Scientology: The Road to Total Freedom?

scientology the road to total freedom panorama1987: Scientology: The Road to Total Freedom? | Panorama | BBC Television

The video of this programme is split into five parts and can be viewed by clicking on the ‘more’ link below.

There is a complete written transcript at the bottom of the page, below the video windows.

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four

Part Five

Transcript:

Shot of Church of Scientology, Los Angeles; apparently group of ex-members

VOICEOVER: The Church of Scientology, one of the largest and richest new religious movements, is being sued for a billion dollars by former members for fraud and breach of trust. They regard Scientology as a dangerous cult.

group of Scientologists

VO: Yet the church goes on expanding, making converts and claiming it is “The Road to Total Freedom”.

“Panorama” opening credits; while music is playing there are shots of a Scientology cruise ship; woman Scientologist with video camera; Sea Org member; E-meter; Scientologists on a march; “Dianetics” hot air balloon; footage of L. Ron Hubbard; title—”Scientology: THE ROAD TO TOTAL FREEDOM?

outside St. Hill Manor; students in classroom; auditing session

VO: St. Hill Manor in West Sussex, the British headquarters of the worldwide Church of Scientology, where parishioners study the works of L. Ron Hubbard and under a form of psychotherapy called auditing.

Scientologists in library

VO: Scientologists everywhere claim benefits from the techniques Hubbard called “Dianetics” and point to their success in curing drug addiction.

outside Los Angeles church

VO: The church’s headquarters are in Los Angeles, where its leadership proclaims its message.

Ken Hoden–caption, “Rev. Ken Hoden, Church of Scientology”

KEN HODEN: Scientology is a tool that people can use in their lives to achieve their dreams and their goals. It can help people find work when they can’t seem to find any. It can help people eliminate stress in their life. It can help people become more self-confident, and with these tools, people can achieve their dreams. And you know something? Six million people around the world, that consider Dianetics and Scientology to be their religion, have found that it has helped them do that.

Harold and Mary Clarke walking

VO: In Britain, Harold and Mary Clarke see it differently. They feel they have lost their 24-year-old daughter Ruth to Scientology. Since joining the church, their daughter has broken with her family and become a stranger.

pictures of Ruth Clarke

HAROLD CLARKE (voice of): My daughter has changed so completely as a result of being in Scientology that we now no longer know the person she has become. Whereas she was a happy, loving, sparkling girl who it was a joy to have about the house,

caption–”Harold Clarke”

HAROLD CLARKE (on camera): She has now become a cold automaton who can’t think outside the mental strait jacket that she’s in because of Scientology.

caption–”Mary Clarke”

MARY CLARKE: I don’t believe–I don’t believe how evil Scientology can be.

outside London org; inside Scientology org

VO: Ruth Clarke worked here with other young people at Scientology’s London shop, one of 20 Dianetics centers in Britain. Like other religious movements such as the Moonies, Scientology has been accused of wildly exaggerating its membership, using mind control techniques to extort high fees, and breaking up families. But these movements nearly always operate within the law.

body router on street; window of org with “Dianetics” books on display; bust of L. Ron Hubbard

VO: Last year, her family actually kidnapped Ruth Clarke and took her back home, but couldn’t alter her beliefs. Ruth escaped from Norfolk and returned to the Scientologists and the teachings of Lafayette Ron Hubbard.

Cyril Vosper walking down street

VO: Cyril Vosper describes himself as a deprogrammer. Families with grown-up children in the new religions ask him to try to change their minds.

Cyril Vosper ringing a doorbell

VO: When Mr. and Mrs. Clarke kidnapped their daughter Ruth, Vosper was sent for. He failed then but with many others has succeeded. An ex-Scientologist himself, he brings his understanding of their methods to his deprogramming sessions.

Cyril Vosper sitting across from a young woman

CYRIL VOSPER: How much money have you spent altogether in Scientology?

WOMAN: About £2,000.

VOSPER: How long did it take them to get the £2,000 out of you?

WOMAN: About three days.

VOSPER: Three days.

WOMAN: Yes.

VOSPER: Now that’s good going, isn’t it? And what was your rate–

woman takes a drag off a cigarette

VO: Scientology has been vindictive towards ex-members, hence this girl’s request for anonymity. Vosper has witnessed a proliferation of what he sees as religious cults; but in his view, the most dangerous of them is Scientology.

caption–”Cyril Vosper”

VOSPER: I think it’s probably the worst because it’s the biggest and it’s got more money. It’s been around longer than the other ones have and therefore it’s got its act together better. And I think it basically should be stopped, but it won’t be stopped in the United Kingdom. We’ve got them in here and the authorities here don’t appear to give a damn.

Heber Jentzsch and Ken Hoden sitting in an office

VO: In Los Angeles, the leaders of Scientology dismiss Cyril Vosper’s critical views by attacking him personally.

caption–”Rev. Heber Jentzsch, President, Church of Scientology International”

HEBER JENTZSCH: (laughs) Oh, Mr. Vosper is a man who left his wife, left his children, refused to support them, left many debts. The church took up the wife’s cause, took up the children, and so forth. Mr. Vosper is also a known kidnapper of individuals, which he chooses to call it deprogramming—I think the word is a more a question of kidnapping for profit.

KEN HODEN: We’re talking about adults.

JENTZSCH: Yes.

caption–”Rev. Ken Hoden, Church of Scientology”

HODEN: People like myself, Rev. Jentzsch, people like John Travolta, Chick Corea, Karen Black, Nicky Hopkins, the six million Scientologists across the world that have found in Dianetics a solution to their problems. We’re talking about adults. This is not Nazi Germany. And what happened there should have taught us a lesson, and that is that man has a right to believe what they choose, and the six million Jews that were killed should have been enough of a lesson that we should have learned that by this time man should at least have the conscience to allow other people to believe what they choose—adults, and that’s what we’re talking about is adults, and we’re talking about a terrorism that was perpetrated by Mr. Vosper that is unconsciousable [sic].

cars driving by; Dianetics billboard

VO: Scientology today is a multi-million dollar business. Dianetics are psychological techniques invented by its founder.

“SCIENTOLOGY” lettering on top of the Los Angeles church; Scientology/Dianetics billboard; Dianetics center

VO: They promise enhanced intelligence and better health, and thus Scientology became a huge commercial success in America, where people yearn to improve themselves. But the initiation process is unusual. Becoming a Scientologist entails undergoing a series of training drills designed to instill confidence and obedience.

re-enactment of Tone 40 Training Routine

WOMAN: Stand up!

VOICE OF MAN: Acknowledge as loudly as you can.

WOMAN: Thank you!

VOICE OF MAN: Command as loudly as you can.

WOMAN: Sit down on that chair!

shot of ashtray on a chair

VOICE OF MAN: Very good. Acknowledge as loudly as you can.

WOMAN: Thank you!

shot of both the man and the woman, man holding sheet of paper

MAN: Good. Command as loudly as you can.

WOMAN: Sit down on that chair!

VO: These ex-Scientologists are demonstrating a drill of shouting orders at an inanimate object to develop what they call intention. The mark of a good Scientologist, wrote L. Ron Hubbard, is a fixed, dedicated glare.

woman and man doing TR0 Bullbait

VO: That look must be maintained even through the drill they call “bullbaiting”, having to listen to a barrage of insults. If the subject reacts in any way, she flunks, or fails.

MAN: You make me so mad, I’m not gonna drink my tea!

woman smiles

MAN: Laughing, flunk. Relax, start.

sign hanging on doorknob, “IN SESSION”

MAN’S VOICE: Well then I fell down.

auditing session–man holding ends of E-meter

VO: In this drill, the wired-up tin cans detect the electric charge in the subject’s hands.

MAN: And there I was screaming and crying, and my lawyer came out of the house.

VO: A so-called auditor can discover those topics that excite or upset the subject from the needle on a galvanometer that Scientologists call the E-meter.

auditor writing notes; man being audited; E-meter

VO: By pursuing those topics, the auditor can make the subject talk about suppressed fears or worries. That produces a feeling of gratitude and euphoria. Session will follow session and dependency is created. It is perfectly genuine if crude form of psychotherapy. Scientologists even talk through experiences they believe they had in past lives as they approach the condition known as “Clear”.

MAN (talking on camera): My abilities to handle life are better. I am not subject any more to bad feelings of the past, see? Auditing gets—has useful to get rid of that bad feelings of the past and be able to, to feel in present time and confront the future and lead a better life, and that’s what I get out of it.

shot through window of woman–camera pulls away to show woman and man

VO: But auditing is largely administered by people unqualified outside Scientology, and there is deep antagonism between Scientologists and professional psychiatrists.

Dr. Louis Jolyon West in his office; e-meter

VO: Dr. Louis Jolyon West is one who is deeply skeptical about auditing’s value.

INTERVIEWER: What promise does a session with an e-meter do?

DR. LOUIS JOLYON WEST: Well, the e-meter doesn’t do anything. If you buy one, you can be sure you’ve paid too much for it.

caption–Dr. Louis Jolyon West, Director, Neuropsychiatric Institute, UCLA

WEST: The e-meter is a gadget used by the purveyors of hocus-pocus to make what they do and say seem respectable because here’s a piece of machinery plugged into the wall.

INTERVIEWER: Doesn’t the needle genuinely represent a moment’s emotional charge, say, in the subject?

close-up of e-meter

WEST (voice of): The needle moves back and forth if the electrical changes in the skin take place, and all sorts of things can cause them to fluctuate, like a hunger pang or a need to go to the bathroom or an intrusive thought about some place else you’d rather be.

WEST (on camera): Or a bit of bad breath on the part of the auditor who’s bending over you or a twinge of guilt on account of what you’ve just said. If you can’t sort that out, then, um, whether or not you have an e-meter I would say makes no difference at all.

e-meter

VO: Scientology was accused of practicing psychiatry without a license. In 1954, it became a church and adopted the costumes and titles of Christian ministers.

Franklin Freedman–caption, “Franklin Freedman, ex-Scientologist”

FRANKLIN FREEDMAN: It was a real farce, if you will. I was in there, I had to become ordained. I mean, I was Rev. Franklin Freedman, but, I mean, I never used it in any religious manner.

Scientologists in clerical garb

FREEDMAN (voice of): In the church, it’s a big joke; I mean, they joke about it all the time how they fool the public thinking that we’re a religion, etc., etc. That was LRH’s idea, you bet.

FREEDMAN (on camera): The purpose was to give the public the image that this was a church, and the Scientology organization is the farthest thing from a church I’ve ever seen.

bust of L. Ron Hubbard

VO: But it’s called itself a church since the 1950s, and its founded is treated with a religious devotion. Most new religious movements have a guru, an author of their sacred text, and Hubbard is Scientology’s. The church stands by all the claims he made about himself.

pictures of L. Ron Hubbard

VO: He was a science fiction writer who reportedly quoted George Orwell in saying that if a man wants to make a million, he should start his own religion. Where his past is undistinguished, Hubbard invented a more impressive life story, making himself a nuclear physicist and decorated war hero. Though Dianetics is supposed to make one healthy, he concealed his many illnesses.

footage of Apollo–caption, “World in Action”, Granada TV, 1968

VO: In the late ‘60s, Hubbard took to the high seas in an old channel ferry called the Apollo.

L. RON HUBBARD: I don’t think they could make anything out of my life, [?????] (laughs).

VO: Scientology was becoming increasing unpopular with several governments.

footage of Sea Org members on the Apollo

VO: On the Apollo Hubbard created Scientology’s elite, the Sea Organization or Org, complete with naval ranks and uniforms. Its members sign contracts lasting a billion years, and military discipline prevailed, with harsh punishments for those who offended against the founder’s rules, or “ethics”.

picture of L. Ron Hubbard’s “messengers”

VO: Hubbard called him “the Commodore” and was waited upon by a hand-picked team of teenage girls known as the “Commodore’s messengers”. Dede Reisdorf became their commanding officer.

pictures of Dede Reisdorf and other Commodore messengers

DEDE REISDORF (voice of): I was actually born into Scientology. When I was 13 we joined the Sea Org. The whole idea of being in the Sea Org was that you were the ones who were here to make the world a safe place. The Sea Org was special

DEDE REISDORF (on camera): As for what we called the “wog world”–

INTERVIEWER: What?

REISDORF: The “wog world”.

INTERVIEWER: What does that mean?

caption–”Dede Reisdorf, Former Commodore’s Messenger”

REISDORF: Anything and anybody who wasn’t involved with Scientology was the wog world, what now I like to call “the real world” (laughs). But at that point, that was what we, you know, we considered people out there as the wog world.

picture of Hana Whitfield

VO: Another girl sailor was Hana Whitfield. She was able to observe Hubbard’s character in close detail.

caption–”Hana Whitfield, Former Sea Org Officer

HANA WHITFIELD: There were two distinct sides to him. One was an incredibly compassionate side; he was a very understanding, rather humanitarian man at times. The other side was what I would call bordering on—it’s not a popular word—but bordering on insane or psychotic. He would go into mad, screaming rages, that,–

picture of Hubbard aboard Apollo

HANA WHITFIELD (voice of): Where he would be bellowing at the top of his lungs, sometimes for minutes, sometimes for hours, on and off.

HANA WHITFIELD (on camera): I’d actually seen it.

clip from “The Shrinking World of L. Ron Hubbard”, Granada TV, July 1968

JOURNALIST: Do you ever think that you might be quite mad?

caption–”L. Ron Hubbard, 1968″

HUBBARD: Oh yes! The one man in the world who never believes he’s mad is the mad man. (smiles)

car driving down road–caption–”Re-enactment” (man looking in the rear view mirror; woman passenger, holding book that resembles a Bible)

VO: Hubbard spent most of the last 10 years in hiding in America. Only a few close aides knew where he was.

DAVID MISCAVIGE (voice of?): At 2000 hours, Friday the 24th of January, 1986, L. Ron Hubbard discarded the body he had used in his lifetime for 74 years, 10 months and 11 days. The body he had used to facilitate his existence in this universe had ceased to be useful and in fact had become an impediment to the work he now must do outside its confines. The being we knew as L. Ron Hubbard still exists. Although you may feel grief, understand that he did not and does not now. He has simply moved on to his next step.

still re-enactment–screen filled with blurring streaky images; man and woman and another man apparently on a boat; second man is holding what looks like an urn

MISCAVIGE (voice of?): LRH in fact used this lifetime in the body we knew to accomplish what no man has ever accomplished. He unlocked the mysteries of life and gave us the tools so that we could free ourselves and our fellow man

still re-enactment–shot of boat; “minister” reading from book; man and woman listening

VO: Those were the words of the church’s official announcement of Hubbard’s death last year. When alive, Hubbard claimed he had visited Heaven twice, and the second time found it shabby. His Scientology funeral service was one he had written.

“MINISTER”: And now here lift up your eyes and say to him, “Goodbye”.

BOTH MEN AND WOMAN (saying at the same time): Goodbye, goodbye, our dear Ron, goodbye.

“MINISTER”: We’ll miss you, leader.

still re-enactment–second man emptying “ashes” from urn into the ocean; more blurry shots apparently of the ocean water

VO: Hubbard had signed a new will the day before he died insisting that he be cremated at once and the ashes scattered at sea. The fate of his vast but secret fortune was also murky, but power had passed to the young followers who were with him at the end.

title, “Ron’s Birthday”

DAVID MISCAVIGE (voice of): I’d like all of you now to join us in singing “Happy Birthday” to Ron.

VO: One of those heirs was the master of ceremonies here, David Miscavige.

David Miscavige on stage at LRH birthday ceremony, joined by John Travolta

MISCAVIGE: Led by Mr. John Travolta.

audience cheering; shot of people on stage, with big birthday cake

VO: And though Hubbard is dead, this was his memorial birthday celebration last month, an opportunity for the church to parade its star members and salute the late founder.

Travolta and others on stage leading a chorus of “Happy Birthday”; everyone applauding and balloons dropping from the ceiling
VO: Scientology presents a confident image as it marches forward to “clear” the planet, as it says, and offer the only “road to total freedom”.

shot of Scientology cross on top of church; woman Scieno with video camera filming “Panorama” camera operator; shot of L.A. Scientology church

VO: But the church can also be secretive and defensive. You are yourself photographed if you photograph its buildings. Investigations by various government agencies have over the years created something of a siege mentality.

man outside Scientology church; another man standing nearby with video camera; sign “Hubbard Dianetics Research Foundation”

VO: In the late 70’s, 11 top Scientologists were imprisoned for burglary, robbing American government offices of files. In one of his bulletins, Hubbard instructed church members, “Don’t ever defend—always attack”.

man Scieno with camera taking pictures of “Panorama” camera operator; another Scieno with jacket over his head videotaping

VO: Since Scientologists consider themselves the exclusive possessors of the secrets of the universe, anyone outside the church tends to be deemed hostile, or, as they say, “suppressive”; and we were no exception.

outside Celebrity Centre in Los Angeles with ex-Scientologist Frank Notaro

“PANORAMA” TV CREW MEMBER (voice of): Why do think this guy is taking our picture?

Scieno man waving, then taking picture

FRANK NOTARO: Because, they, they’re gonna use it against us later on, supposedly–

“PANORAMA” TV CREW MEMBER: Why is he taking photographs of us? He’s been taking all the pictures–

Scieno man continuing to take pictures

NOTARO: Ron Hubbard says if you take their picture or something you can use it against them or maybe people are intimidated by the picture taking, you know. They were taking my pictures all the time.

Woman Scieno with video camera filming “Panorama” camera operator; two other women Scienos

VO: Scientology reserves a special distrust for the media; members may not give interviews without the church’s permission.

camera mounted on top of wall of Church building; Heber Jentzch sitting at table leafing through book, surrounded by other Scienos; video cameras set up by Scienos

VO: Despite our long standing invitation, our interview with the church’s was granted only when they were convinced that this program would be broadcast without their participation. When we taped that interview, the church had their own cameras rigged to video us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE VOICE: We’re fundamental–

Scienos in ministerial garb; Scieno video cameras filming interview

VO: Scientologists dressed in the style of Christian ministers witnessed the proceedings. American judge Paul Breckinridge said in a recent judgment, “The organization clearly is schizophrenic and paranoid, and this bizarre combination seems to be a reflection of its founder, LRH”.

caption–”Rev. Heber Jentzsch, President, Church of Scientology International”

JENTZSCH: Judge Breckinridge is not the first one to say that. A man by the name of Paul Dickhoff disseminated it first, SS number 337259, an SS officer in the Nazi Intelligence systems, who was the head of the Bundeskriminaloff [??], the German federal police in 1970, and the head of Interpol, as a matter of fact. (raising his voice) I do not support a Nazi’s supposed right to disseminate that kind of thing—

INTERVIEWER: But Mr. Jentzsch,–

JENTZSCH: No-no, no-no–

INTERVIEWER: You’ve identified your enemies as the CIA, the IRS, the FBI, NY6, MI5, just about every government–

JENTZSCH: No-no-no, I’m on the IRS enemies’ list–

INTERVIEWER: Paranoid is a mild expression for the church’s attitude to its supposed enemies.

JENTZSCH: You know, our enemies are ignorance, drugs, corruption, criminality and insanity.

shot of lake or ocean with boat going across it; Don Larson playing the cello

VO: But those the church seems to regard as its worst enemies are its most recent defectors, especially those with damaging stories to tell. Near the Canadian border lives Don Larson, who ran the church’s so-called “Finance Police”.

DON LARSON (voice of): I was the hatchet man for this financial dictator. If you could force someone to be scared enough of the church, they would cough up the money that you wanted. It was my job to scare people.

caption–”Don Larson, Former Scientology Finance Police”

INTERVIEWER: What methods do you use?

LARSON (on camera): Um, extortion, um, force, threats, duress.

Larson playing the cello

VO: Larson was there when David Miscavige and the new regime took over.

LARSON (voice of): The old management was discharged, the new management was put in its place. And its motto was, “We make no deals with anybody. We’re tough, we’re ruthless, no deals”.

LARSON (on camera): It was about 15 of us. We went out and rented three limos, drove up to an organization in San Francisco and did a practice (snaps fingers) beat-‘em-up kind of meeting, you know. We took the CDB Org—the commanding officer of that org, organization. He got thrown into the filing cabinets, he was sec-checked on the meter and, um, you—that’s where you, what, you have to tell the truth. And there’s a whole row of people around the guy, right? And he’s sitting there hanging onto the cans and—this is nothing to do with religion any more, right? This is, “Where’s the money, Jack? I want the money! Where did you put the money?” And he said, “I, you—I don’t know! I don’t have the money.” David Miscavige comes up, grabs him by the tie (makes punching motion with his right arm) and starts bashing him into the filing cabinet. And he’s thrown out in the street; his tie is ripped off. Um, this is just a warm-up kind of bash.

banner outside Scientology church–”Scientology Open House”; boat going under bridge

VO: Some of those who left the church sued for restitution of the fees they had paid. Whenever there were court hearings, the church mounted spectacular protest demonstrations. This one was in Sacramento.

Scieno cruise ship with banner “THE SUN NEVER SETS ON SCIENTOLOGY”, members waving; Scienos marching down street at rally

VO: Scientology maintains that an ex-member suing the church for fraud is an attack on religious freedom. And even some Christian churches spoke out in its support. The big names were there, too.

caption–”John Travolta”

TRAVOLTA: It’s worked for me for 10 years and it’s worked for thousands, millions of people. And, and I just feel that, that nothing can and should threaten that.

candlelight vigil with shot of a big picture of L. Ron Hubbard

VO: But courts found against the church. Last year one ex-Scientologist was awarded $30 million damages. The church is appealing.

partygoers

VO: This party in Los Angeles is to launch a billion-dollar class act, that is, a collective lawsuit, against the Church of Scientology. The plaintiffs’ attorney is Lawrence Levy.

LAWRENCE LEVY: –before we found out what any other religion is.

two women ex-members talking; more partygoers

VO: There were 400 ex-Scientologists, some living in Britain, that combined to sue the church for restitution of their fees and to stop what they allege is church harassment. The lawsuit has a long way to go through the courts and may indeed fail. But it is an expression of these embittered ex-members’ anger and resentment. The lawyer they’ve retained, Lawrence Levy, has won similar cases against other religions.

LEVY (giving speech): –been displayed by the church, more lies, more subterfuge, more machinations. They do everything except address the truth. What is the truth? If you joined Scientology right up until yesterday, you’ve been defrauded.

Thea Greenberg walking outside her home

VO: Mrs. Thea Greenberg is what Scientologists call a “squirrel”. She uses some of Hubbard’s techniques for personal gain. So some Scientologists came to one of her meetings.

caption–Thea Greenberg, Ex-Scientologist

THEA GREENBERG: All of a sudden they came up with their finger up with me in the middle and my–one of my friends stayed here, and they said, “You homosexual—faggot!”. And some concentrated on him, and the other, “You old woman psycho!”. After they had left the first time insulting us–

eggs splattered against a wall

GREENBERG (voice of): I hear all of a sudden while they were talking to us, “clack, clack, clack”. What is that? And when they had left, we looked—the eggs were all over, and my house was covered with eggs, the windows. And so they must have had about 30, 40 eggs to throw at the house.

GREENBERG (on camera): And a few months later I had a visitor here staying in this room, and he comes up in my bedroom in the middle of the night and says, “For God’s sake, come down immediately! There are thousands of maggots here!”

shot of a bunch of maggots

GREENBERG (voice of): And they were thrown at this door–

GREENBERG (on camera, opening front door of her house): And they were all thrown against the door and all over.

another shot of the maggots

GREENBERG (voice of): Thousands of them! Oohh! Disgusting! Absolutely disgusting!

shot of HCOPL–highlighted text: “They are–fair game. They may be deprived of property, injured by any means, tricked, sued, lied to or destroyed.”

VO: In 1967, Hubbard wrote his notorious order about church enemies. If you stayed within the law, they are, he said, “fair game. They may be deprived of property, injured by any means, tricked, sued, lied to or destroyed.”

poster with title, “1000 DOLLAR REWARD–WANTED: INFORMATION”

VO: Last year this official looking “Wanted” poster was widely distributed in Los Angeles giving the names and home addresses of ex-members who had angered the church.

caption–”Jeff Dubron, Ex-Scientologist”

JEFF DUBRON: The posters existed in a context and that context was years of harassment—dirty tricks, frame-ups of people—and we felt that we were now on the Enemies’ List, we were now Fair Game. And if they were willing to do this publicly totally disgusting and outrageous activity, what were they doing to us that we didn’t know about? And we, we went on a very long period of just extreme fear.

people talking in background–figurine of judge with message on bottom saying “SUE THE BASTARDS”

VO: Litigation is no novelty for the Scientologists, who make habitual use of the courts.

Lawrence Levy and another man in his office

VO: But the church says Lawrence Levy is a church-busting mercenary for representing its ex-members in the class action.

caption–”Lawrence Levy, Class Action Lawyer”

LEVY: I’m not a church-busting mercenary. I think if anything, I’m a religionist. I believe that any individual has the absolute right to believe whatever they want. What I take issue with is people who would utilize religion as a money making venture. In matters of religion, I’m not interested in their beliefs; I’m interested in their conduct.

caption–”Hana Whitfield, Former Sea Org Officer”

HANA WHITFIELD: It has defrauded its members. It has lied to them. Um, lies have been passed on by Hubbard about his background and the church has condoned those and passed those on. Um, the church has broken up families, forced parents apart, forced children and parents apart. It has also broken the priest-penitent confidentiality practice quite severely.

INTERVIEWER: Do you feel you yourself were deceived by this church which you served for so long?

HANA WHITFIELD: Oh, definitely. On several accounts.

outside of Scientology church; signs in Scientology church windows and outside door: “Are you curious about yourself?”, “Your IQ, personality and aptitude determine your future. Know them.”; shot of a stack of books inside Scientology church

VO: Every Scientologist is required to recruit new members. “Find their ruin,” was Hubbard’s advice; in other words, detect a personal problem that might be alleviated by a course of auditing. But sometimes recruitment is more indirect.

names of Scientology groups scrolling down screen: “All Party Freedom of Information Committee; Author Services Incorporated; Bridge Publications; Campaign Against Psychiatric Atrocities; Citizens Committee on Human Rights; Concerned Businessmen’s Association of the U.K.; Criminon; Dianetics Information Centre; Dignity for the Aged; Dr. Pillpusher Campaign; Effective Education Association; Foundation of Advanced Abilities; Institute of Applied Philosophy; International Biographical Centre; Narconon; New Era Publications; Rehab; Religious Research Foundation; Religious Technology Center; Saint Hill Foundation; Set a Good Example Campaign; Society for Safety in Mental Healing; Task Force on Mental Retardation; UK National Conference of Social Betterment and Reform; UK Police Reform Group; Way to Happiness Campaign

VO: Everywhere Scientology reaches the public through its front organizations, some of them misleadingly named. Some are pressure groups campaigning on issues like mental health, which seems to obsess Scientologists. Others are controversial campaigns aimed at school children. And Scientology has others to help the unfortunate like ex-offenders and particularly drug users.

outside Narconon building

JERRY WHITFIELD (voice of): Narconon is a drug rehabilitation center. It’s a front group for Scientology and it is designed to get people off drugs, which it does successfully; but then it converts people from that into Scientology.

caption–Jerry Whitfield, Former Narconon Staff Member

JERRY WHITFIELD (on camera): They’re taken off drugs; they’re put into a program to help them do better in life with programs that is basically Scientology processing or training. And from there they are indoctrinated and from there they’re converted to a Scientologist.

INTERVIEWER: How many of those former drug addicts become Scientologists?

JERRY WHITFIELD: Anywhere from 50-75%.

auditing session

WOMAN AUDITOR: Can you recall an incident which occurred when your mother looked younger?

WOMAN PRECLEAR: Yeah, when she –

auditor and preclear; closeup of L. Ron Hubbard book, e-meter; auditor taking notes; a bunch of PC folders on a shelf

VO: One of the main grievances of the plaintiffs in the class action relates to auditing. The most intimate confessions are sometimes divulged in these sessions, and the auditor notes them down. This information is then kept in processing files known as “preclear” or PC folders, which are carefully stored. The use that has been made of the contents of these folders is now a matter of contention.

“What is Scientology?” (older version of book); highlighted quotes, “The auditor treats all session reports as confidential.”; “I promise never to use the secrets of a preclear divulged in session for punishment or personal gain.”

VO: Hubbard wrote in “What is Scientology?”, “The auditor treats all session reports as confidential.” Item #22 of the Auditor’s Code reads, “I promise never to use the secrets of a preclear divulged in session for punishment or personal gain.”

Heber Jentzsch

INTERVIEWER: What is the policy of the church on the use of information imparted during auditing sessions?

JENTZSCH: It is to be kept completely confidential and sequestered.

INTERVIEWER: Completely confidential.

JENTZSCH: Yes.

INTERVIEWER: Is that policy rigorously observed?

JENTZSCH: Yes it is.

INTERVIEWER: Has it been?

JENTZSCH: Has it been rigorously observed? Absolutely.

Guardian Order; highlighted quote, “To make full use of all files on the organization to affect your major target–These include–processing files.”

VO: But in the recent past, it was policy to cull people’s files for damaging information. Hubbard’s wife Mary Sue, who was later imprisoned, wrote a Guardian Order in 1969, “To make full use of all files on the organization to affect your major target. These include processing files.

Scott Mayer

INTERVIEWER: You were in the Intelligence Division of the Guardian’s Office of the Church of Scientology. Did you have access to people’s personal confidential files?

SCOTT MAYER: Oh, certainly, certainly.

INTERVIEWER: And was use ever made of that information?

MAYER: Every mission that I ever went on, I used it.

INTERVIEWER: What did you do?

caption–”Scott Mayer, former Scientology Intelligence Agent”

MAYER: Well, when we’d first come into an organization we would have the preclear folders of people that were involved in the organization that had maybe given the organization some trouble; pulled and culled for things that they may have done and were hiding, and that information would be brought to their attention in order to kind of bring them back into the fold, so to speak smiling.

Don Larson

INTERVIEWER: Did you use confidential information that the church held about people?

LARSON: Um, yes. For example, that was used to get the extortion money a lot of times

Heber Jentzsch

INTERVIEWER: Are you categorically denying that private information culled from PC folders has ever been disseminated to intimidate or blackmail ex-members of the Church of Scientology—

JENTZSCH: Absolutely, because that can be verified in every court of law in the world, and it’s just as simple as that. So there will be allegations that people want a billion dollars; I understand that they want a billion dollars, but they’ll have to come up with some kind of documentation. There is none. There is none, nada as they say in Spanish, niente as they say in Italian. There is nothing.

document with names blacked out

VO: But one of the class action plaintiffs has some widely circulated internal church documents that he says were seized by the FBI and authenticated in court.

Valerie Stansfield–caption, “Valerie Stansfield, Ex-Scientologist”

VALERIE STANSFIELD: Here you have a file on a woman. The following data was gotten from this woman’s folders: She had several self-induced abortions, she saw a psychiatrist for alcolism—alcoholism problems, she had a drug history of Librium, Valium, Miltown, alcohol, LSD, opium, heroin, and many other things. Her son was jailed. And in another case here, a woman—it says here, um, her folders start in 1963. She masturbated regularly since she was 8 years old, she mentioned doing it once with coffee grounds and once had a puppy lick her. When she lived in Greenwich Village, she claimed she screwed anything with pants.

INTERVIEWER: Now this information was supplied in confidence in auditing sessions.

STANSFIELD: You can believe it.

INTERVIEWER: The church would say it has wound up the Guardians Office, it has changed a lot of the practices that went on in previous years, it has now cleaned up its act. Is the Church of Scientology today a different organization from the one you left?

STANSFIELD: (smiles) It’s worse. I know this because people come to me continuously and bring me the stories of the horror that they’re going through. In present time, up to even a few weeks ago. The church has a history of, every time they’re called to account, they say, “Oh, that was in the past; we’ve dismissed those people; we don’t do that any more.” It can be called a catechism of the church, “We don’t do that any more.” They do it. And more. And they’ll do as much as they can get away with.

apartment complex swimming pool; Ludis Birss walking by the swimming pool and out through the gate

VO: In California, Ludis Birss is another former Scientologist whose troubles began when he left the church last year.

Ludis Birss walking; Ludis Birss on the balcony

LUDIS BIRSS (voice of): Several months after I got out, they started sending people around to get me to sign a confession, two or three of them at a time; one of them was a big guy about 6 foot 6, and, uh, I dunno, it just, it just freaked me out.

Ludis Birss on camera

INTERVIEWER: After you refused to sign a confession, what was the next stage?

caption–”Ludis Birss, Ex-Scientologist

BIRSS: I got a phone call from a private investigator who worked for John Peterson, a Scientology attorney. And, uh, he said if I didn’t come and meet with him to sign this confession, that, uh, he would go to the immigration authorities and, uh, get me kicked out of—out of the country over some, uh, discrepancies, as he called them, in my immigration status.

INTERVIEWER: So they have some fairly private information about your past.

BIRSS: Oh, yeah, yeah.

INTERVIEWER: Where do you think they got it from?

BIRSS: Well, this was some private investigator, just some voice on the phone. He got it from, from my confessional folders which I had told to my Scientology so-called “minister” about 15 years before that. That’s the only person I ever told about that.

document–highlighted quotes: “Item A: MAKE MONEY; Item J: MAKE MONEY; Item K: MAKE MORE MONEY; Item L: MAKE OTHER PEOPLE PRODUCE SO AS TO MAKE MONEY

VO: This 1972 directive of the FBI seized is a frank statement of one of Hubbard’s aims. Item A: “Make money.” Down the list, item J also reads, “Make money.” Item K: Make more money.” And item L: “Make other people produce so as to make money.”

shot of palm trees and scenery in Clearwater, Florida

VO: The place where Scientology offers its higher level courses, and therefore takes the most money, is here in Clearwater, Florida.

sign on door, “Church of Scientology”; Flag buildings; Sea Org members

VO: This headquarters they call Flag, where Scientologists from all over the world come to buy the so-called “upper levels”. The converted hotel is where Hubbard’s elite Sea Org came ashore. The functionaries are as likely to be dressed as naval officers as priests. Scientologists usually join the staff if they cannot afford the fees to take the courses for free. But despite their snappy uniforms, most are paid very meager wages. Here the staff administers the esoteric programs of auditing that Hubbard went on writing right up to his death. It is a highly profitable activity.

chart–”The Bridge to Total Freedom”

VO: Scientologists have to go up “the Bridge”, that is, take a series of courses, each more expensive than the last. The mid point is called “clear”. After that, you progress to the upper levels that can cost up to £600/hour.

Scott Mayer

INTERVIEWER: How do you think Hubbard succeeded in getting so many thousands of people to take his courses and to go on taking extra courses and spending more and more money?

caption–”Scott Mayer, Ex-Scientologist

MAYER: smiles The first one’s free, the second one costs you. Like a seco–an extended sting operation. At first you get lots more than you ever thought you were going to get–real changes take place in your life. But as you go up the so-called “bridge”, you no longer get the benefits and then you’re told it’s because of things that you’ve done in your past, the wrongs that you’ve committed against mankind. Of course, you have to sign up for more auditing to find those things and handle them.

the letters OT floating in black background; then “Operating Thetan” is spelled out; then the words “OT I”, “OT II” and “OT III” floating in background; book cover, “OT III–CONFIDENTIAL”

VO: The upper level courses are called “OT”, which stands for “Operating Thetan”, Hubbard’s word for the spirit. The OT levels are supposedly so powerful that you can die of pneumonia if you are exposed to them unprepared. It costs around £5,000 to take OT III, which contains Hubbard’s cosmology.

person’s hand open’s up the “OT III” book to page saying “OT III–L. Ron Hubbard”

VO: The church is trying to keep this material secret, but former senior Scientologists in America have leaked it, and versions have been published. This is an outline of the story:

simulated shot of Earth and other planets

ANNOUNCER: 75 million years ago, this planet was called Teegeeack. There were 90 planets in this sector called the Galactic Confederation.

VO: This is part of the text of a Hubbard lecture:

cartoon of a bearded man in a futuristic uniform

VOICE OF L. RON HUBBARD: They had elected a fellow by the name of Xenu to the supreme ruler and they were about to un-elect him. And he took the last moments he had in office to really goof the floof.

more of the cartoon of the bearded man

ANNOUNCER: Xenu decided to take radical measures to overcome the population problem.

spaceship flying back to Earth

ANNOUNCER: Beings were captured on other planets and flown to locations near 10 volcanoes or more on Earth.

volcano, bomb exploding inside it

ANNOUNCER: H-bombs were dropped on the volcanoes, destroying the bodies of the beings who, as thetans, attached themselves to one another as clusters.

cartoon characters holding guns; blue kite flying to a mountaintop

ANNOUNCER: A revolt followed of the Loyal Officers against Xenu. Xenu was locked up in an electronic mountain fortress and remains there still.

grassy meadow–two people popping up out of nowhere; smiley faces (body thetans) floating through the air and turning into more people

ANNOUNCER: Since that time, beings born on this planet have had clusters of thetans attached to their bodies. OT III can run out these clusters and cause them to leave us and reincarnate as individuals.

man with the letters “O” with the letter “T” inside them floating around him, which then disappear; man holds up his hands

VO: After hours of expensive auditing, you are rid of the body thetans attached to you.

man telepathically lifting up teacup, floating out of his body, then with the “OT III” book

VO: You may then acquire psychic powers, move objects at a distance, and have out-of-body experiences. If you find you can’t, then you must take the course again for another £5,000.

pictures of Frank Notaro with picket sign saying “Ron Hubbard is Xenu–OT 3 Hoax”; Notaro getting beaten up by Scieno thugs

VO: Ex-Scientologist Frank Notaro used the name Xenu in a demonstration outside a church building and got beaten up.

Frank Notaro outside Celebrity Centre in Los Angeles–caption, “Frank Notaro, Ex-Scientologist”

INTERVIEWER: Why is it so secret?

FRANK NOTARO: Because Ron says if people find out about this information that they will get sick and die, if they find out this information without paying the money.

close-up of T-shirt Frank Notaro is holding saying “OT 3 HOAX”

INTERVIEWER: Did anybody who read your T-shirt get sick or die?

NOTARO: The only person that got sick was me because I got beat up and stun-gunned! (laughs) So–well, I just wanted people to find out about what’s been going on and, and what the church is really all about.

helicopter shot of “Gold” studios at Hemet

VO: L. Ron Hubbard and the church he founded spent money extravagantly, buying expensive properties on a whim. He built this folly, a landlocked clipper ship, for the film studio he built in the California desert. Here he directed films about Scientology. Hubbard died at a remote but magnificent ranch he bought further off the coast. Many ordinary Scientologists knew nothing of all this.

Valerie Stansfield

STANSFIELD: They were told that this money was going to charitable purposes to help them benefit mankind, and the money was being used for illegal and criminal activities, to hire people to go through their confidential files and send people out to harass. And they would not have paid such very high fees if they had known the money was being used for this. They were being lied to not so much about the gains and promises of the techniques, which is not an issue here, but the use the money was being put to and the purposes of the organization.

document–”What Your Fees Buy” by L. Ron Hubbard; highlighted text–”The fees you pay–do not go to me.”

VO: “What Your Fees Buy” was issued in the ‘70s. Hubbard claimed he was as badly paid as any staff member, and categorically stated, “The fees you pay do not go to me.”

picture of L. Ron Hubbard directing a film; close-up of young girl (apparently Doreen Gilham)

VO: But a succession of Hubbard’s former staffers have testified that this was untrue. For example, one of his youthful messengers, Doreen Gilham, used to manage his finances. She was sent to demand $600,000 in cash.

caption–”Doreen Gilham, Former Commodore’s Messenger”

DOREEN GILHAM: I got it from Sea Org reserves, which is church money, and I, I red flagged on that because Hubbard usually didn’t, at that point, like to obtain church funds directly, so—but I justified it thinking, “Well, if it’s for renovations, he’s probably buying another property for us. We had already purchased two huge properties in four years; why not another?

INTERVIEWER: But you were taking money from church funds–

GILHAM: Yes, sir–

INTERVIEWER: For Hubbard’s personal use.

GILHAM: (nodding)Yes, sir.

depiction of globe; rotates over to Africa and the United States; captions “Liberia”, “Clearwater, FLORIDA”, “Toronto, CANADA”, “Luxembourg”, “Liechtenstein”

VO: In recent American court cases, former Hubbard aides have sworn that he put money into personal accounts through a shell company called the Religious Research Foundation, which was registered in Liberia. Money brought by Scientologists to the headquarters in Clearwater, Florida was paid straight into the RRF’s account in Toronto, Canada. From there it was transferred to secret accounts in Luxembourg and Liechtenstein, which Hubbard dipped into whenever he needed cash. His aides have testified that the accounts contain more than $200 million.

Scott Mayer

INTERVIEWER: What made you leave the church?

MAYER: The fact that I had gone all around the world in various organizations and I knew that monies were being used, not for the benefit of mankind or the parishioners of the church, but for the benefit of Ron Hubbard and his minions.

chart showing various Scientology subsidiaries–Sea Org, Church of Scientology International, Flag Services Org, Scientology Missions International, Sea Org Reserve Trust (??), Bridge Publications, Religious Technology Center, Church of Spiritual Technology, Author Services, Inc; names then vanish except for “Author Services, Inc.”

VO: Scientology in America has a complex web of overlapping companies, which make it difficult for the tax authorities to find out where all the money goes. The church’s ex-members say that in reality there is just one corporation and, they say, the outfit that finally controls the assets and money of the non-profit Church of Scientology is a for-profit company, Author Services, Inc.

person shot in shadow so his face isn’t visible

VO: This senior ex-Scientologist had close knowledge of Author Services, Inc., or ASI.

INTERVIEWER: So what is the fundamental purpose of ASI?

caption–”Former Hubbard Aide”

EX-MEMBER: The fundamental purpose of it is to, um, acquire large amounts of money, gross income, as they refer to it, for L. Ron Hubbard’s, um, private accounts.

INTERVIEWER: Where does that money come from?

EX-MEMBER: It comes from the churches and the missions of Scientology and it comes from the public at large.

INTERVIEWER: And the churches and the missions are supposedly non-profit organizations. Is ASI a non-profit organization?

EX-MEMBER: No. ASI is specifically a profit making corporation.

INTERVIEWER: And it was in fact Hubbard’s private fortune.

EX-MEMBER: Yes, I suppose it is. Yes, that’s true.

outside Scientology church–Clearwater

VO: So what has happened to Hubbard’s fortune? Only a small and secretive group of his followers knows the real answer, and they aren’t saying. But we do know that in the church hierarchy, they come out on top.

pictures of Norman Starkey, David Miscavige, Annie and Pat Broeker

VO: Those who appear to have the power in Scientology today are Norman Starkey, South African and Hubbard-appointed trustee of his estate; David Miscavige, still in his 20s, who ran Author Services, Inc.; Annie Broeker—it was she and her third husband Pat Broeker who looked after Hubbard in his final hideout.

close-up of David Miscavige’s picture

VO: Of these, David Miscavige is believed to be the most powerful figure.

Don Larson

LARSON: He’s a macho guy, a real–he does bow and arrow practice, he practices shooting rifles, um, he does karate. He’s a very, very macho, 1950s–(snickers). He’s, he’s a tough guy. He will keep power till his last gasping breath. That’s, that’s David Miscavige in a nutshell.

picture of L. Ron Hubbard on a wall; camera backs up to show Heber Jentzsch in his office, working on his computer; there’s also a bust of L. Ron Hubbard in Jentzsch’s office

VO: L. Ron Hubbard spent years avoiding writ servers, and his heirs are doing the same, usually staying out of site. The church’s front man is Heber Jentzsch, its international president. Jentzsch is a former actor who had a bit part in “Paint Your Wagon”. He has the enthusiasm of a fundamentalist preacher. Although Scientology makes millions of dollars, it is still run by fanatical believers.

Heber Jentzsch

INTERVIEWER: How much is this church worth, Mr. Jentzsch? You have been quoted as giving it a value of a billion dollars in a recent interview. Is that a correct figure?–

JENTZSCH: Is that all? Is that all?

INTERVIEWER: How much is it worth?

caption–”Rev. Heber Jentzsch, President, Church of Scientology International”

JENTZSCH: I would say that my church is worth an inestimable amount that would run to the trillions and trillions of dollars–

INTERVIEWER: I’m talking about its real estate, its money–

JENTZSCH: I’m talking about its spiritual assets which are far greater than any kind of asset that I could possibly put a monetary figure on–

closeup of Heber Jentzsch’s hand on top of a book

INTERVIEWER: I’m sure that’s the case, but what is the monetary figure for its, for its physical assets?

JENTZSCH: Well, I think, I think that the, the church is worth–um, it would be put in the Fortune 500 of America as a major, major corporation. It would fit in that category. Uh, again, it’s priceless!

picture of ship

VO: Now the church has bought an ocean-going liner, an echo of Hubbard’s maritime wanderings.

title “SCIENTOLOGY” in blue-white on black background

VO: Scientology–to thousands, it’s the only road to total freedom. To many with their own experience of the church, it’s just a cruel hoax.

Franklin Freedman

FREEDMAN: I think it’s a scam, I think it’s a con. I think it’s a psychological warfare started by Hubbard on the world that he perceived as being peopled by nothing but his enemies.

shot of Scientology/Dianetics billboard

Heber Jentzsch

JENTZSCH: Mr. Hubbard said Scientology is the road to total freedom. It’s there; its path is mapped out, and people can take that road or not take that road. But it’s available to them.

another shot of Scientology/Dianetics billboard

Harold Clarke

HAROLD CLARKE: It makes me very angry to think that that sort of thing can flourish in my country. And it makes me unspeakably sad to the point of tears when I see what they’ve done to my daughter.

close-up of the word “SCIENTOLOGY” scrolling across screen

Heber Jentzsch

JENTZSCH (on camera): Mr. Hubbard is a man, obviously, who is loved, adored, I think has more friends in the world than any man I’ve ever met, any man I know of right now living today. They respect him, they love him—

shot of hot air balloon with “Dianetics: L. Ron Hubbard” on its side

JENTZSCH (voice of): And they like his works.

Closing credits

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One thought on “Scientology: The Road to Total Freedom?

  1. Pingback: Scientology: The Road to Total Freedom? | ChristianBookBarn.com

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