. Its personnel work for little or no reward and are required to maintain secrecy about org finances. Thus in the USA the IRS are extremely interested in finding out anything they can about Scientology finances and since they are one of the principal perceived enemies of Scientology every effort is made to thwart them.
The IRS hunted Scientology thoughout the seventies with the Church of Scientology proving as wily as a fox in shifting its millions around and having as many lairs.
The IRS had claimed as far back as 1972 that the Church of Scienology owed it $1 million in taxes for the years 1970-72. But testimony given in the Armstrong case in 1984 indicated that the real figure was much higher than this. In the years 1970-82 it was revealed that Hubbard had secretly diverted more than $100 million from the church into foreign bank-accounts which he controlled. Although he had supposedly cut his ties with the church on coming ashore in the mid-seventies, and received only a token consulting fee of $35,000 annually, he had actually been using 'shell' corporations to channel money to his overseas accounts. Laurel Sullivan left the Church of Scientology in 1981 after serving fifteen years, the last eight as Hubbard's personal public relations adviser. She admitted that from 1972-81 she was in charge of a secret operation to transfer money from church funds to Hubbard through a 'corporate shell', the Religious Research Foundation (RRF), incorporated in Liberia with
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accounts in banks in Lichtenstein and Luxemburg. When she left Scientology in 1981, said Mrs Sullivan, RRF's assets were between $200 million and $300 million, and at one point in the 1970s they totalled $330 million.
Kima Douglas, Hubbard's personal medical officer until she left Scientology in 1980, testified that she had helped establish fourteen or fifteen foundations, including the RRF, and had couriered 'hundreds of thousands of dollars out of the United States' in violation of Federal laws requiring cash amounts of over $5,000 to be disclosed to customs officials.
Hubbard's philosophy on money was defined by him in Policy Letters of 27 November and 3 December 1971. Exhorting his orgs to do better and make bigger profits, Hubbard wrote: 'Basically *money* is an idea backed by confidence...remember, *money* represents *things*. It is a substitute for goods and services. What governments, people and even our orgs can't get understood is that NO PRODUCTION = No Money...as it exists at this writing; the only real crime in the West is for a group to be without money. That finishes it. But with enough money it can defend itself and expand. Yet if you borrow money you become the property of bankers. If you make money you become the target of tax collectors.'
As is clear from his writings elsewhere, Hubbard was paranoiac about both bankers and the taxmen of the IRS.
Because the Church of Scientology does not publish accounts and does not officially acknowledge those foreign accounts which are 'Mr Hubbard's private affair', it is impossible to tell how much is still in them. But one thing is certain. Church income and assets had fallen drastically by the time Hubbard disappeared in 1980. The bad publicity generated by the trial of the Guardians' Office eleven had been felt through a chilly downdraught in statistics. There was a heavy run of demands for refunds at Saint Hill. The Guardians' Office itself was in disarray and the only option facing the Church of Scientology was to close it down and announce that it had chopped off the rotten branch. But it was the roots of Scientology that were feeling the drought of money. Back in 1964 Hubbard had decreed that 25 hours of auditing should equal three months' wages. This was subsequently reduced in 1965 because it was found to be too pricey. 250 hours of auditing to go 'Clear' was considered a minimum and that meant nearly three years' wages. So prices were trimmed back. But the temptation to squeeze captive customers was too great when the financial drought hit the orgs. Based on a formula outlined by Hubbard, an
'intensive' session would cost half a month's wages. On several occasions between 1980 and 1982 an 'intensive' was costing as much as twice the monthly average wage in the USA. The immediate effect of this was felt in the Missions, franchise operations run on Scientology lines. The church was not responsible for their running costs, but the Mission holders were Scientologists who paid 10% of their income to the Church of Scientology. Their other main function was to create 'Clears'. Since the Missions were not allowed to give advanced courses they were required to push their Clears on to take further courses, or 'flow them up the Bridge' in org-speak. A drop in Mission income meant a double penalty on the church - loss of franchise income and loss of raw material from which the cream of their fees would come. Thus the scene was set for the first major development: a conference at which the Mission holders could be galvanized into action.1
What that action should be was not at all evident as Hubbard had ceased to be in regular communication with other parts of the organization. His communication lines were controlled by the Broekers who were with him in hiding and by David Miscavige who set up a unit in early 1981 known as the All Clear Unit, which was allegedly designed to work towards a situation when Hubbard 'could come back on lines', i.e., resume a high profile. He never did. It was the All Clear Unit instead which became all-powerful. In 1981 David Miscavige had begun the year as a cameraman at Gilman Hot Springs and a junior member of the Commodore's Messenger Organization. He ended it in charge of the Watchdog Committee and the All Clear Unit which he announced was now senior to CMO International. Because the actions of these committees were assumed to have the sanction of Hubbard himself, the rapid rise to power of this twenty-three-year-old was not questioned. But once he had assumed power the new supremo had to consolidate his position. Here is how he did it:
When the All Clear Unit was set up in early 1981, there were thirty-five liability suits against the Church of Scientology naming Hubbard. The Unit was small, consisting of Miscavige, Diane Voegerding, Lois Riesdorf, Gale Irwin, Norman Starkey and Terri Gamboa. Of these, Miscavige, Gale Irwin and Lois Riesdorf were also key figures in the Watchdog Committee, which included additionally Marc Yaeger, John Nelson and Diane Voegerding (the CO CMO). On 27 June, Voegerding was handed a dispatch from Miscavige requesting her to stand down as CO CMO. She complied and was replaced by her
1 *see page 99*
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sister, Gale Irwin. Then on 1 July, Miscavige called on Mary Sue Hubbard with a letter prepared by lawyers which argued that MSH's presence as the Guardians' controller implicated Hubbard in all church matters including the GO cases. She stepped down and was later removed from office, as was Jane Kember.
On 5 August 1981, a Comm Ev was convened on several leading GO officials including David Gaiman, Duke Snider, Mo Budlong and Henning Heldt. The six-strong Committee included Miscavige, Yaeger and Nelson. They were all found guilty and deposed. In September, Miscavige showed an order to Gale Irwin stating that the All Clear Unit was no longer junior to CO CMO. In December, Gale Irwin was replaced as CO CMO by John Nelson, for allegedly falsifying data sent to Hubbard in November. Having put a dozen eggs in his two baskets of All Clear and Watchdog, Miscavige was now reducing them to half a dozen eggs in one basket. That one key basket was to be the Religious Technology Center (RTC).
The RTC was to be a non-profit-making corporation based at 6517 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles. Its initial trustees were David Miscavige, David Mayo, Terri Gamboa, Lyman Spurlock, Norman Starkey, Julia Watson and Phoebe Maurer. Of these key figures, Watson, Gamboa, Spurlock, Starkey and, of course, Miscavige, were no longer on the Scientology staff. Amazingly, Miscavige had resigned his church contracts in early 1982 and had gone to head an organization called Author Services Incorporated (ASI). This was a Los Angeles based PROFIT-MAKING corporation administering the income from Hubbard's prodigious writings, both fiction and nonfiction, and acting in tandem with Bridge Publications. The anomaly was that the RTC was now to be the bastion of orthodoxy within Scientology, overseeing the 'tech' with full rights to all Hubbard's works, yet its trustees were not senior officials of the church they controlled. They were not accountable to anyone save themselves.
The most sensational fact about the RTC was not who was in it, but the document which set it up. One of the stated purposes of the RTC was to get Hubbard off the hook of legal action by individuals or the authorities. In return for the use of the trademarks and rights to the Scientology materials, the document setting up RTC, dated 16 May 1982, declares: 'RTC hereby indemnifies LRH and agrees to hold him harmless from and against all liabilities, claims and actions of any kind, and costs, including attorney's fees, which relate to the Marks or services in connection with which they are used.' This seems to put quite a large distance between Hubbard and the Church of Scientology
and, indeed, the articles of the RTC were produced in a lawsuit in Omaha to make this very point. However, what the RTC did not produce was Section 4 of the original document setting up the RTC, which granted an option to the Church of Spiritual Technology (CST) to purchase back all the trademarks and rights for the sum of $100 if it was not satisfied with the situation as managed by the RTC, and the CST (a Hubbard front) would have sole discretion and judgment in this regard. Section 4 had been omitted from the court submission. But that was the least of the omissions. The documents submitted to the court did not include the seal of the Notary Public who had supervised the RTC articles. Examination of a photocopy of the original which I have in my possession shows the Notary Public to be none other than one DAVID MISCAVIGE! The RTC documents were apparently signed on 10 May 1982 before Miscavige in the County of Los Angeles by L. Ron Hubbard. A further agreement between Hubbard and the RTC was signed on 15 June 1982 with Miscavige as Notary.
Both of Hubbard's signatures on these documents have been pronounced forgeries by handwriting experts. Irmgard Wassard, a Danish graphologist, declared: 'There is a probability amounting almost to certainty (a) that the two signatures have been made by the same person and (b) that that person is *not* identical with the person (L. Ron Hubbard)...since the doubtful signatures show a multitude of deviations from the authentic writing which are typical of forgeries.' A further opinion from another leading expert graphologist, John J. Swanson, stated: 'Using the L. Ron Hubbard signatures in Exhibit 3 as standard and the basis for comparison, it is the opinion of the examiner that the L. Ron Hubbard signatures in Exhibits 1 and 2 are not the same and were not written by the individual represented by the signatures in Exhibit 3.' (*See Appendix B*.)
In April 1984 former senior Church of Scientology official Diane Voegeding, signed an affidavit to the effect that between March 1980 and December 1981 David Miscavige did not see Hubbard but had a page of signatures in his Notary Book which he could assign to documents without Hubbard appearing before him. Since he no longer met Hubbard personally, Miscavige gave the book to Pat Broeker who would return it within a week with a page of LRH signatures entered. This procedure, Voegeding attested, had been followed through to the first months of 1983. Thus whether it was a case of forged signatures or 'blind' signatures, it would appear that it was not Hubbard who was underwriting the activities of the Broekers, Miscavige and the RTC. They were their own masters.
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It must be said that in support of the bona fides of the signatures is the Probate document of 15 May, which was accepted by the court as genuinely signed by Hubbard (*see Appendix C*). In it he says: 'I have transferred my religious trademarks to the Religious Technology Center, but I retain full ownership of any commercial application of the marks as well as full ownership of all my copyrights and patent rights, none of which have been transferred. Contrary to the uninformed allegations of the petition, my trademark transfer involved no monetary loss. Finally, I and only I sign my name on any of my accounts or contract documents, etc. There is no truth to the allegation that anyone else signs my checks or other financial documents using my name.'
So what are we to believe? Was the RTC set up invalidly in 1982 but subsequently endorsed by Hubbard.? Was the 'fudging' of who owned the trademarks after 1982 a joint ploy by the RTC and Hubbard, or had his disciples duped Hubbard into thinking he still had control? Could the disputed signatures have been executed by someone incapacitated by a stroke? Was he perhaps totally incapacitated during the years 1982-6, or, as some still believe, already dead - and he RTC acting on his behalf? Whatever the truth, the issue is now closed since in his will Hubbard left control of Scientology to the RTC anyway.
One decision which Hubbard can be assumed to have made personally was the appointment of David Mayo in April 1982 to take over the supervision of the 'tech'. He was to be the arbiter of orthodoxy and was given this responsibility for 20-25 years in a letter. The reason we can conclude that this was genuine was that Mayo was not approved of by the new cabal. His days were numbered and they were later to deny that any such communication existed. Back in November 1981 Mayo had been asked by Hubbard to 'Sec-Check' Pat Broeker. Presumably the Scientology supremo LRH wanted his sole line of communication to the outside world to be a safe one. However, the Mayo report was not entirely favourable and Broeker is accused by Mayo of having altered it and retyped it to his satisfaction. Mayo found out and complained about the lies on LRH's 'comm lines'. There followed a rumour that Mayo was plotting a takeover. This was a sure method of firing the paranoia of Hubbard when the rumour came boomeranging back to him. From that moment on, there was no one who could prevent the toppling of Mayo from power.
The move came in October 1982, six months after Mayo's elevation. He was Comm Eved along with several other senior figures whose experience of 'Standard Tech' made them threats to the new guard.
These were known as the Happy Valley Comm Evs and they effectively stilled the voices of authority who might have challenged what was being done by Miscavige and Co in the name of 'helping Ron'. (Mayo alleges that Miscavige told him that he was going to 'break him'.)
Happy Valley was far from living up to its name. It was a box canyon in the Palm Springs area surrounded by an Indian reservation on which the Church of Scientology owned a ranch. Mayo and his staff of five plus another eleven people were put on a running programme which Hubbard had developed along with the Purification Rundown to attain physical fitness. It was meant to be on a gradient with more exercise each day, but the way the programme was inflicted on Mayo and the others, Happy Valley resembled a convict camp with hard labour thrown in. In the desert heat the inmates would be required to undertake gruelling runs for up to twelve hours per day. Mayo recounts how he would sit down and the supervisor would walk towards him shouting but he would resume running just before he arrived, and simultaneously the other group would sit down, causing the guard to have to run to and fro to bully them into action. They kept up this taunting and teasing throughout their captivity.
Mayo was eventually liberated in February of the following year (1983) and declared a SP. He formed an Advanced Ability Center where he taught his own version of the 'tech' and upper thetan levels. This meant he was subject to legal and personal harassment by the Church of Scientology for using its materials. He counter-sued for an injunction to stop this and became a focus for many of the Scientologists who were still loyal to Hubbard's tech but who had left the church or were expelled in the turmoil of the years 1982-4. Mayo remains loyal to Scientology, convinced that Hubbard would not have sanctioned his demotion if he had not been fed false rumours by the Miscavige cabal.
Around the time the RTC was set up, Miscavige ordered a visible symbol of the new era to be built at the new and unofficial 'Flag' HQ in Southern California. It was a full-sized replica clipper-ship complete with sails and masts, embedded in the ground at Gilman Springs and surrounded by palm trees and a swimming-pool. The cost was $565,000 and the labour was supplied by the Sea Org, who, it has to be said, have made a magnificent job of finishing the ship.
To take a further grip on the finances of Scientology, in June 1982 the Watchdog Committee set up an organization to be known as the International Finance Police. One cannot but have sympathy with the bewildered IRS officials who were berated by the Church of Scientology
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for persecuting a religion and who were then confronted with this 'religion' setting up Finance Police. The overlord of Scientology's money was Wendell Reynolds who was given the title 'Dictator'. It was no joke. The IFP were determined to put the squeeze on the Missions. But to launch this blitzkrieg, Miscavige orchestrated a meeting in San Francisco for 17 October which was to prove momentous in the history of Scientology. It was the 1982 Mission Holders' Conference, referred to earlier.
The transcript of that meeting makes interesting reading. Even more interesting are the differences between the official transcript circulated to the orgs after the conference and the actual words spoken. The meeting opened with a softening-up session explaining the new structure with the RTC as top dog and went on to deal with the dangerous heresies ('out-tech' and 'squirrelling') which were creeping in and had to be eradicated. In brutal manner the Mission holders were told by a succession of RTC speakers, including Miscavige, that if they didn't do what they were told then they would be expelled, forbidden to use Scientology, declared Suppressive, even jailed. Verbal abuse, flash-bulbing (intimidation by photographing a person repeatedly with flash), threats, humiliation - it's all there. Here are a few choice extracts:
LARRY HELLER (*Church of Scientology attorney*): My law firm has been instructed to make sure that if there is in fact an unauthorized use of any of these trademarks, if it is determined that the mark was not used in accordance with source that we enforce the RTC's rights which I've just described to you throughout the judicial procedure to get a superior court of US Court judgment and then enforce that judgment through contempt and criminal proceedings.
Commander DAVID MISCAVIGE: Earlier this evening both Kingsley Wimbush and Dean Stokes were here. They have both now been declared and we are pursuing criminal charges against them. They have been delivering their own squirrel tech while calling it Scientology. Kingsley Wimbush's 'dinging process' is complete squirrel. You won't find it in any tech, yet he has been calling it Scientology. That's a violation of trademark laws and he now faces some serious charges for this crime. This sort of activity is NOT going to go on any more, [At this point Wimbush's wife who was unaware that he had been 'bounced' on his way to the
meeting, got up to leave and the tape of the proceedings records Miscavige hissing, 'Declare her!']
Commander STEVE MARLOWE (*Inspector General from the RTC*): The fact of the matter is that you have a new breed of management in the church. They're tough. They're ruthless. They are 'on source'. They don't get muscled around by crazy loonies, they don't get muscled around by people who are squirrelling, none of that. On this team you're playing with the winning team, totally and utterly.
Commander NORMAN STARKEY (*of a defector*): Where is he now? He was working for Flynn! He will never, never, I promise you, for any life-time get any auditing or ever have a chance to get out of his trap. And those of you who are on OT III know what that means. That means dying and dying and dying and dying again. Forever, for eternity...we will take action in the defence of our religion. If anybody's going to try to stop that and if I didn't stop them from trying to stop it, it would be an overt that I would be committing.
Commander RAY MITHOFF: For someone who's out there squirrelling and trying to get other people's attention off Scientology, just to fatten their own pocket or whatever. That person's future is black...I can't even find the words to describe how black that person's future is. In fact, it is almost as black as the future of an FBI agent.
Commander/Dictator WENDELL REYNOLDS then mounted the rostrum and made the audience there and then write down all their O/Ws (overts and withholds, or sins to use religious terminology). 'If you don't come clean and I find out something later on, that P/L is enforced. You are guilty of anything you didn't report on. Right per that P/L. We talk the same language?'
The purpose of the meeting was (1) to force the Missions to accept the new RTC structure; (2) to frighten potential 'squirrels' into conformity; (3) to stress that all Missions must make sure their clients were 'flowed up the Bridge' and that they met higher statistical targets. To achieve this last aim, targets were imposed there and then. But in the opening address when the Church of Scientology attorney Larry Heller was speaking, significant changes were made in the transcript later circulated to the orgs. I have bracketed in caps after the 'official' version the words actually used:
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'All of the Scientology/Dianetic trademarks were previously owned (ARE OWNED IN PERPETUITY) by L. Ron Hubbard (who) has donated (LICENSED) the vast majority of those to a corporation which some of you have probably heard of, by the name of the Religious Technology Center.'
Quite apart from the subtle dishonesty in the transcript which hid the cosmetic Clause 4 of the RTC's articles of incorporation, the RTC continued to present the facade (to outsiders) that Hubbard had retired from the scene, whereas among its own members it suggested that Hubbard still had his finger on the pulse. The overall effect was to portray the RTC as the reigning sole authority on the 'tech'. It is also salutary that throughout the whole transcript there is scarcely a mention of Hubbard by name or by quotation, which is unusual for any Scientology gathering, which normally oozes obeisance to LRH.
Following the Mission Holders' Conference in 1982, there was intense activity by the Finance Police. They were descending on Missions demanding their $15,000 per day consultation fee and squeezing them for more money. Reserves were siphoned off. When Bent Corydon returned to his Riverside mission his $2 million reserves had vanished. Another $2 million was raised in increased revenue in the wake of the Hilton Hotel meeting. But Miscavige was in danger of killing the geese which were laying his golden eggs. Twenty-five of the ninety-eight Missions in the US network defected or were bankrupted and closed their doors. The RTC cleaned out the bank accounts. But this growing number of defectors, declared Suppressives and deposed senior executives were still loyal to 'Ron'. They still believed in the 'tech' as they had been taught it and had passed it on to others. Most of them had joined Scientology for its declared purpose of 'clearing the planet' and their zeal was looking for an outlet. They were soon joined by many Scientologists from within the Church of Scientology who had begun to realize that all was not well with the new leadership. One of the significant catalysts for defections was the 'Dane Tops letter'. This pseudonymous and lengthy circular questioned whether all that was being done by the RTC was in line with 'Standard Tech'. It was plausible and reasonable, and appealed to many more discerning Scientologists who might have toed the RTC line but were dismayed by the bully-boy tactics of the new leadership. The trickle of defections became a flood. The Church of Scientology responded by 'declaring' those who were challenging its leadership. Many of them were the more qualified auditors and when the dust had settled, it
was evident that the turmoil of 1982 was not merely some letting of bad blood within the organization but the transfusion of some of its lifeblood into a new body, an independent Church of Scientology.
Of course, the new movement could not use the name Scientology. Advanced Ability Centers were set up on the doorstep of the orgs and much of the bitterness which is found among religious sectarianism was evident. The independents lowered their prices and threatened to undercut the RTC controlled Church of Scientology, which responded with lawsuits and a vitriolic propaganda newsletter entitled *Stamp out Squirrels*. In England, many of the independents opened up on the doorstep of Saint Hill in East Grinstead where they already lived.
A young businessman Scientologist, Jon Atack, started the newsletter *Reconnection*, which provided a communication network for the lost souls who had spent possibly most of their adult lives within Scientology and at the age of thirty had been declared Suppressives and therefore lost in one blow their friends, their job and their religion. At first they were confused, even bitter, then determined to build a better org to replace the old. Perhaps as they built up contacts and settled in the social world outside Scientology, they began to consider turning their back on the whole business of Dianetics and Scientology. Robin Scott, who opened his centre at Candacraig, followed such a path. Jon Atack began by hating the anti-Scientology lawyer Michael Flynn just as vehemently as he did Miscavige and Co. but gradually he came to accept that Flynn was well-motivated and justified in his campaign.
Perhaps this withdrawal process is a lengthy but necessary antidote to the long indoctrination sequence into the Church of Scientology which DeWolf described as 'brain-washing spread over a lifetime'. Perhaps the independents will manage to establish their 'orgs' as a vitiated version of Scientology. My own view is that they will not. Partly because the tide of bad publicity, lawsuits and financial exposure that is growing in intensity with each ebb and flow will engulf the official church and the independents and will sweep away any support they might gather from the general public. Partly because the psychological 'winding down' process which I have just described will have the effect of gradually deprogramming them. They will drift away from involvement, particularly after they are free for any length of time from the regimented constraints of Sea Org discipline. But most of all, because of Flynn's argument that Scientology 'begins and ends in the mindset of L. Ron Hubbard'. Any structure built on this
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foundation is built on the shifting sands of paranoia and power mania which will not withstand the tide of public opinion.
The Church of Scientology has effected several changes in its public relations since the purges. These are represented to the outsider as cleansing the stables, not only purging the Guardians but expelling Mission holders who were ripping off the orgs. When the *Sunday Times* magazine published accounts of the Happy Valley Comm Evs in a long feature in November 1984, Michael Garside, the Public Affairs Director at Saint Hill, wrote: 'Following a "house-cleaning" by the church in 1981-83 some members were expelled for misconduct, some others left with them. A few attempts were made by some of these to establish independent Scientology counselling organizations outside the church but these have by and large foundered. Several key-figures in this movement have publicly attacked the church but evidence of criminal activity against the church by some of these individuals greatly lessens their credibility.' He went on to cite Robin Scott and Bent Corydon as two figures who had received sentences in court.
The official church is insistent that the RTC is a background body of trustees, that Miscavige is a minor figure, that stats are high and that everything in the garden is rosy. Scientologists are anxious to welcome visitors to Saint Hill - particularly Members of Parliament - to improve the church's public relations image. The same is true of other centres. When I visited Los Angeles, the two guardian angels from the Scientology PR Department who conducted me round, Susan Jones and Shirley Young, were not Guardians in the bad old sense of the seventies, but courteous and willing guides to the complex of buildings around Los Angeles. It is sometimes argued that the Church of Scientology is extra careful to be nice to celebrities and rich clients, who are not subjected to the strict discipline, low pay and punishment of the ordinary staff member. I cannot deny that I, as a writer, was very well treated, and I am sure my guides did not lie - but neither do the documents which have come into my possession since that visit.
As I walked round the room where E-Meters are assembled within the huge blue Cedars of Lebanon complex which used to be a hospital, I asked questions which were answered in very technical terms. Notices proclaimed this to be a 'high security area'. The Advanced Org for Los Angeles (AULA) is in a separate part of the building and bears a notice 'Never leave a briefcase unlocked when not in a locked cabinet'. A more relaxed atmosphere pervades the other parts of the building. But everywhere there are pictures of Hubbard and in every
building in the Los Angeles complex there is an 'LRH' office. This shrine was for Ron's use 'should he come back and want it'. Usually there are a few mementoes of the *Apollo* days and a few familiar 'LRH' photographs. It is a shade eerie and perhaps even a shade ridiculous since Ron showed no inclination whatsoever of coming anywhere near these vast properties acquired by the Church of Scientology.
At 5930 Franklin Avenue is the Celebrity Center which used to be a hotel used by many movie stars, when it was called Chateau Elycee. 'We don't use that name because some dictionaries define it as "the house of the dead" - and we're very much alive,' smiled my guide. The mini-hall of fame includes such personalities as Chick Corea the jazz pianist; Karen Black; Cathy Lee Crosby; Stanley Clarke; John Travolta and Priscilla Presley (who was lying on her side in portrait form opposite a gaudy portrait of her famous husband). 'This is the place for the aesthetic types rather than the rich,' declared Irish New Yorker Pat who runs the place. 'The artist and the dreamer have a haven here where they're in a safe environment. They can see their own peers.'
In 1981 the Celebrity Center gobbled up the Fifield Manor building which since the demise of the Guardians really was a chateau of the dead. It was the brain-child of the late Yvonne Jentzsch who was apparently a gentle but charismatic personality who charmed many stars to enter Scientology's portals. Apart from Ron, she was the only person to have the distinction of a shrine/office to herself in any Church of Scientology org. Her husband, Heber Jentzsch, a former actor, was appointed by the RTC to be titular President of the Church of Scientology and I was scheduled to meet him over lunch.
Heber Jentzsch is tall, in his early forties, with glasses and greying hair. His handshake is firm and he is larger than life. Born a Mormon in Utah, he was out playing in the fields after a nearby A-bomb test when it rained and the radiation burns on his skin nearly killed him. When he tells the story you can see the rain, the hills, the scars. He is a born preacher and swashbuckles into attacks on arch-enemies attorney Flynn and psychiatrist John Clark and the dreaded IRS as we talk. We are facing the clash of two cultures, he rages. The persecution of religion by the Gestapo of the IRS. No, he is not worried about spending millions on lawsuits. These are the price of freedom. But he is optimistic. 'The enemy can't keep up their hate-mongering year after year without the spring recoiling.' How did I get on with Flynn, he asks. When I tell him that I have visited the Boston attorney's office and render the questions Michael Flynn told me to put to him in a
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passable imitation of Flynn's 'Boston Irish' voice, Heber roars with laughter. He tells me that he has a little surprise for me that afternoon. I had asked to see the Gilman Springs property. Well, he would drive me there. It was an offer I could not refuse.
As we drove down Highway 79 the hundred miles or so to Gilman, Heber talked expansively about the issues facing the Church of Scientology. Critics say he is an actor who is no more than a PR front since the Presidency carries no real power, but he is the official voice and so I switched on my tape recorder with his permission as we drove down past the date-palms towards the desert area of Palm Springs. These are extracts from that conversation:
SL: You knew Hubbard well personally?
HJ: No, I never met Mr Hubbard. My first wife before she passed away, worked extensively with Mr Hubbard and I've written to Mr Hubbard extensive correspondence and my wife Karen, whom you've met, worked extensively with Mr Hubbard; a number of people have. I feel there is a friendship there, obviously. I feel...I feel like every other Scientologist,...I know the man through his works. Can one love Shakespeare without having met the man?
HJ: Can one appreciate Shelley, Keats, Poe, and others without having met the man? Absolutely. There is another force of work there and that's the force that Flynn cannot deal with because that force is the work itself. The communication of a man and self. To bring it all down to one infinitesimal 'Did-he-graduate-from-George-Washington-University?' argument, is incredible. He's also said, you know, he's not a doctor, he doesn't have a doctor's degree. Well, fine. Dr Mengele had a nice doctor's degree and look what he did. Well, let's go the other round, Alexander Graham Bell didn't have a degree so shall we throw away all the telephones and all the communications systems we have in the world today because he didn't have a doctor's degree? Give me a break. Or let's take Thomas Eddison....
SL: But you must be as curious as anybody, you must be more curious than I am, to see, to meet, to hear Ron Hubbard speak?
HJ: ...Sure I'd like to see that, I would, you know....there's a greater...greater point there. I can appreciate more than
people can know his right to privacy and if that man chose to be a private person for the rest of his life, which I don't think he could do....Well, you know, I've been asked that before. It's a good question. You've got to understand Hubbard. He doesn't care whether people have that concept, he's more interested in mankind itself than the potential interpretation of him....
SL: Curiosity, though, begs me to ask the next question. Who does see him now?
HJ: ...Well, of course...Hubbard has always had periods of his life where he's just taken off and he's a very private person....
SL: Sure, very private, and I would think if you've got an organization around you like that, it's possible you could become drugged by it and get high on the ego trip. Or, on the other hand, you could react against it and want to go away and get away from it. Do you ever wonder if you'll meet him out driving one day or suddenly you'll be...
HJ: You wonder, yes...I used to a lot but I don't put a lot of attention on it nowadays. It is kind of like...
SL: Because you're too busy...?
HJ: But also it's kind of like Hubbard knows where we are. I don't have to know where he is. In other words, it's a church's role to establish a bulkhead, a visible, physical organization or established units.
SL: Some journalistic accounts that I've seen have suggested that - I think *Time Magazine* was one of the first to sort of hint at it - that...Miscavige...and his Young Turks had taken over...
HJ: Oh yeah, the Young Turks they call them...
SL: And they are running the organization, or an alternative explanation is that they're running the organization on instructions from Hubbard...
HJ: Yeah, they use both of those...
SL: Now you can't have both of those.
HJ: You can't have it both ways...Miscavige doesn't run Scientology and I know him, he was aboard the ship, my wife knew him. He has worked with Hubbard directly on filming and stuff like that....technician capability and so forth, and, you know, it's like...I get all these allegations, I love it in a way. Do you know what they're saying? Do you realize that the
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magnitude...Flynn says this over and over again. He's just a kid who's 25 years of age, and is capable of running 600 organizations singlehandedly...You show me any church or any major...corporation...where one individual can run it all.
SL: Why does David Miscavige get such a prominent place, though, if he just makes films now?
HJ: Well he's done films and stuff like that. Why does he get a prominent place like that?
SL: Yes. Now why do these people make that accusation?
HJ: I think that the people who were thrown out have had a personal vendetta against him and would do anything possible to try to get back at him and if government is the vehicle or Press is the vehicle, because they all mention it, or if they felt that in any way that someone...You have to go back to the clash of two ideas and you'd be in Clark's paper. He said in order to knock out the cults - I'm paraphrasing, I'll give you the exact quote when I get it for you - in order to knock out the cults, says he, knock out the core group, knock out the leaders. Why? Clash of two ideas. Why would you want to do that to a religion? Anyway, those arguments as to who was with Mr Hubbard, very honestly, I don't know....
SL: How do the directives come, then, because a lot of people from the outside would see you, because you're President, as the sort of titular head.
HJ: I receive and the Board receives Policy Letters which are written by Mr Hubbard and...
SL: In his own handwriting?
HJ: Sometimes in his own handwriting, sometimes they're typed. These are then sent to the Board for approval. They are approved by the Board and then they go to general distribution or whatever distribution is general throughout the world. Hubbard has always maintained that...See, here's the interesting thing. They keep saying that Hubbard is running, Hubbard is controlling, Hubbard is doing it all. All right, whatever...the point that's interesting in all that is that Hubbard for years and years, even in the very beginning, he never wanted to establish organizations. He never wanted to have to run organizations, He never wanted to have to develop entire technologies for the people and so forth. He never wanted to have to train people on bow to audit and so
forth....and you'll see him lamenting the fact that he's pulled back into the organization but that's precisely why, and this is hard for people to understand, Hubbard's not interested in power. He gives it to you as an individual in your own life. And so he says OK here, you're the one with all the capabilities, use them, go ahead.
SL: You mentioned earlier Gerry Armstrong as being your stepson and that obviously must be a bitter thing to witness, the sense that he has become one of the great enemies of the Church of Scientology.
HJ: There's no path in life that one walks that there isn't some difficulties.
SL: Why did he turn like that?
HJ: Well, I think there was a...a kind of resentment that was unexpressed for a long time with Gerry. Finally he expressed it. His research is...well, let's look at it this way. For example, he says...Mr Hubbard was never a commander on a ship. So we go and we dig up all of these records and so forth and so on. Well, Gerry, what did you do? - 'Well, I checked several books. Well, I can read several books and then end my search, can I not?'
You're a reporter, you can say well that's books on naval history and you didn't see Ron Hubbard mentioned so I guess that's it.
Well, wait a minute, you say, all right, fine - what if I analyze a little further. Did he or did he not'? Why didn't you go to naval archives in Washington DC? 'Well I just didn't.' Well, here are the documents on Mr Hubbard which show that he was involved in action. How do you respond to that? 'Well, I guess I stand corrected.'
SL: And that's in the record is it?
HJ: That's in the record. So, all right, you stand corrected. Well, that's great. You know, it's like a guy just walked in there, threw a bunch of bombs around the place, shattered up the whole walls and so forth, caused hopefully, he thinks, a lot of damage. You confront him with it and he says - 'Oh yeah, well, I guess', and you say that your motivation...you thought that people who lived there should have been destroyed. Now that you've found out that they weren't what you thought they were, how do you feel about that? By golly, I mean look at this information, how do you feel? 'You know, I
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stand corrected.' But some people were injured. 'Well, I guess I was acting on the best information I had - well, it doesn't work that way.' That's Gerry. I think his problem was and is that he's deeply disturbed by competence and Hubbard... represents competence, and so do other people. So one can have criminal competence or one can have religious competence or one can have professional competence or whatever. Competence can be in any one of those fields. It is the intention with which one is working that's important and what is produced....
SL: What do you think the future will be? How will the church evolve? I mean, Ron's not going to live forever.
HJ: There's a lot of his enemies would hope that. Well, I've been asked that question I think maybe once or twice and I have my own personal perceptions which I probably won't go into.... First of all, Mr Hubbard has taken very good care of himself. He's also worked extremely hard and he's brung that body through a lot of strenuous moments...I come from Utah: friends of mine there, gentlemen of my city and farming town - 104, 105, 107 they live to be. Now I would hope Mr Hubbard would be sticking around for the next thirty years just to outlive every one of his enemies. Well, by that time... I think the real question that's being asked is this. What's the growth rate going to be while he is still around? We do greatly appreciate and love this man. It isn't that we have to do something for Mr Hubbard, we have to do something for ourselves, that's what Scientology is - and as a group. Of course our concept is that we're not just a faith system, it is of the soul in terms. That's hard to understand in Western civilization but completely comprehensible in Eastern civilization and accepted without too much of a problem. So I would say that Mr Hubbard's going to be around for a good deal longer and if and when he does decide to leave and return, then I think the return is as important as the...more important than the leaving. I think it'll be for a very short duration and the church will be developed, capable, stabilized to such a point that there's no problem. See you have to kind of look at movements historically - Buddha - his life was ended because one of his disciples...poisoned him. Well, look what Buddha did in that short span of activity. And Jesus and Mohammed and others of that particular nature. I speak of
them in terms of wisdom, not in terms of...
SL: Yes, because some people would regard that as a blasphemy...
HJ: Yes, I speak of them in terms of the wisdom that they brought to the civilization. They affected vast civilizations in very short amounts of time without the vast capabilities that we currently have in this civilization.
SL: How do you react to the suggestion, though, that it tends to be, looking around there, an awful lot of Scientologists are post-war people and youngsters...
HJ: I'm not.
SL: No, well, that's a backhanded kind of compliment then...
HJ: No, I just had to throw that in...
SL: ...and you're not getting the stats up, as they would say, and that in fact there's been a slight sign of a deflation in membership. Perhaps the actual management of resources has been dumped, very effectively financially, to keep the ship afloat. But unless the new people are coming in, it's going to be like a large company that's not having a cash-flow.
HJ: I've heard that and let me tell you I've just been through Milan and off over into Rome and Paris, Denmark, Munich, Germany and so forth. There are currently internationally - I don't know about other religions: have no measuring stick here so I'm caught without a...but I know that we get 12 to 13,000 new people walk through our churches every week, every week. Out of those we have some 8,000 take a course of some kind, miniature not major, but a course of some kind every week....It doesn't mean that each person there becomes a hard and fast Scientologist but he gains a certain piece of wisdom, knowledge, applicability for life that he's never had before and he uses it. You have to look at it that way. He's changed back to the two-idea concept that can be implemented by better communication, which is our final goal. What is the assimilated rate of change in a civilization given the exponential expansion of that capability in the society? Just that one factor. Now this is a mathematical view computation. The CIA (God love their dirty black hearts because I don't) did a secret computer analysis at Stamford Research Institute probably 7 or 8 years ago in which they set up a computer model to analyse the effects of religions and newer religions on civilization and carried it out for 750 years.
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So...when you ask me the question ot our survival I have to somehow figure into that computation the opposite designs that the CIA might control - that's the negative factor. I don't know if this makes sense.
SL: ...also there were people who were doing...shall we say, almost deprogramming type things to people who were stepping out of line within Scientology.
HJ: In what sense?
SL: Well, allegations about people who were sent...washing floors and eh...penances in the Catholic sense.
HI: Well, I didn't find it terribly humiliating. In fact, it was kind of therapeutic. I happen to love working with wood, sanding doors...
SL: But it's difficult for outsiders to understand that. Isn't it like disciplining naughty schoolboys?
HJ: No, not at all. No, I think it goes back to the Buddhist concept...where a person contributes...to the group that he has in some way dishonoured or marked. You see what I mean?
HJ: But not in a...how shall I say it?...not in a sense of eternal obsequiousness...or any of those things. It was a restorative step of capabilities; it's like one sorts out in a very sequential kind of way...understanding his own personal self, his involvement if you will....To sin originally in its concept meant 'to miss the mark'. Well, when you're going towards the wrong mark it's a corrective kind of thing...I think the first time I did it I was terrified to have to go...first of all that I had been...I felt that I had fallen that far down as me. But then I saw the sense of it, then I saw that it was not abusive at all; it was not abusive and there is something to be said about good old physical labour. Washing the walls or mopping a floor or working with woodwork or laying bricks or...you know, these are the things that I remember as a kid, I absolutely enjoyed tremendously.
SL: But from the point of view of someone who has, if you like, left the organization; they look back and they see it as a kind of tyranny, don't they?
HJ: Some do....
And so the conversation went on. Heber Jentzsch loved talking
- and he talked well. A born preacher, he is now the equivalent of honorary prophet cum Public Relations executive rolled into one. The man's warmth and humour are obvious. When I threw him an awkward question he would digress into a long discourse, usually on the rights of religious freedom and the mentality of those who were attacking the Church of Scientology. The actor in him relishes the drama of the clash between Scientology and its opponents. The preacher in him vituperates against the men of sin who dare to oppress his religion. As we drove on to Gilman Springs, Heber talked in dark apocalyptic terms about genocide, 'Gestapo' and Nazis. The irony was that these are the very analogies used against Scientology by its enemies. He was using them to describe his idea of the shadow which confronted the Church of Scientology.
A tarantula scuttled across the surface of Highway 79 as we drew near to Gilman. The land was flat and dry, stretching towards small hills in the west. 'We had to put security in at Gilman,' Heber explained, 'because some guy was firebombing the area with a book of matches.' The opponents of Scientology have described the security at the Gilman complex as rather like a prison camp. I soon saw that they had vastly overstated their case. Certainly there were seven foot high wire fences round the perimeter and the gates were manned by two security guards in brown uniforms, checking passes. It was odd for a church, but not for a film studio. A film studio is exactly what Gilman Springs had started as, making films at Hubbard's direction under the title of Golden Era Studios.
I was taken on a tour which wound up in the recording studio which has been equipped with a synthesizer. At the keyboard, conjuring a wizardry of sounds and rhythms from the machine, was Barry Stein, an architect in his thirties who had been a member of the 'Apollo All-Stars' pop-group back in the shipboard days. Now his talents were in making tapes but he kept his hand in as an architect. The castle complex at Saint Hill was his work, as was the restored ballroom at the Fort Harrison Hotel in Clearwater. Occasionally Heber Jentzsch would stop and talk to one of the Gilman staff. We sipped orange juice and I admired the facilities, the replica clipper-ship, the view and everything else in sight. It was all so tranquil. Like a leisure complex. But somewhere here lived David Miscavige, the man they said did not have any power but who could depose the founder's wife and order Hubbard's son Arthur 1 and his wife to be his personal servants. It was
1 One of Hubbard's four children by his third wife, Mary Sue.
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difficult to reconcile that picture with the Gilman that I saw.
My stay in Los Angeles was extremely pleasant and that night I dined with Heber Jentzsch and his second wife Karen, also a leading Scientologist. We were the guests of Marshall Goldblatt, an English property dealer who had taken many of the Scientology auditing courses. They had changed his life, he smiled, and the benefits which he obviously was prepared to rain down upon the Church of Scientology were but scant reward. It was all so agreeable.
The only jarring note was when I called in on my last day to pick up some photocopied material from a shop suggested to me by Michael Flynn. It was run by 'squirrels' and when my escort reported this back to her seniors, I was shown into a large room in the Cedars complex and seated round a large table with several Scientologists, including Heber Jentzsch. Into the room came a lean young man wearing a white short-sleeved shirt, the Sea Org kit. His eyes were wild and staring. Who was I? What was my connection with this squirrel group? What kind of book was I going to write? The eyes grew wilder. The pressure was stepped up. The atmosphere became electric. I was being interrogated. Across the room from me on the opposite wall was a photograph of Hubbard and underneath a quotation from a policy directive of February 1966 - 'Don't ever submit tamely to an investigation of us. Make it rough on attackers all the way.' The young inquisitor's name was Ken Hoden and he was then in charge of the Office of Special Affairs in Los Angeles. My contact with the 'squirrels' had revealed me as a potential enemy.
I managed to appease my interrogator by offering to leave the materials I had purchased so that the org could supply me with a list of any errors which the Scientologists felt were contained within them. This seemed to satisfy Mr Hoden and the files disappeared. Since then (September 1984) they have not been returned to me despite repeated requests. Various reasons were given but eventually I was told apologetically by a friendly official that it was not church policy to help those who dealt with 'squirrels' and this was why the Los Angeles org had retained the files.
Having survived my interrogation, I flew back the next day to Boston where I was to meet the two men the Church of Scientology regards as its deadliest enemies - attorney Michael Flynn and psychiatrist Dr John Clark.
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