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NOTE: There are several announcers on the show and I'm not sure who is talking so I have referred to them as "Man #1", "Man #2" and "Woman" in the transcript.
MAN #1: Peter Alexander is on the phone with us right now. Hi, Peter.
PETER ALEXANDER: Hi, guys.
MAN #1: Welcome to "The Morning Edge", good to talk to you.
PETER ALEXANDER: Thank you.
MAN #1: Yes. You know, we were gonna talk to the publisher of "Razor" magazine because they have this article, but you actually did this article so it's probably better that we go directly to the source. And it's all about Scientology, called "Curse of Scientology: Lawsuits, death and finance".
PETER ALEXANDER: Dr Touretzky and I wrote that story.
MAN #1: Were you afraid at all, though, when you tackled this subject matter? Because the subject matter that you write about, it's a little intimidating, a little scary.
PETER ALEXANDER: Well, they've been harassing me for three or four years now. I did a movie that they thought was a little too close to Scientology called "The Profit", and they've been following me with private eyes and trying to destroy my business in the way that they do. It's part of their policy called "Fair Game", and it's a requirement--a sacrament, if you will, of this church--that you harass and attempt to destroy anyone who writes what they think is the truth about Scientology.
MAN #1: But, I mean, does that make you nervous? Are you always looking over your shoulder, going "Oh, gosh, what are they up to?" ?
PETER ALEXANDER: Well, occasionally I'll spot one of them, but quite frankly I'm not too good at, at--you know, snooping around and private eye detection. So I pretty much ignore them until they get right in my face, which they do from time to time, you know. Occasionally I'll have friends of mine or business clients call me up and say, "Well, I just got a call from this Scientologist who told me this, that and the other thing about you." Yeah, they're always busy. You know, anyone who is critical or what I think is truthful about Scientology gets their share of attack.
WOMAN: Well, it does seem a little creepy, though, because when I thought we were gonna talk to you guys the other day, I went on-line and I found web sites that were memorials to people, Scientologists that had, like, died under mysterious circumstances, including L. Ron Hubbard's own son, who was a suicide, and they were saying that some of those things were questionable with that suicide. I mean, I don't--I don't know anything about the religion, but I really also don't understand-- where is all this death and suicide coming in?
PETER ALEXANDER: Well, they have a process, what they call the Introspection Rundown. And the story in "Razor" magazine is, is partially about that. And using part of that process, they killed a girl from Dallas named Lisa McPherson. She died under their custody, that part is clearly identified. In 1995, Lisa was whisked away from Morton Plant Hospital where she had been taken for psychiatric evaluation. And when she was taken to their Fort Harrison, she was a perfectly healthy 36-year-old, very pretty young lady when she was taken there; 17 days later, she was dead on arrival. So they have written a contract that they now want every single member of Scientology who takes services there to sign which says basically if what happened to Lisa McPherson happens to you, they are not liable.
MAN #1: Well, you know, there's so many people who claim to be successful because of what they have been taught--Tom Cruise and these other guys--
MAN #2: John Travolta--
MAN #1: John Travolta. Do Scientologists go in and, like, intimidate these studios to give these people contracts, or is there something--is there something to it after all, despite all this weird stuff around it?
PETER ALEXANDER: Uh, Sci--I was in Scientology for 20 years and I can speak about that. It's a very clever combination of hypnotism and brainwashing, and it does have an effect on you. Um, I have had friends that basically were hypnotized out of being who they were. And in my own case, I really enjoyed the hypnotic trances that they put me in. But that's not a real solution to your problems. You think it is, they tell you it's not hypnosis. They tell you it's some advanced science that L. Ron Hubbard thought up and, you know, based upon their discussion of L. Ron Hubbard as being a nuclear physicist and a World War II naval hero and all these good things, I bought it. And I'm sure, you know, Tom Cruise and John Travolta have received what they think are some benefits from it. The question is if are those benefits worth the risks that you take in becoming a member of a cult. All I think is that they, they need to tell the truth about all sides of what goes on there.
WOMAN: Well, let's go back to this risk, because you said there's this woman, she dies while she's going through this situation, you know, this, whatever this process is with Scientology, you know. She goes in healthy and comes out dead. What is the process?
PETER ALEXANDER: It's called auditing. It's a crude form of psychotherapy, it's called light trance hypnotic regression. And some psychotherapists use that. But Scientology uses a form that has been described as authoritative hypnosis, in which they will take you back into past lives if necessary. And people feel that this sort of therapy is really helping them, you know, and when you're under those trances, those spells, you feel that you have resolved all your problems, whether you really have or not.
MAN #1: Now, it does go in levels, too, when you buy your way in. I think those are some of the things that we've heard about Scientology.
PETER ALEXANDER: Well, you have to buy your salvation. When you buy your way, all the way up to the top, you can spend about $365,000.
WOMAN: But how does that kill someone?
PETER ALEXANDER: Um, basically it doesn't work after a while. You can hypnotize yourself into believing anything about yourself, but in the long run, you still are who you are. And in the case of Lisa McPherson, for example, she had reached the state of Clear through that hypnotic process, and Clear is the process where supposedly you have no more mental problems whatsoever. Shortly after doing that, she was in a minor traffic accident in Clearwater, Florida. She stepped out of her car, took off all of her clothes and was taken to Morton Plant Hospital for psychiatric evaluation.
MAN #1: Now you say she was trying to get out, though, she had gone through all of this but she decided she wanted out, and that's when her untimely death occurred?
PETER ALEXANDER: Uh, she had called a friend of hers by the name of Kelly Davis, who lives in Dallas, and said that she was going to come home. And Kelly felt what she meant was that she was coming home for good and that she was going to get out of Scientology. Now to a certain extent, you know, that might have marked her as a person that, you know, they thought was a problem source, and who knows why she did that acting out of taking off her clothes, but that's what happened.
MAN #1: But would she have known anything? I mean, they have a lot of members. Was she special? I mean, people fall out of churches all the time and they're not a huge risk to organizations.
PETER ALEXANDER: Right. Scientology is a little more than, than a typical church. They'll--they do not want people leaving who have any confidential or inside information. Whether she had some, I don't know.
MAN #2: But you haven't explained how she died.
WOMAN: Thank you, yeah.
MAN #2: You said that she left and she was dead three days later or whatever.
PETER ALEXANDER: She was kept in isolation which is per their policy. And during that, she was supervised by an unlicenced doctor. Rather than take her back to the hospital, as they promised they would do if she got worse, she started to get worse, they started to inject her with various concoctions of herbal remedies, liquid Valium, Benadryl, various things like that. She refused to eat. She started to get dehydrated. They didn't take her to a doctor and then finally she died. And there have been various analyses of the death, but most of the experts feel that she died of dehydration.
WOMAN: So it was pretty much another form of suicide.
PETER ALEXANDER: Well, I don't know if it was suicide or not. They were watching her 24 hours a day. They kept her in this room. I don't know what you'd call that. Maybe it's not manslaughter, maybe it's just neglect or whatever--
PETER ALEXANDER: --but they were, they were supervising her. She was on their process when she died.
MAN #1: Peter Alexander is a former Scientologist, wrote an article for "Razor" magazine called "Curse of Scientology: Lawsuits, Death and Finance". Can anyone become a Scientologist? If I went to one of their churches today and said, "You know what? I'm kind of interested. I heard about it on the radio and wanted to become a member."--
PETER ALEXANDER: They would love for you to become a member because you are a celebrity and you are exactly the kind of person that they want out there, Tom Cruise and John Travolta, they'd love it.
MAN #1: Would they worship me like a God?
PETER ALEXANDER: Yes, well, they just can't wait!
MAN #1: Will they give me another TV show? Hmm--
PETER ALEXANDER: Well, there's a lot of Scientologists in Hollywood and I won't say it's a Mafia, but there's quite a few of them.
MAN #1: Wow.
MAN #2: Wow.
MAN #1: Now Peter, you said you were in there for 20 years; what woke you up and got you out of there?
PETER ALEXANDER: Well, actually, one of my employees, Patricia Greenway, got interested in Scientology, and she got on the Internet and she found out the truth. I was impressed by L. Ron Hubbard's background, I thought he was a nuclear physicist; it turned out he flunked out of college. I thought he was a naval hero; it turned out he was removed from command of every command he was given and he was kind of a mess-up. And so once I started to learn truth after truth, you know--I believed that the processes were some sort of advanced science; then I learned they were hypnotism. And once the whole story began to unravel, I thought, "Uh-oh, this is bad, this is a cult; what am I doing?"
MAN #1: How much money did you give them personally?
PETER ALEXANDER: I gave them a million dollars--
WOMAN: Oh, my gosh--
MAN #1: Peter--
MAN #2: You fool!
PETER ALEXANDER: --over 20 years. So I need to write a lot of articles, guys, before I make up for that.
MAN #2: Wow--
MAN #1: Really. Now I had heard that one of the things that happens is you pay for the next level and the next level and eventually you get to the point where--I mean, there's talk of a mothership landing and them going to their own planets and stuff like that. Is that true or is that just a myth that's on the Internet?
PETER ALEXANDER: I don't know about a mothership landing and so on and so forth; that's not written. But there is a space opera science fiction part of Scientology on their confidential levels. According to L. Ron Hubbard, all of your problems come from the fact that you, and everyone else out there in radio-land, is infested by thousands and millions of tiny little body thetans who--this is pure story here--who came from volcanic explosions 75 million years ago on Earth. They were stuck together by the evil planetary warlord Xenu.
PETER ALEXANDER: All that, you know--when I read that, I thought, "Well that didn't happen to me, it sounds like science fiction" even when I was in Scientology. But, you know, by that point in time, you're so brainwashed, you're thinking, "Well, if that's what L. Ron thinks, it must be pretty cool".
MAN #2: So when you wrote them checks, on the little memo part, did you put, "for tiny demons to leave me"?
MAN #1: Wow. I'm glad to hear--
PETER ALEXANDER: That's basically what you do at the upper levels--
MAN #1: Wow--
PETER ALEXANDER: --you're exorcising yourself, yeah.
MAN #1: A million dollars later, I'm glad you have a sense of humor about it.
PETER ALEXANDER: Well, you gotta laugh.
MAN #1: Wow. Okay, well, Peter, thanks for being on the air with us.
PETER ALEXANDER: Okay, well thank you.
MAN #1: And they can read more about it in "Razor" magazine. Do you have a web site if somebody wants to go to, or--?
PETER ALEXANDER: If you would like to look at the actual Lisa McPherson--we call it the Lisa McPherson Clause, Dr. Touretzky's web site is www.lisaclause.org.
MAN #1: Lisaclause?
PETER ALEXANDER: Yeah. L-i-s-a-c-l-a-u-s-e. And there is a lot of information that Dr. Touretzky has put on the web about Scientology.
WOMAN: As in Santy?
MAN #1: Yeah. Lisaclause.org.
PETER ALEXANDER: Yeah.
MAN #1: Okay--
PETER ALEXANDER: --Lisaclause.org.
MAN #1: All right, Peter, thank you.
PETER ALEXANDER: Thank you.
MAN #1: Wow, a million dollars.
MAN #2: That's amazing.
MAN #1: I wonder how much those guys Travolta and Cruise are in for?
MAN #2: Shouldn't they be at the top?--
WOMAN: -- can afford it.
MAN #1: You would think so, right?
WOMAN: Well, sure, that's why they're superstars, they're at the top level.
MAN #1: Yeah. Just weird. And, and I kinda want to join!
MAN #2: I know.
MAN #1: In a weird way, don't you want in just to see?
MAN #2: Yeah, that's why--"I'm not overweight, there's tiny demons, they set up condos!"
WOMAN: That's what they did!
MAN #2: They built luxury apartments--
MAN #1: All over your big ass!
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