Scientology's Abusive Release Forms

Looking for the infamous Introspection Rundown release form (the "Lisa McPherson clause")? Click here.

In November 2002, the ever-paranoid Church of Scientology Flag Service Organization issued a new set of legal release forms that people are required to sign before they can receive "services" from the church. Scientology has been using such forms for decades; they are mentioned in chapter 6 of Paulette Cooper's book, The Scandal of Scientology. But the new versions give the church even more power to abuse its parishioners at it discretion. One must wonder whether such abusive terms might render the release invalid. The cult also appears to be very fond of the word "ecclesiastical".

Below are scans of two of the new release forms. Two more can be found here. I would like to know if other Scientology churches have similar releases.

Why am I webbing these copyrighted forms? I'm doing it (1) so that I and others can comment on their content, (2) so people can have a chance to analyze the terms of these releases outside of the high-pressure environment of a Scientology church, and (3) because it's in the public interest to warn people about possible harmful consequences of signing these forms. My reproduction of these forms is consistent with the "fair use" provisions of US copyright law, 17 USC 107.


I'm amazed that Scientology now apparently requires a signed release form even to view the promotional film Orientation. What are they afraid of? Answer: the next Lisa McPherson. The most significant factor I can find on this form is the agreement that all churches of Scientology are independent of each other and individually responsible for their actions. This is what will allow Scientology to gut a local church of resources if it gets sued (as they did with the Church of Scientology of California after Wollersheim sued them), and preclude the plaintiff from filing suit against any other tentacles of the Scientology octopus. Of course, at the time they sign a release to see Orientation, the average person would know nothing about the intricate corporate organization of Scientology or the legal implications of what they are agreeing to. Similarly for the attestation that the "application of Scientology's Ethics and Justice technology" is exclusively religious in nature, which I suppose is a nice way of saying "arbitrary, capricious, and beyond the reach of either logic or the courts."

click here for text version

Confidentiality of the Advanced Technology

Scientology really doesn't want anyone talking about Xenu the space alien or what goes on in NOTs auditing after they leave the cult. So they're making people sign this confidentiality agreement to gag them for all time. Notice that there is a $100,000 penalty for disclosing this "prorietary" information! There's a lot more going on here, but the print is too fine for me to struggle through. I'm looking forward to receiving plain text versions of these pages so we can do a thorough legal analysis.

click here for text version




San Francisco Org Resolution

Some kind soul at the San Francisco Org (83 McAllister Street) sent me some of their documents for inclusion on this web page. Here's the resolution adopted May 16, 2001, authorizing staff members to co-sign the:

Religious Services Enrollment Application

This is a fun one: six pages of boilerplate that says "whatever happens to you, it's entirely your own fault, not Scientology's fault, so don't even think about suing us."

click here to view all six pages
click here to view as PDF

Spiritual Assistance: the Introspection Rundown

This one contains what some call "The Lisa McPherson Clause": the signer agrees to involuntary imprisonment, and isolation from friends, family, and medical care, at the discretion of their Scientology case supervisor. It's so horrible that it had to have its own web page just to explain all the history and ramifications. Also on that page is an agreement regarding "Confidentiality of Files", which Scientology wants to use to cover up future crimes like the death of Lisa McPherson.

All these documents contain repeated assertions that Scientology really is a "religion". But does this paranoia and hyper-legalism look like a respectable religion to you? It sure doesn't to me.

Return to the Secrets of Scientology web page.

Dave Touretzky
Last modified: Thu Dec 11 00:34:21 EST 2003