Testimonies of supporters and critics of Scientology and Dianetics
Uncensored first-hand accounts: read them and find out what is really going
(Order of titles: newest updated / arrived first)
The natural born skeptic
Pope Charles (SubGenius Pope of Houston and radio DJ) seems to be a
born skeptic. Recently, he went off
to sea and like L. Ron Hubbard, he assigned himself the rank of Commodore.
Thanks to "Bob", he even stopped smoking. He
also visited the Scientology bookstore and caused
The girl who was too smart for Scientology - or was she
Kim Baker was voted the best poster of alt.religion.scientology
of 1994. She was a Scientologist when she started to post on a.r.s., but
for some reason, OSA got pissed off by her remarks. When I started lurking,
she made the post "I have been summonsed!". (sorry, I did not save those
posts). Because of her doubt, she was temporarly excluded from Scientology
services. But even after seeing how they "handled" her, she still wanted
to go back, and temporarly did.
Then she made a few posts that made it seem like she was out - and yes:
she was free. Thanks to herself and to the information posted on the newsgroup,
she had the strength to question herself, and to leave the cult. She then
posted her story in many parts:
Kim Baker became director of F.A.C.T.Net
in August 1995 shortly before the raids:
In October 1995 a friend of her was asked to participate in a bomb action.
She believed that this was for real (and not a set-up attempt) and resigned
The explanation did follow later. It was very long, and it later
it came out that at that time, she had already betrayed the people
who admired her and signed a lengthy declaration to the RTC, with some
really amazing allegations. Reactions from the crowd were very mixed -
some broke contact, some insulted her nastily, some almost broke into tears,
some (Ron Newman for sure) kept the contact.
Thanks to those (not me) who kept contact with her, she finally wrote a
affidavit, repudiating her statements of the first affidavit, but also
made some general statements that should be considered.
free again! Her first post that she was out,
this time for real.
Part 1: Her first contact, the hidden agenda, why
she was vulnerable to it, and some questions to think about.
free again, an answer to OSA boy Buz Cory.
Part 2: Her current depression, some thoughts about
leaving a cult, and an explanation of the jargon of the Sea Org.
Part 3: Her experience with the purification rundown,
what went wrong, and some questions to think about.
Kim's start on alt.clearing.technology,
the newsgroup for the Free Zone.
Part 4: Saving the planet (yes, really !), the
student hat, the key to life course, deterioration of her marriage.
Part 5: On staff: the technical training corps,
the training routines.
Summonsed again: Her best friend called to get
her back in the cult - ouch, that hurts. Contains also some answers by
her supporters and by the guy who was named worst poster of 1994.
Part 6: Absorbed by the cult, her relationship
with family and friends, living with contradictions, why stay in a racist
Part 7: The darling of the cult, a lucky escape,
leaving staff, and a lot of debts.
Part 8: Being public again, the end of her marriage.
Flashback: her discovery of a.r.s., how she was "handled" by OSA.
Part 9: Flashback: being a Scientologist on a.r.s.,
a note about Dennis Erlich and her.
Part 10: Flashback: more about her "handling" of
Dennis Erlich. Then final break from the cult, fear of being attacked soon.
Part 11: The conclusion about her experience in
Her wins after leaving the cult - an anti-Scientologist
success story !
Her ex-husband calls her on their wedding day,
to hurt her a bit - nice guy, huh ?
The end of her membership: She is now declared as a suppressive
person, which means that she may be tricked, lied to or destroyed.
After a lot of time she wrote a text describing what really happened:
My story continues - The Beast
Most older posts from her do no longer have her e-mail address because
she asked to have it removed. She came back later anyway. Here a list
of her flip-flops.
I met her in 1999 in Clearwater, FL. Here is her picket
Her 2003 goodbye for Robert Vaughn Young: Hambe
Her 2003 goodbye for Bob Penny: Hambe Kahle,
Larry Sobocinski has probably paid about $300,000 to reach the grade of
OT8 (the highest currently available). Read his story
if you want to see a sample of ScienoLogic [tm]. It is answered by someone
named Chuck, who basically says that Sobocinski is a liar. Sobocinski started
at Prodigy, then went to CompuServe, and is now at America Online. He probably
had to leave Prodigy because Pope Charles complained about a remark he
made, just after a german posted that a federal court had decided that
Scientology is not a religion, when it comes to labor litigation:
This is RICH!! The people that barbecued six million Jews have
decided Scientology is not a religion.
What's next, Heinz ? invite all the "non-state religion" members
over for a little "SARIN-nade" ? I can just see you dropping the Zyklon-B
crystals down the chute.
They killed him with a thought - not !
Patrick J*** got his cult services for free, but didn't get results. After
he asked too much questions, they threatened that they could kill him
with a thought. Finally, a Scientologist started a fight on the street
- read this if you want to know who won.
The teenage Scientologist
Chris J.L. was a teenage Scientologist. He spent six months there, they
even tried to make him drop out of school. They "handled" his mother, but
not him ! He went out, and even got a refund. His
story also explains the wacky world of "word clearing".
The beautiful girl he met was a Scientologist
Chris Lyman met a beautiful girl in his college years; but she was a Scientologist
and kept talking about clearing the planet, instead of going forward with
her life. He backed out before entering the Scientology
world of paranoia.
Even dedicated members get defrauded
Ken Long considers himself as a Scientologist, and was several years on
staff. He has produced a lot of high quality work, but didn't get from
them what they promised him. His first critical
post is about LRH's office at the Fort Harrison hotel. But he later said
that he has made no public departure, and his
beliefs and his kind of logic are still weird.
Here's another attempt to resolve what he calls
an "out-exchange" situation. Here is a summary of his work done, and what
it is worth. Ken wonders if OSA does read a.r.s.,
and suggest them to pay up ! Here he compares
the handling of his case to some California penal
codes, and also to L. Ron Hubbard's technical
dictionary. Then again, he explains why he is
here and complains about double standards.
To summarize, this is a good example that Scientology not only defrauds
the public, but also its most dedicated members. Since Ken has not sued
them, he'll never get any money.
His real offense: falling in love with Ron's daughter
Arnaldo Lerma had joined
Scientology at the age of 16 and became a Sea Org member who
signed his standard 1,000,000,000 year contract. The contract did not allow
him to get in love and marry Ron's daughter Suzette, so he had
to leave. Years later, he started to post affidavits on America Online,
which Scientology didn't like at all. The tactics
they used against him were later covered by an article
from the Washington Post, which was reprinted in other papers around
Months later, he posted affidavits from an open court document, and
raided by the cult, as part of their fight against free speech on the
net. See pictures of the
raid with the infamous Jim Settle going through his files. Arnie
was sued by the cult, which wasted several millions of dollars in the effort.
At the end, Arnie was fined $2500 only, and scientology was denied attorneys
Dennis Erlich was quite successful in the cult: he was Chief Cramming Officer
(the german word is "Chef-Einpauker") in the Sea Org and knew Hubbard and
Miscavige personally. He dropped out in 1982 as a result of Miscavige's
For some time, he ran a newsletter for ex-members called The inFormer.
He joined the internet in August 1994, and commented on the cult's papers.
The result: the cult raided him, searched his
house for six hours, deleted files on his hard disk, and sued
him, as part of their activities against the 'net. He has not written
a complete story, but here is his start, his
trip to the RPF's RPF, the attempts to reform
scientology, his account of his departure
after a power-struggle, and his depression before
he knew that he was not alone. The St. Petersburg Times reported about
daughters Beth and Kristi in a long
article about Scientology's children, and how they were abused by the
If you have RealVideo, you
the raid yourself (6MB).
Here some miscellaneous posts from or about Dennis:
Erlich had been the target of much black propaganda. Character assassinations
routinely alleged that he is a wife-beater, a child molester, or has "a
history of wife-beating". Here a document showing some
Shortly after the settlement, all WWW pages from Scientology that attacked
him were removed or altered to remove the libel and even his name. Even
their black propaganda organ "Freedom Magazine" was altered, as was the
"inofficial" site of Leisa Goodman and Parishioners.org.
The stipulated final judgment and
permanent injunction does not mention any settlement conditions between
Dennis Erlich and Scientology. However, it is impossible that Scientology
deleted their black propaganda for no reason. I asked Dennis quite a lot
of questions about the settlement, and received some answers and some
non-answers, and added a comment. Note also that since then, Dennis never
responded about the balance of the DE defense fund, which suggests that
all costs have now been paid. I also suggest to re-read his comment to
an online magazine in 1996:
And this comment at the end of the July 1998 summary:
Dennis Erlich to TIME Digital Daily
|I'll never go for a deal like Netcom's where I can't talk about
I had supported Dennis' litigation with several donations. The end has
been a disappointment for me. In the future, my donations for litigation
will come as a loan. This would have the advantage that when someone makes
a deal with the cult, that I get my money back and can help the next litigant.
Dennis Erlich posting on 3.7.1998
|I'm sure the cult doesn't have enough money to get me to back off.
I certainly am not going to enter into any agreement with the sliem
or go for a gag.
A former clear speaks
Steve Solomon is a Scientology clear who has joined the newsgroup alt.clearing.technology.
You don't understand anything from his story
? Don't blame yourself. Scientology can only be understood by Scientologists,
and it works only in the Scientology world.
The comment from The Squirrelle on that explanation of the state
"I don't believe in this so-called state of Clear, because
it is ill-defined, hardly maintainable and subject to debate about what
value Clear can give to any well-adjusted individual considering the Cof$
won't help if you are mentally unstable anyway".
The german rock star
Harmon Leon from the Met (a Dallas' Arts and Entertainment Weekly)
impersonated german musician Dieter Lietershvantz, who decided to go into
the Scientology Celebrity Centre in Los Angeles. Here are Dieter's
Brainwashed in a week
Isabel Hsin-Yu Chang was only
week in Scientology, and already wanted to drop out of college and get
on staff for two and a half years ! But luckily, her family managed to
tell her what Scientology was about, and she realized what
a mess she had got herself into.
Sucked in the cult thru a medical management company
Gordon Campbell's wife's family got sucked into the cult by a medical management
company. The rest of the family got together to do something, Gordon did
a lot of research work - until today without success.
When the doctor's engrams kick in
Julie Richard wrote a reader's comment on Bob Carrol's Skeptic's
Dictionary about her experiences with Dianetics.
letter shows that Scientologists she met were solely interested in
recruiting more Scientologists, even if they had to use illegal financial
Read also a (probably unrelated) report that QuackWatch
Inside View of a Chiropractic Office
Ron's books are more important than other's
Roy Softley's mom met L. Ron Hubbard in post-war Britain. Her impression
of him shows a precognition for things that were
yet to come.
Personalities are all messed-up
Andrew Falzon went thru a Scientology "personality test", and found out
that not only his personality is a mess, but also the personality of all
his friends, and all the same way.
Jim Lippard had a similar encounter, which finally led to a book
Hud Nordin did not even start the test, because he managed to catch
the recruiter with a lie.
Karen Cutchin's friend had a different experience: her test was so good
that they "persuaded" her to sign a 2 1/2 year contract.
Reverend Doctor David Gerard of the Church of the SubGenius also went
to his local org, made the test, and is now a member
Learn Scientology and get laid !
Paul Landon is a Scientology version of Martin Tupper, the hero
of the cable TV series Dream On. After doing some courses, he used
it to meet girls - it worked !
Rescued by his fraternity
A member of the MIT fraternity Pi Lambda Phi planned to drop out
of college to sign a 1,000,000,000 year contract in joining the Sea Org
(a cult inside the cult). Ron
Newman posted a cry for help on the net, and
the frat brothers got very active to help their
Caring families and friends are a big threat for Scientology !
The big disconnection shuffle
Troy Miranda left the cult in January 1995, because his wife and he were
both tired of beeing penniless and getting nowhere in life. In his first
message, he told that (unlike many other cult victims) his
life improved considerably after leaving: new job, new house, better
health. Amazing is that part of this improvement came by applying "Squirrel-Tech",
i.e. Scientology-like material written by ex-members. (My personal opinion
is that his improvement has other reasons, but if it worked, fine).
He later explained in detail about the disconnection
letters and weird threats they received, mainly due to his fanatic
hard-core sister-in-law, who is in the Sea Org. One of his remarks should
especially be remembered by people who are still in the cult:
I had not believed everything on a.r.s. but was finding out
fast that they could definively be true.
In a third message he clarified the role of a.r.s.
and a.c.t. in his decision to leave the cult.
Beware of misunderstood words
Applied Scholastics is a Scientology front-group that propagates Hubbard
study technology without telling about the Scientology link. Hubbard
was so sure of himself that he thought that all his "inventions" could
even work outside his wacky world.
Study technology is based on the concept that all problems with
studying are based on misunderstood words. Anyone who has studied
something can tell that there is much more than just words to understand
L. Ron Hubbard himself flunked university (for some time, he had a doctor
title from a degree mill), and current leader David "Damien" Miscavige
did not even finish high school. Would you buy a car from a company where
the CEO does not even drive ?
Many people on a.r.s. including myself do believe that study technology
is harmful for a good education, but could not bring evidence. Maggie Council
forwarded us a first-hand testimony. Read also
more general discussion about Study Technology.
Experiences with exit-counseling
Glen McClelland had exit-counseling at his parents' home. Scientology spreads
a lot of rumors about sleep depravation, kidnapping and abuse - exactly
what victims have always accused Scientology of doing. Glen tells us about
at Tony's: they are giving their victims huge quantities
of food, and allow them to sleep whenever they like ! Glen's dad is Tony
McClelland from CultAware, Australia.
Paul Grosswald had a very turbulent exit-counseling
which apparently failed. But the team his parents had hired had already
told him so much information, that the cult had no other choice than to
The ultimate adventure: getting a refund
Paul Horne had already paid $200 for introductory auditing at the Celebrity
Center in Hollywood, then changed his mind and wanted
his money back, therefore being in disagreement with keeping the world
free from insanity, crime and drugs - so they say.
On and off for 15 years
Ted Mayett dabbled in Scientology for about 15 years, on and off. When
he requested a refund on $5,209 from the Celebrity Center Las Vegas, they
played games with him, trying to trick him. He opened
an internet account, and went wow! while reading all the information
he didn't have before.
He then used the internet to describe his pressure tactic to get his
Ted also tells us interesting stuff about his days in the cult:
A lucky escape
Zane Thomas entered the cult as a teenager, and also left as a teenager,
after having stayed about a year. There was some incredibly nasty stuff
going on there, including imprisonment. It didn't
take him too long to wise up and he left in December 1968, but had
to recover his sleeping bag.
Prevention of Dianetics
In 1974, Laura Blanchard worked at Prevention Magazine. The magazine
was concerned about its integrity, i.e. was aware that readers expected
a high standard of advertisers. Laura's job was to handle reader complaints.
One day she received a complaint about a Dianetics
ad in the magazine. In order to make a decision, the magazine told her
to order a copy, and to see what happened.
Confession by Extortion
From time to time, Scientologists "ask" Deirdre
questions like "Where are the ten grand ?" or allege "You stole my money
!". Of course they "forget" how the related confession came up: by extortion.
this for the details.
The three bear traps
Peter Forde hadn't gone into the Sea Org completely blind: he was aware
that he might get his thinking too far shut down, thus he made some guarding
mental bear traps to catch Scientology out, and resolved to leave if any
of these were triggered. The bear traps were triggered
after five months.
Peter is also known for the document "A
Scientific Scrutiny of OT3", famous for its closely referenced geological
In 1999 he told that he has also been a Moonie.
Sad memories of an OT8
For a long time it was a mystery on the internet what the actual OT8 really
is, especially whether the OT8
from the Fishman affidavit were a forgery or not. In august 1996 Ariane
Jackson, a swiss Scientologist, decided to speak out.
According to Michael Pattinson, the "end phenomenon" of OT8 is now I
know who I am not, and am interested in finding out who I am.
Peter Mousiol was "bored" of his printing company in 1988. One day
he ordered a book from Les Dane for a staff member, which resulted in his
entry in Scientology. In 1992, he had lost several millions to Scientology
and to Scientologists because he was a very naive person. He then wrote
a Knowledge Report
which was leaked to the internet a few years later.
Maria Pia Gardini got into Scientology through her daughter.
Read how Scientology
squeezed over one million dollars out of her.
The lost daughter
Steve Keller, a longtime friend of Bob Penny (of FACTNet
fame), lost his daughter Amanda to Scientology, as his ex-wife took her
with her after she divorced him, and then moved her around the country.
In a last desperate move, he put up a
web site in her memory.
Held against their will
The communication skills of Scientologists exist mostly in their own mind.
So sometimes it is useful to hold people captive until they sign. The experience
of Dee Rowe
and Glover Rowe was told in a newspaper; same for Dorothy
and Robert Geary (read also the declaration of Robert Geary); the experience of Lin M was told
to me in e-mail. It gets worse: Roxanne
Friend was kidnapped, drugged and imprisoned. Scientologist OT8 Painter
Pattinson was held against his will on the "Freewinds" ship (passport
was withheld) and also in Clearwater, in both cases to extort money from
him. Marianne Coenan was locked up by her family
and submitted to the Introspection Rundown. The article The
Prisoners of Saint Hill described lock-ups in the UK. Frank Notaro picketed the Advanced Organization in Los Angeles (AOLA) to
ask for a refund, and was kidnapped and locked up for an hour (read
a transcript). A paraglider who landed within the Scientology compound
near Hemet was threatened
with semi-automatic weapons and locked in a box overnight.
Thanks to "religious freedom" and enough money, nobody has been indicted.
This might change with the case of Lisa
McPherson, who died in isolation.
Kristi Watcher has collected more
examples of false inprisonment by Scientology.
Jeff Jacobsen has collected at least 27
examples of people claiming Scientology held them against their will
Quitting ain't easy
Kathryn (not her real name) wanted to quit scientology
after getting doubts. Thanks to scientology "counselling", she got mentally
ill and received a prescription of Chloral Hydrate by scientologist doctor
Megan Shields. OSA successfully prevented what she really needed - psychiatric
help. The result was that she got even worse, until she landed in an emergency
room and stopped taking the medication. After that OSA pressured her to
sign an affidavit that everything was fine, etc. To top all this, her auditing
folders were "cleaned" of incriminating evidence. Unlike Lisa
McPherson, Kathryn got out alive.
Having a Scientologist as a partner
The guy with whom Natascha fell in
love was a Scientologist. Natascha did follow his advice to "find out for
yourself", and did not like at all what she saw.
The guy with whom Ilse Hruby fell in love and married was a Scientologist,
and his membership was more important to him than his family.
In her interview,
she describes that she felt that she was actually married to 35 people
(you can also read the interview in
german or order
her book or read it online in german or in english or visit her german
Visit the LMT page: Personal
Stories (on video!)
Visit the Martin Poulter's page: First-Person
Visit David Gerard's page: Personal
encounters with Scientology
Visit Ethercat's Through
Read the biography of Margery Wakefield: Testimony
Read the testimony
of Karen Schless Pressley (or visit her current website)
Mike Gormez has collected many affidavits
and stories on life in Scientology
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