THE EVENTS OF 1982
The events related in this chapter are extremely contentious and any attempt to report them fairly is fraught with difficulties. Four main sources have been drawn on for the information reported. This account deals only with the events that most of these sources refer to and which are therefore most likely to be factually correct. The reasons why these things happened are of course open to much wider speculation.
The sources are the Church's own bulletins and statements, the Zegal tapes (see Appendix B), the widely circulated photostat anonymous document known as 'The Dane Tops' letter, and the Sunday Times Magazine article based on a wide number of interviews of people who were personally involved in these events (published October 28th 1984).
Most eventualities are catered for in the procedures for the running of the Church as laid down by Ron Hubbard. This includes a system of justice for those who do something against the Church's ethical standards or have consistently failed to follow its policies. This system of justice is available to, and can be applied to, all members of Staff and any person involved with the Church.
The highest level of judgement or court, is known as a Committee of Evidence. It has to be run according to certain rules of evidence which aim to be fair to the person being accused. For example he or she may see all the evidence against them in advance. It must be written up and be strictly factual. The Committee of Evidence known inevitably as a 'Comm Ev' reaches a conclusion and recommends what action should be taken. The heaviest penalty that can be recommended is withdrawal of certificates as an auditor and expulsion from the Church.
A person who is considered to be capable of interfering harmfully with the spiritual gains of another is termed a Suppressive Person. The only reason that a person would be expelled from the Church would be because something he was doing was likely to damage or suppress the spiritual gain of others. In being expelled he would therefore be judged a 'Suppressive Person. All persons within the Church are forbidden further contact with the Suppressive Person, 'to avoid risk to their own spiritual gains'. A written report must be circulated with the specific reasons why
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that person had been declared Suppressive. This is usually known as a 'Declare'.
Up to 1982 there had been periodic use of the Declare mechanism for purging the Church of individuals and groups who were considered to be damaging or disruptive. Not too much long term damage was done however as the Declaree could appeal for a Review Committee of Evidence and there were periodic amnesties.
Probably the pattern up to 1982 was not too different from the feuds and divisions in any other rapidly growing radical groups such as a new political party, trade union or popular rights movement.
The events of 1982 were of a different order and the shock was so deep that only now is it possible to get an idea of what happened. The first information to spread through the Church was a photocopied letter, known as the 'Dane Tops' letter, which reached the UK in mid-1983.
This letter says that in March 1982 a series of Declares started and went on and on. Over 600 people were declared in the Los Angeles area alone. The people being declared at this stage were top managers and senior technical executives. Most of the Guardians Office were also expelled. In some cases there were Committees of Evidence but in most cases the expulsions took place without a hearing and the declare documents were full of generalities. This flouting of the established procedure had never been done before on such a scale.
Most of the people declared at this stage were Sea Org members or senior Staff Members. The general trend of most of the declare documents was similar. The usual claim was 'Squirreling', that is adulterating Standard Tech. Most of the people declared at this time were referred to as 'Squirrels'. This was a term Ron Hubbard had used in the past to describe a person who modified auditing processes because they were impatient or thought they knew a better way of doing the process. Most of these people were accused of altering technical procedures for financial gain or to undermine the progress of Scientology.
Widespread investigations were undertaken with the aim of purging the Church of elements who were stealing from it and undermining standards of auditing delivery. The poor financial performance of the Church was attributed to the alleged large numbers of people who had been diverting Church revenue to themselves.
This same theme emerged at the Mission Holders Conference held in San Francisco in November 1982. The Mission Holders were harangued at length by a group of Sea Org members for 'ripping off' the Orgs. This meant Mission Holders delivering services to Church members at their Missions that should have been delivered at Orgs. Heavy fines were
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imposed on Missions, investigations ordered at the Mission Holders expense and additional levies on all revenue into Missions were imposed. Prosecution was threatened to all who did not comply.
Field Auditors who operated on their own or in small groups were similarly accused of 'ripping off' Orgs. They too were heavily fined and required to pay a 10% levy on their income. A number were declared and others threatened with declare if they did not pay.
The 5% monthly price increases were re-introduced, with a rigid clampdown on special deals. As the Missions and Field Auditors had to follow these spiralling prices, there was increasing unrest and conflict.
The post of International Finance Dictator was established and he had a staff of 'Finance Police'. Their role was to investigate financial abuses by Mission Holders, Field Auditors and Orgs. Practitioners in other fields who made some use of Scientology tech were also investigated by the Finance Police. In one instance they allegedly arrived at a school in the United States run on Scientology study principles and demanded a portion of the school income for the rights to use LRH study technology.
The strong move to expand income rapidly even included a scheme whereby all members of the Church who were in business should pay a 10% levy on their business income. This was justified on the grounds that their earning power would have been enhanced by the application of Scientology principles and their ability gains from Scientology auditing.
The wholesale expulsion of members of staff, both Sea Org and non- Sea Org personnel, may well have been justified as a purifying exercise but it also had cost cutting benefits. Once started however, it may have gone further than originally intended.
The prospects for someone who had been thrown out after many years inside the Church were pretty grim, both economically and spiritually. They naturally objected and, despite the non-communication rule, lobbied staff members still on the inside. When the people on the inside protested, they were subjected to disciplinary action themselves and either intimidated into silence or were subjected to Committees of Evidence.
An atmosphere of great insecurity developed within the Church. Nobody wished to draw attention to themselves in case they were next to be put under the spotlight. Some felt the best way of protecting themselves was to make incriminating statements about others. Old jealousies probably added to the dispute and the atmosphere of vengeful righteousness.
The most distasteful episode to have become public was the detainment for several months of 17 top executives of the Church. Included among these was the Case Supervisor International, David Mayo, who
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had been responsible for the standard delivery of auditing technology throughout the world. They were jointly accused by Committee of evidence in October 1982 at Gilman Hot Springs, Riverside County, California. They were kept there and subjected to mental and physical duress. They were interrogated many times about their own actions and those of each other. These events were reported separately by three of the four sources quoted at the start of this chapter.
In some cases the axe fell across marriages. If one partner was declared, the other was forbidden contact with that person on risk of being declared themselves. This is the practice known as 'Disconnection'. Even sadder were the cases where children were involved. An article appeared in the Daily Mail on Saturday, February 11th 1984, which gave some examples and quoted some interviews.
Other staff and members of the Church were very upset about what they saw happening around them. Some staff members, at great personal sacrifice, packed their bags and walked out. Many ordinary members either resigned or just became inactive.
It is worth saying that there had been witch hunts and purges previously. In the past prominent staff and members had been declared suppressive and thrown out. These previous purges had also left their legacy of disgruntlement and demotivation, according to the Dane Tops letter.
He reports that the demotivation of many Scientologists was an issue being hotly debated in the Church at the end of 1981. This was the result of pressure from the Mission Holders. They maintained that the large number of aggrieved people who were suing or threatening to sue the Church were making it difficult for them to gain credibility with new recruits.
As a result, a joint exercise, involving the Mission Holders and the Flag management, was set-up to handle the grievances of these disgruntled Scientologists. Meetings were called in early 1982 and large numbers of these dissatisfied members were given the chance at interviews to explain their grievances. These were discussed, and, when necessary, auditing was provided free of charge. Large numbers, running into thousands, of inactive Scientologists were in the process of being handled at this time. There is said to have been a resurgence of hope that the Church was willing to admit past errors and put them right. This was of course brought to an abrupt end by the later events of 1982.
Several other hopeful signs of change for the better were evident at the beginning of 1982. In March a bulletin called Introductory and Demonstration Processes was issued in Ron Hubbard's name but carrying
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the initials of David Mayo. It coincided with the publication of a manual of '101 Processes and Assists'. These could be done by Scientologists with a little training on members of their families and friends, and would give immediate benefit or relief. This was to be the ideal starting point for bringing new people into the subject. It could be learnt and understood easily, being assembled from processes Ron Hubbard had developed in the 1950's. In the introduction to the Manual three follow-up books of processes and assists were promised.
In May 1982, a momentous bulletin, called 'Ridge on the Bridge', was issued. This also dealt with the need to provide an appropriate entry point for new people to the subject. It reinstated the first book of the movement Dianetics, Modern Science of Mental Health - and the form of auditing that it contained, as a major entry point for new people. The book became known as 'Book One' and seminars to teach people to deliver 'Book One Auditing' were set-up all over the United States and the UK. Once again the Bulletin which set this off carried David Mayo's name.
About this time a scheme called 'Operation Fourth Dynamic' was set up. Its role was to take applied Scientology technology into the community and use it to help people feel better. It included programmes of events and group processes to be run in such places as Old Peoples Homes and Nursery Schools.
Regrettably all three of these initiatives were not to have the beneficial effect that was planned. The Introductory and Demonstration manual and courses were given little attention after the initial launch and the promised follow-up books never appeared. The Ridge on the Bridge bulletin was modified and David Mayo's name removed from it. The momentum for Book One Auditor training was allowed to run down. The original very successful weekend course format was cancelled and replaced by another. Operation Fourth Dynamic was summarily squashed in 1983, with no replacement.
As some explanation of what led to the abandonment of these hopeful initiatives in mid 1982, we can only rely on the main events recounted in the Zegal tapes. The relevant events start in September 1979. At that point the Commodores Messenger Organisation allegedly took over the top Church Management. What exactly this means can probably only be understood by people familiar with the inner workings of the International Management set-up in California. Sufficient to say that some power shift took place in late 1979 but it obviously took time to work its way through the vast organisational structure of the Church.
Zegal reports that the next step in the takeover of control took place in January/February 1982 with the setting up of the Religious Technology
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Centre and Authors Services. Their purpose was to control the use of the LRH trademarks and copyrights. They claimed exclusive rights to gain financial benefit from these trademarks and copyrights. In June 1982, the International Finance Police were set-up as an executive arm of the Religious Technology Centre.
It was obvious that at some stage the Commodores Messenger Organisation (CMO) and the Guardian's Office would come into conflict. When it happened, in June/July 1982, the Guardian's Office capitulated with little resistance. Probably the imminent verdict in the trial of Mary Sue Hubbard and other prominent members of the Guardians Office provided the opportunity for the CMO to move in and take over. Soon after the top people in the Guardian s Office had been removed from their posts, Mary Sue Hubbard and a number of her colleagues in the Guardian's Office were sent to prison for theft of material from Government Offices.
Zegal reports the major move to take control of the operating network of the Church took place in July/August 1982. The majority of senior Church top executives were taken off their posts. They were subjected to Committee of Evidence and mostly found guilty of misdemeanours and declared. The heads of all the Flag Organisation Liaison Office (FOLOs) and the heads of all the US Orgs were then relieved of their duties. All these people were reportedly subjected to Committees of Evidence and then expelled.
From then on the wholesale declares must have started with consequences referred to earlier. Zegal, Dane Tops and the Sunday Times all refer to the San Francisco Mission Holders Conference of November 1982, and the consequences for the majority of Mission Holders and Field Auditors.
This extra detail on the events leading up to 1982 does not explain what was the motivation. Most sources indicate the need to boost revenue. Zegal says the money was needed to pay Ron Hubbard for use of the copyright and trademarks. A figure of $85 million was supposedly quoted in Time Magazine.
Whether this amount was accurate or whether the money was ever paid, we do not know. What is evident is that money was constantly linked to the allegations of technical abuses in the accusations and declares.
If money was the why, we still have the question of who. Dane Tops maintains that there is a hidden management group who were directing these events from behind the scenes. The general belief is that the visible leaders emerging from the ranks of the CMO would not have the ability or skill in their late 20's and early 30's to have pulled off this operation without some direction from outside or above.
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All that was visible was a group of strident young Sea Org members who had been filled with fiery indignation about the adulteration c technology and financial misappropriation. Some of these were rapidly promoted from quite junior positions and sent out to local Orgs o Commodores Messenger Organisation missions to root out evidence misdemeanour.
These were followed in 1983 by missions on behalf of the Religious Technology Corporation (RTC). Their aim was to tighten up control their exclusive rights to use the trademarks of Dianetics and Scientology and exclusive control over the copyright of all Hubbard's works. Use an control of these trademarks and copyright meant of course that they alone could derive income from them.
There now started a purging of all materials from the Church that were not exclusively written by Hubbard. Among the casualties were Scientology Ann Arbor and the Ruth Minshull publications. There were now no longer available through Church outlets and rapidly went out of print. There was a large scale reissuing of selected LRH Bulletins that had been written over the years. Mostly these were selected because they supported the current management style. Bulletins inconsistent with the new view were cancelled, with the claim that they had been written by persons other than Ron Hubbard
There was now a noticeable increase in the prominence given to 'LRH' in the Church publications, In the past Hubbard had always been revered by Church Members and staff alike on the basis of respect for his perception and dedication to the work of the movement. With a few exceptions this had remained at the level of admiration and respect for another human being. As explained earlier the subtle transfer of the person Ron Hubbard to the impersonal and immortal entity LRH was a way of dealing with the problem of succession. There had been Crown Princes in the past. Being number two and waiting quietly for a person of great stature to relinquish power is both difficult and dangerous.
These successors had always failed to achieve the succession and the latest casualty had been David Mayo. The RTC admitted that he had been given the job of safeguarding technical standards and further developing the tech to even higher OT levels after Hubbard's death. However, that did not protect him from being declared. There are detailed claims about the specific reasons why David Mayo had to be discredited on the Zegal tapes. Nonetheless, it was obviously politic to remove him from post. If he became a well-known respected authority on the technology in his own right, he would be a threat to the monopoly gained with Hubbard's trademarks and copyright. With Mayo out of the way,
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it has been possible to project Hubbard's standing out of reach of any future successor.
But where was Hubbard while all this was happening. We are told on the Zegal tapes that he had become a total recluse in the late seventies. He had been cited as a defendant in a number of legal cases against the Church. Because Hubbard claimed not to be involved with the Church, he was obliged to keep well away. He was effectively separated from his wife, Mary Sue, who was active in running the Guardians Office up to 1981, and who was reportedly under FBI surveillance.
It is reported by Zegal that Hubbard was moving around the West Coast with a small retinue and that his health was failing. On the other hand we know he was not doing nothing. The technical work done on revising the Bridge and redefinition of Clear in 1981 must have involved him, though it would have been in conjunction with David Mayor and others.
Hubbard had also returned to writing Science Fiction. In 1980 he published 'Battlefield Earth'. This book has been given a good critical reception by experts of that genre and is widely believed to have been written by him.
It would have been understandable if after many years working to build-up the Church he had decided to leave it and its members to sort themselves out. He would be entitled to say that he had provided the tools and it was now up to others to use them as best they could.
Then we have the controversy over RJ38. RJ stands for Ron's Journals. There were a recorded tape which Hubbard produced periodically to update members of the Church on his thinking and doings. In 1983 RJ38 appeared and it was subtitled 'The Proof'.
The substance of the tape was a catalogue of the successes of the new regime and damning condemnation of their predecessors. The style and delivery was ponderous and many of the statistics transparently inflated. It was greeted with horror by most Scientologists.
The voice on the tape is sufficiently different to cause doubt about whether it really is Ron Hubbard's. Two groups of opinions have emerged. One is that he is dead and that it is an imposter on the tape. The other is that it is Ron Hubbard but he has been tricked into recording these optimistic statements in ignorance of the true situation.
Most long term Scientologists would very much prefer the first theory to the second.
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