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
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** AFFIDAVIT **
Suite 1527-180 250 West 57th Street
New York, New York 10107
September 26, 1989
My name is Monica Pignotti. I was involved in the Church of
Scientology from December, 1970 to August, 1976. From on or
about February, 1973 to August, 1976, I was a member of the
Sea Organization, the elite inner-circle of Scientology. From
May 1973 to October 1975 I lived aboard the Flagship Apollo,
which was the home of L. Ron Hubbard, his wife Mary Sue Hubbard
and his four children. After leaving Flag in October 1975 when
the ship was sold, I lived and worked on staff at the land base
at the Fort Harrison Hotel in Clearwater, Florida until May,
1976 when I was transferred to Los Angeles where I was on staff
until I left in August, 1976.
I first heard about Scientology in the fall of 1970, when I
was a 17-year-old Freshman at the University of Utah majoring
in music. Another music student told me about Scientology and
invited me to a free lecture in December, 1970. Up to this point,
I had been a good student and had no history whatsoever of any
mental problems or drug abuse.
After attending the free lecture at the Scientology mission
in Salt Lake City, I purchased the book, Dianetics, the Modern
Science of Mental Health, the 1950 bestseller by L. Ron Hubbard.
I was very impressed and fascinated with the book and decided
to sign up for the first course, which was called the Communications
course. I started this course in January, 1971, which I attended
two evenings a week. The course consisted mainly of drills called
Training Regimens ("TRs"). The first TR was called TR-O, where
I was required to sit face to face with a partner (another student),
maintaining eye contact and "just be there", which meant to
sit there without any movement or thought whatsoever. The drill
is passed when the person can do this for two hours.
I was unaware at the time that every time I did TR-O, I was
going into a hypnotic trance state. I only realized this years
later, after leaving the group, when I read about hypnosis and
experienced a trance state from a legitimate psychologist who
did hypnosis on me. The state I was in then was identical to
the state I was in when I did TR-O.
TRs are done regularly and often by Scientologists on all levels.
Pretty soon, for me, just walking into the courseroom induced
a trance state in me. Hubbard claimed to be vehemently against
hypnosis, but, nevertheless, this is what I experienced. Being
in this trance state made me extremely vulnerable to the material
I was reading, which basically stated that Scientology is the
only road to total freedom, that we were in a labyrinth as citizens
of the planet earth and the only way out of this "trap" was
through Scientology. A very dreary picture was being painted
of the world outside of Scientology, which was referred to as
the wog world.
I became more and more obsessed with Scientology and began spending
more and more time at the mission and less and less time in
my classes. By March, 1971, I dropped out of school and joined
staff at the mission full time. When my parents, who lived in
Michigan, found out that I had dropped out of school, they became
very upset and concerned about me. They went to the library
at the University of Michigan and did extensive research on
Scientology and everything they came up with was negative. My
father flew out to Salt Lake City to show me the articles and
a book he had found, written by Paulette Cooper called The Scandal
of Scientoloqy. When he presented these articles and the book
to me, I read them and immediately dismissed them as a pack
of lies perpetrated by the "wog" press. I decided that Paulette
Cooper must be a suppressire person. Suppressire person ("SP")
is the term Scientologists use to describe anyone who
publicly criticizes or attacks Scientology. An SP is a
psychotic who wishes nothing but ill for all mankind. We
were told that anyone who has any critical thoughts about Scientology
has crimes of great magnitude (Scientologists call these overts)
against the group. In this way, any critical thoughts we might
have against the group were stopped, since any time I had a
negative thought about Scientology, instead of looking at the
evidence, I would introvert and ask myself what was wrong with me.
I became determined to become a Scientology auditor. This was
accomplished by taking a series of Scientology courses, the
first one being the Dianetics course, which cost $500, the next
being the Academy levels, which cost $1,000 (these courses are
much more expensive today). Since I was a college dropout, with
no job other than my staff position at the Scientology mission,
these prices were very expensive to me, but I didn't complain
or object because I believed that in these courses was a great
technology that would free mankind. We were told, in a statement
by Hubbard called "What Your Fees Buy", that this money did
not go to Hubbard personally--that he drew less salary than
the average org staff member. The money, we were told, went
to keeping the Scientology organizations running so Scientology
could be delivered.
There was a least one occasion that I can recall that registrars
from higher Scientology organizations came to our mission and
used high pressure sales tactics to get us to sign up for more
courses. One such tactic was called the "postulate check", where
the person would be asked to write a check for an amount that
they didn't have in the bank account. The theory behind this
was that by writing such a check, the person would be given
the incentive to create the money (Scientologists call creating
something "mocking it up"). If a person really had a strong
intention to get the money, he or she could mock it up. I wrote
a postulate check for $1,000, even though I had less that $100
in my bank account. The next day, I went to my bank to try to
get a loan for $1,000, but was turned down due to no credit
history. My check bounced.
Not too long after that, I was walking in the downtown area
of Salt Lake City when I was approached by a middle-aged man.
He told me I was beautiful and he could get me work in the movies.
He was obviously a con man--obvious to anyone but me. I decided
that I had finally mocked up a way to get the money for my courses.
I agreed to meet him the next day--I trusted this total stranger.
I got into his car with him and he took me to his hotel room.
It was then that I started to feel very uneasy and to realize
that he just wanted to have sex with me. I was very frightened
and even though I didn't want to, I submitted when he raped
me. Prior to being in Scientology, I never would have given
this man the time of day, but being in the tranced-out state
of mind I was in, I went with him.
At the time, I didn't realize why this had happened and blamed
myself for the whole incident. Eventually, I managed to get
the money for my courses, by gradually saving the $220 a month
living expenses my parents sent me, getting more money from
my parents and borrowing money from friends who were also in
By this time, I became more and more involved in Scientology
and more isolated from the rest of the world. I became interested
in joining the Sea Org. When I visited the Sea Org in Los Angeles
for the first time, I was appalled at the living conditions.
I saw one of the rooms where staff lived, a dingy room with
eight filthy mattresses in a basement. I helped prepare food
in the kitchen, where people were peeling slimy rotten leaves
with little black bugs on them and serving what was left of
the head of lettuce to the staff. Even though I was disgusted
by what I saw, I justified what I saw by telling myself that
Hubbard couldn't possibly know about these conditions.
I still wanted to join the Sea Org, but I was under 21, which
was considered legal adult age at the time, and my parents
refused. Even though I was very upset and angry with them there
was nothing I could do. A few months later, I finally persuaded
them to let me join, but at that time, I decided against it
because the recruiter wouldn't guarantee me a staff position
as an auditor. I decided to pay for my training as an auditor
myself and join the Sea Org when I was more highly trained.
By October, 1972, I had become a Class VI auditor, which is
considered to be a fairly high level of training and completed
the Clearing Course, which made me a Scientology Clear. In January,
1973, I did a level known as OT III. The materials of OT III
were to be kept strictly confidential, and I had been repeatedly
told that OT III would explain why we were in the trap we were
in on earth. We were required to keep the materials for all
advanced courses in a locked briefcase whenever we left the
course room with them. On OT III, we were given a packet of
materials in Hubbard's handwriting that told the story of OT
Briefly, this is what we were told: 75 million years ago, there
was a confederation of planets (Earth was one of them) called
the Galactic Confederation that suffered from gross overpopulation.
The leader, Zenu, decided to solve this problem by shipping
people to volcanoes on earth, planting H-bombs on the volcanoes
and blowing them up. The resulting spirits were collected and
packaged together into clusters of spirits. These spirits were
forcibly implanted with all kinds of information in the form of pictures
of God, the Devil, spinning, for thirty-six days. Anyone who attempted
to solve this on their own, Hubbard said, would end up getting
caught up in the 36-days, be unable to sleep and eventually
die of pneumonia. Hubbard said that he, alone had solved this
implant, which he called Incident II, and, thus provided mankind,
for the first time in 75 million years with a way out of the "trap."
The conclusion he came to is that we, on earth, are now all
possessed with hundreds of these clusters of spirits that live
with us in our bodies. These spirits are called Body Thetans
and on the level of 0T III, we audit out these Body Thetans
and find out who we really are.
Being as indoctrinated as I was, I believed this entire story.
After I did 0T III, I became more convinced than ever that I
had to join the Sea Org. Sea Org members sign a one billion
year contract. I joined the Sea 0rg on or about February, 1973.
Because, at this point, I was a fairly highly trained auditor,
I was immediately given a position as an auditor on staff at
the Advanced Organization of Los Angeles.
In May, 1973, Mary Sue Hubbard personally invited me to come
to the Flagship Apollo to train as an auditor. This was considered
to be a great honor and was a reward I was given for auditing
one of Mary Sue's key staff members in Los Angeles. She had
been very pleased with my auditing.
I left for Flag in May, 1973. I was told that the location of
the ship was to be kept stricly confidential. It was only on
the day I left that I was told the location of the ship: Oporto,
Portugal. Once I boarded the ship, my passport was taken from
me "for safekeeping".
I was shown to my living quarters which was a very crowded stuffy,
smelly room with about 50 bunkbeds called the women's dorm.
This is where most of the single women on the ship lived. Just
above the dorm was an area called the aft lounge, where I noticed
teenage girls washing and ironing clothes all day long. One
of these girls was Tonya Burden, who later sued the Church of
Scientology. I found out that these girls were in training to
be personal messengers for Hubbard.
Conditions on the ship were very crowded and discipline was
harsh, particularly for auditors in training (interns) such
as myself. As interns, we were expected to be perfect. If our
auditing failed to produce the expectd result, it was always
considered to be our fault, never that the auditing didn't work
because Hubbard created the auditing processes, which were flawless.
If and when the auditors did get less than perfect results,
they were considered to have evil intentions and were severely
One method of discipline was a ritual called the Kali Ceremony.
A hideous picture of the Goddess Kali, the Hindu goddess of
death and destruction was put up in our classroom above an altar
and a ritual was held for auditors that goofed up. In a darkened
candlelit room, the auditors and interns were given sheets of
lyrics for a hymn to the goddess Kali, sung to the tune of "Rock
of Ages" After the hymn was sung, the offending auditor was
made to "bow and scrape" to the goddess Kali and then was given
a knife and a mock preclear folder and told to "stab the preclear"
at which time the auditor had to stab the folder over and over.
I had to participate in such a ceremony on two occasions and
watched many others participate in this ceremony.
Another way we were disciplined was to spend four hours in
the crow's nest. The crow's nest is a small bucket-like
structure that is the highest point on the ship. It was reached
by climbing up a small narrow ladder. I had to go to the crow's
nest on two occasions. One time, I was so distraught, I had
thoughts of letting go of the ladder and hurling myself to the
ground, even though I had no prior history of being suicidal
and have had no history of being suicidal since leaving the
I also witnessed a fourteen year old boy being locked up in
the chain locker of the ship, where he was made to spend the
night. The chain locker is a small dark space where the chain
to the anchor to the ship is stored when the ship is not at
anchor. The boy was being put in the chain locker by three teen-age
L. Ron Hubbard messengers. I witnessed this happening several
times to people, even though I never experienced it myself.
I was growing increasingly angry at what I was witnessing and
experiencing on the ship, which I had been told prior to going
there was the "sanest space on the planet". One evening, we
were all gotten out of bed in the middle of the night and told
we had to write letters to get paying public people to come
to Flag. At that point, I couldn't stand it anymore and said,
"If anyone ever wrote the truth about what really goes on here,
nobody would want to come." For that, I was put in an ethics
condition of Treason. Free speech was not a right we enjoyed
on the ship.
At the end of 1973, Hubbard created the Rehabilitation Project
Force (known as the "RPF") to deal with troublemakers aboard
the ship and anyone who happened to displease him. Anyone who
was considered to be a "nonproducer" who had a low score on
his or her OCA personality test, was also a candidate for the
RPF. This is the same test that is given to new people in Scientology,
often passed out on the streets to prospective customers. Hubbard
claimed that the RPF was an act of benevolence on his part to
"rehabilitate" psychotic criminals. Actually, in my opinion
and experience, the RPF was a prison camp.
On January 10, 1974, an ethics order was issued assigning the
first group of people to the RPF. My name was on that list,
I believe, because I had spoken my mind one too many times and
was considered a troublemaker. Members of the RPF had to wear
black or navy blue boiler suits, could not speak to other crew
members unless spokem to, had to obey all orders without question,
had to eat after everyone else had eaten and did menial labor,
such as cleaning toilets. We were also to audit each other to
"get off our overts and withholds", which in plain English
means to confess our crimes.
I had requested a committee of evidence (Scientology's version
of a hearing) to protest my assignment to the RPF. Hubbard's
son, Quentin, who had become my friend, was assigned as chairman
and he had no choice but to find me guilty on all charges and
my assignment to the RPF was upheld.
A few weeks later, Quentin attempted suicide. As a result he
was confined to isolation in his cabin for about three weeks
and then assigned to the RPF. While on the RPF, Quentin and
I became close friends.
Quentin and I both graduated from the RPF in May, 1974. I went
back to my internship and, for a while did very well as an auditor.
I had been assigned a person to audit who had a very low score
on his personality test and after my auditing, there was a very
big change in his score. As a result, I received a commendation
from Hubbard, who stated that I was to be held up as an example
of what Flag auditing is all about.
My status changed very quickly, however, as Quentin and I got
closer. In late August, Quentin went away on a three week vacation.
When he returned, in September, he confided to me that he had
made, yet another suicide attempt. At this point, I was ordered
to stop seeing Quentin, probably because I knew too much. I
refused to stop seeing Quentin and continued to see him.
Soon after my disobedience, I started getting in trouble again
for auditing "errors". In one case, a person I was auditing came
dowm with a cold a week after I finished auditing him and Hubbard
personally called for his folders.
I was blamed for gross auditing errors and Hubbard sent down
an ethics order personally cancelling all of my certificates
and ordering that a committee of evidende be convened on me.
The person assigned as chairman of my committee was a person
who was well known strongly to dislike me. I was found guilty
on all charges and, once again, assigned to the RPF.
This time I had a very difficult time on the RPF and it seemed
that it was being made very difficult for me to get out. I cleaned
toilets day after day, month after month, and finally suffered
from a complete emotional breakdown. I went through days where
I was completely out of control, sobbing continuously. At one
point I was assigned to what is known as the RPF's RPF, which
is where people who get into trouble in the RPF were sent. In
the RPF's RPF I had to spend the entire day and evening down
in the bilges of the engine room, cleaning foul smelling muck
and painting them. I was not allowed to communicate with anyone
except the RPF's ethics officer and had to write up my ethics
conditions, which he wouldn't accept for several days. I was
to "find out who I really was", so I spent days trying to answer
that question to his satisfaction. I finally did it and was
returned to the RPF, but at that point, I was completely numb,
emotionally and obeyed any orders I was given, without question.
In October, 1975, the Flagship Apollo was sold and the RPF was
temporarily disbanded. (The RPF was reinstituted about a year
later.) Once we moved to Clearwater, I was assigned to do Folder
Error Summaries, which means going through people's auditing
folders and noting down any errors that were made in the auditing.
At that point, I just did my job and whatever I was told to
do. Finally, in May, 1976, I was transferred to Los Angeles
where I was assigned the position of Director of Processing
at the Advanced Organization of Los Angeles. My RPF experience
had been forgotten and I was once again in a position of high
I was very unhappy in Los Angeles and missed my friends in Clearwater.
I kept my distance from everyone at the org in Los Angeles and,
as a result began to spend a great deal of time alone. This
gave me some time to think and some of the mind control I had
been under began to lessen. In July, 1976, my father had a heart
attack and I had to fly to Philadelphia to visit him in the
hospital. I was completely away from Scientology for three weeks.
When I returned in August, 1976, the Sea Org and Scientology
was beginning to look very bad to me. I had a fight with the
person directly over me and, as a result, I refused to work
with her and walked off my post of Director of Processing. I
went back to doing the same work with the folders that I had
been doing in Clearwater.
I began to realize that I had no control over or freedom in
my life, whatsoever, and one day I had an experience of snapping
out of my trance state. I realized that I was not happy and
would need to make a decision.
Two weeks later, on August 21, 1976, I decided to leave, got
on a Greyhound bus and went back to my parent's in Michigan.
I experienced numerous after-effects from my experience
in Scientology, including depression and having nightmares every
night for a year after leaving. At the time, I was not in contact
with anyone who knew about treating victims of cults and, as
a result, did not receive counseling until 12 years later. I
am currently in therapy with Lorna Goldberg, MSW, a psychotherapist
who has 13 years experience treating victims of cults.
There is a great deal more I could say about what I experienced
in those twelve years after leaving the group, and about my
experiences in Scientology, but this statement is already very
long. If anyone has any further questions, I would be more than
happy to answer them.
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CARD CATALOG ENTRY
DOS FILENAME OF TEXT FILE: MONICA.TXT
DOS FILENAME OF IMAGE FILES: MONICA.TIF
NAME FOR BBS: Affidavit of Monica Pignotti, 1989.
CONTRIBUTOR: Monica Pignotti
LOC. OF ORIG: FACTNet
NOTES: Monica Pignotti decribes life on board Apollo with LRH. The
Kali Ceremony. Forced labor on RPF (Rehabilitative Project
Force. Friendship with Quentin Hubbard. Her life after Sci.
For additional verification see image files contained in the file
with same name and .ZIP extension.
UPDATED ON: 3-29-94
UPDATED BY: FrJMc
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