Since some of the materials which describe the $cientology cult could be
considered to be copywritten materials, I have censored myself and The
Skeptic Tank by deleting any and all possible text files which describes
the cult's hidden mythologies. I have elected to quote just a bit of the
questionable text according to the "Fair Use" legal findings afforded to
those who report. - Fredric L. Rice, The Skeptic Tank, 09/Sep/95
From news.interserv.net!news.sprintlink.net!news.dgsys.com!DGS.dgsys.com!alerma Mon Jul 10 17:02:26 1995
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (alerma)
Subject: How Cof$ Harrasses Critics
Date: 8 Jul 1995 05:06:13 GMT
Organization: Digital Gateway Systems
X-Newsreader: TIN [version 1.2 PL2]
Index on A2 lists at top of C/OUTLOOK
How the Scientologists try to
impose their version of the truth
on members, defectors---and on
journalists. Page C1
Front Page - Outlook Section - Page C1
Chirstmas Day edition - The Washington Post
The Church's War Against Its Critics----and Truth
by Richard Leiby
"People who attack Scientology are criminals"
-L.Ron Hubbard, founder of the Church of Scientology
ONE DAY in November, Arnaldo P.
Lerma, an audio-video technician
from Arlington, opened his front door
and encountered two unsmiling men
in dark suits. He tensed up; he recognized
them as the strangers who had been
tailing him as he drove into town that
"We represent the Church of Scientology,"
one of the men said. Lerma hurriedly
shut the door.
The pair wedged a three-page, legal-
looking document inside the screen door.
It was "Declaration of Arnaldo Pagliarini
Lerma," but Lerma hadn't written it and
in fact had never seen it before. He left
Scientology in 1978, after serving
several years as a low-level staffer.
The document amounted to a confession,
with a line left blank for Lerma's signature.
"I engaged in taking illegal drugs," it
read in part, "and eventually left the Church
entirely because I could not maintain a
high enough ethical standard.....
"I wish to make it known that I have been
involved in trying to denigrate the name of
Scientology and some of its leading
members......I wish to recant these statements
Lerma, 44, the son of a Mexican agriculture
official who grew up in Washington, felt
intimidated. A few hours later, an anonymous
fax arrived. "CEASE AND DESIST YOUR
ACTIVITY AGAINST THE CHURCH AND WE
WILL TAKE NO FURTHER ACTION." the fax
Now Lerma felt outraged. Was this some
kind of threat? He contacted his lawyer and
the FBI, which took a report. Then he mailed a
letter to the Washington Post, enclosing a
computer disk labeled "Inside Scientology."
"Something has to be done," Lerma wrote.
"This is America---isn't it?"
What had Lerma done to earn the attention
of a Church he left 16 years ago?
He engaged in freedom of speech. A frequent
user of the Internet, Lerma had posted public
records---documents from Court cases
involving Scientology--on the global computer
network and on the America OnLine
commercial service. The documents included
testimony from former church officials who
describe Scientology as a dangerous cult
that brainwashes and blackmails its members
and harasses defectors and critics.
In the church's eyes, Lerma--Who once
signed a "billion-year contract" to serve
Scientology as a member of its quasi-military
"Sea Organization"---was now an enemy.
How do I know this? Because I have read
the scriptures of Scientology, as written by
church founder L Ron Hubbard. And -
because, according to those scriptures a jour-
nalist like myself is an enemy- specifically, a
"suppressive person" and "chaos merchant.
to use the colorful language of Hubbard, a
gifted science fiction writer who died in
1986, convinced his church would lead all
mankind to "total freedom."
Hubbard's grand dream remains unreal-
ized, but Scientology seems to be gaining
some of the mainstream acceptance its
leaders covet. In Washington, it is moving its
headquarters to the more visible Fraser
mansion near Dupont Circle. Earlier this
month, the Church of Scientology Intema-
tional's top leader invited reporters to
celebrate the religion's 40th anniversary by
covering an exhibit and luncheon at the Na-
tional Press Club.
I was barred from attending, "You seem to
make a living by writing falsehoods, said
Kurt Wieland the head of the church's Office
of Special Affairs. A big bellied man with an
Austrian accent. Weiland blocked me from
the First Amendment Lounge, where
Church President Heber Jentzsch was chat-
ting up other journalists.
The public has been hearing a lot about
Scientology's virtues, lately from celebrities
such as Tom Cruise, John Travolta, Isaac
Hayes -and Nancy Cartwright (the voice Of
Bart Simpson), who credit Hubbard's "pro-
ccessing" regimen's and "study technology," for
bringing happiness and fulfillment to their lives.
I have hear praise for the transforming
spiritual power of Hubbard's Dianetic's
counseling (the foundation of Scientology)
since the day I began investigating the orga-
nization in 1979. 1 was a young reporter in
the small beach town of Clearwater Florida
where Hubbard's Sea Organization estab-
hshed its 'Flag Land Base.',
From the beginning, I have also heard per-
suasive stories of abuse and deception from
ex-members. Among the defectors are those
who say they paid substantial sums to,attain
the secrets of the upper level Scientology
courses, which are, based on Hubbard's vi-
sion of an intergalatic Holocaust 75 million.
years ago, when an evil ruler named Xenu
implanted "thetans" (or spirits) in
volcanoes on Teegeeack, which we now
implanted "thetans" (or spirits) in
volcanoes on Teegeeack, which we now
But I am riot writing to dispute the rel-
gious nature of Scientology-which the In-
ternal Revenue. Service affirmed when it
granted tax-exempt status to 150 churches last
year. This is America: Believe in what-
ever cosmology you want to; and toss what-
ever size chunk of change you see, fit into.
the collection basket.
Neither do I seek to prove or disprove
the grievances by former members, whether-
brought in court or on the Internet.
Church spokesmen point out that it has
millions of sea org members while the
apostates number a 'couple dozen." The to-
tal of defectors, is actually unknown, but
Lerma says hundreds of America Online us-
ers have downloaded documents critical of
the church. Some who quit Scientology say
they dare not go on record for fear of reprisals.
Many journalists have learned that lesson
too. As early as 1959, Hubbard issued orders
to stem negative press and ensure that Jo ur-
nalists would "shudder into silence" rather
than closely examine his newly invented reli-
gion. ("Hire a private detective" Hubbard,
advised his staff. 'to investigate the writer
not the magazine, and get any criminal or
Communist background the man had.
But anonymity of cyberspace encour-,
ages fearless debate. The Internet news-
groups titled "alt.religion Scientology" and
"alt.clearing.technology" are among the most
frequently accessed on the network. With an
estimated 40,000 readers. These include,
current Scientology practitioners, bitter
dropouts and exstaffers like Arnaldo Lerma,
who favors establishing a spin-off religion
that retains the problem-solving "tech".
'We don't want to destroy Scientology" he says,
"We just want a change of management"
This is A fantasy worthy of Hubbard's best
pulp fiction. From all the evidence I've seen,
management-strategy toward dissent hasn't
changed -and never will.
In 1979-80 I covered the criminal pro-
ceedings against 11 Scientology officials.
On the basis of internal church docu-
rants seized by the FBI, these officials were
convicted participating in various plots to
plant spies i m federal agencies, break into
government offices, and bug at least one IRS
The "Scientology 11" worked for the
Guardian' Office, established by Hubbard's
order in 1966 'The Guardians were assigned
to ensure Scientology's "Survival." The
church maintains that everyone connected to
any criminal operations was, purged in the
'80s. The latest Scientology "reference guide"
for media refers to former Guardians as "dupes"
who "abandoned any pretense of following the
principles described in Mr. Hubbard's writings."
No mention is made of a prominent dupe--Hubbards
wife Mary Sue, who headed the Guardians Office
and served a year in prison.
The gaurdians, however, Acted on policies
written by Ron Hubbard--policies that are
now considered consecrated text As the.
church's latest media guide puts it: "The
writings and recorded, spoken words of L.
Ron Hubbard collectively constitute the
scriptures of the religion."
Among the religious writings of Lafayette Ronald
"Don't defend Always attack." (1960)
"Harrass these persons in any possible way"
(1965 campaign against splinter groups)
"NEVER agree to an investigation of Scientology
.ONLY agree to an investigation of the
:" There has never yet been an attacker who was not
reeking of crime. All we had to do was look for it
and murder would come out"
(1966 policy letter)
"They are enemies of mankind, the planet and
all life. They are fair game." (a 1968 "ethics order"
covering a list of "supressive persons"
"The prize is 'public opinion' where press is
concerned. The only safe public opinion to
head for is they love us are in a frenzy of hate
against the enemy, this means standard
wartime propaganda is what we are doing...."
"Never treat war as a skirmish. Treat all
skirmishes like wars. (1969 "Battle Tactics)
Today, the war is carried on, against the
government of Germany, where authorities
have concluded that Scientology is a busi-
neis, not a religion; against journalists, in-
cluding the author of a 1991 cover story in
Time Magazine; and against defectors like
Lerma, who was a 17-year-old hippie with an
aptitude for electronics when he began tak-
ing, Scientology courses in Washington in
For seven years, Lerma, would serve the
Sea Organization whose members wore
dark. slacks, white shirts and nautical gold
lanyards-in positions in Los Angeles and
New York. His pay, he says, was $10 a
week. and he sometimes survived on peanut
butter, but he enjoyed the camaraderie and
earnestly believed: that "processing" could
"clear" his mind of stress and problems. Ler-
ma never served on Hubbard's ship, the
Apollo, but hoped someday to meet and
impress the 'Old Man." -a charismatic and
swashbuckling figure in those days.
Hubbard's seagoing, operation secretly
came ashore in Clearwater in 1975. Docu-
ments released by the Court in connection
with the Scientology, 11 proceedings would
reveal a Hubbard-directed scheme to take
control of the town's police, business and
media institutions. Guardian Office file's
showed that Scientology planted spies in the
Clearwater Sun and that its. agents attempt-
ed to smear the mayor by staging a hit-and-
run accident. Those are a few of the stories I
reported on when I joined the Sun.,
When Lerma arrived at Flag Land Base in
Clearwater-in 1977, he says he hoped to
marry,, one of Hubbard's daughters. This,
Lerma maintains, was his real offense
against Scientology; falling in love.
A Church spokeswoman, Kann Pouw, says
Lerma "left the Church because he could not
maintain. the ethical standards required of
Scientologists" She confirms that Scientolo-
gy agents left the confessional "declaration"
for Lerma to sign that day in November.
The Guardian's Office no longer exists.
but in the Office of Special Affairs
(OSA). Hubbard's spirit is alive and
well "We know that you used to work in
Clearwater," OSA"s Kurt Weiland informed
me at the National Press Club "and we know,
exactly what you wrote." In a follow up fax to
Washington Post editors, the church called
me a "known propagandist."
I admit that Scientology's version of truth
and my own findings rarely correspond. Con-
sider one example, taken from the new me-
Question: Did L. Ron Hubbard state that
the way to make money was to start a reli
Answer... No. , This is an unfounded ru mor.
The rumor got started in 1948; according
to the church, when "one individual" claimed
he heard Hubbard make such a comment
during a lecture. "The only two people who
could be found who attended the very lec-
ture in 1948 denied that Mr. Hubbard ever
made the statement," says the media guide?
But the man who invited Hubbard to
speak, Sam Moskowitz, a 74-year-old sci-
ence fiction editor in Newark, swears to this
day that Hubbard made the remark in front
of 23 members of the Eastern Science Fic-
tion Association, most of whom are now
The church also ignores a 1983 book by
Lloyd Arthur Eshbach, 'Over My Shoulder.
Reflections of the Science Fiction Era."
Eshbach recounts a 1948 meeting with Hubbard
and two others in New York-
"The incident is stamped indelibly in my
mind because of one statement that Ron
Hubbard made. What led him to say what he
did I can't recall-But in so many words
Hubbard said- -'I'd like to start a religion,
That's where the money is"
Two other Hubbard contemporaries quote
him similarly in the unauthorized 1987 biog-
raphy "Bare-Faced Messiah." And two sci-
ence fiction experts contacted for this story
confirm -that Hubbard made such remarks
before be wrote his treatise on Dianetics,
which was first published in the magazine
Astounding Science Fiction. But church offi-
cials maintain that these people are sorely
confused. The church says another famous
writer said the exact same thing----George
Orwell, who wrote to a friend in 1938 that
there might be a lot of cash in starting a
"It seems that Orwell's comment has been
rnisattributed to Mr. Hubbard," the church
media guide tells reporters.
Only one problem: The Scientology opera-
tive who says he came up with the Orwell
explanation is Robert Vaughn Young, who
quit the central church in 1989 after 2O
years as a spokesman. While researching the
life of the Founder, Young says he talked to
three Hubbard associates from the ' '
fiction days who remembered Hubbard talk-
ing about getting out of the penny-a-word
game for the more lucrative field of religion.
Young ignored those comments, of course.
and by a stroke of luck came up with the
The irony is beyond Orwellian. But the
man 'who wrote '1984" would certainly relish
the scenario. The Hubbard quote gets sent
down the memory tube, replaced by another,
more suitable source. Over tune, as Orwell
understood. a lie can become the truth. Who
will dispute it?