Monday 29 March 2010

17 Tracing it Back to Source

Hana Eltringham Whitfield’s Speech

Violence and abuse in Scientology can be traced right back to the founder, L. Ron Hubbard, said a former Sea Org veteran who worked alongside him.

At a conference in Hamburg Friday a former veteran Scientologist who worked directly with L. Ron Hubbard painted a devastating picture of the movement’s founder.

Hana Eltringham Whitfield’s portrait of Hubbard was of a tremendously charismatic but intensely manipulative leader: a sexual predator and a tyrant who took sadistic pleasure in devising cruel and unusual punishments for his subordinates.

Whitfield spent two decades in Scientology and was one of the founder members of the Sea Organization the movement’s elite cadre, which Hubbard formed in the 1960s.

She served as Hubbard’s close aide at the time when he was developing some of the most abusive aspects of the Sea Org (SO), witnessing at first hand Hubbard’s role in devising and implementing them.

The regime that she described – in which not just adults but children were subjected to horrific abuse – can be traced directly back to the founder.

She spoke of babies dying in the care of Scientologists, echoing stories of neglect repeated by other ex-members.

Whitfield’s testimony poses a major problem for the recent wave of defectors who blame Scientology’s current leader, David Miscavige, for having corrupted an otherwise admirable system.

Her account makes it clear that all the most corrupting and negative elements of the movement came from Source: from the founder himself.

And as someone who has worked with more than a hundred families with members in Scientology, she is able to offer insights into the movement’s control mechanisms.[1]

“When Hubbard released his first book, Dianetics, and then started Scientology, he created a unique culture based on claims that he alone was perfect, he never made mistakes, everything he said and wrote was correct, and his technology alone could deliver mankind from its problems,” said Whitfield.

“Everyone else was less evolved or, as he put it, ‘raw meat’, and in need of the salvation that only Scientology could provide.[2]  All other ideas and methods that opposed his were wrong, or evil, and had to be destroyed.

“The same culture permeates Scientology today; in fact, we hear repeatedly from Scientology spokespersons how Scientology does no wrong, and that everything it says is correct.

“It is as if Hubbard was still alive, and in fact, his followers glorify him if this were so.  This culture still exists today.

“This culture is the cause of everything that is happening in Scientology.  In addition, this culture will continue into the future because it is incapable of change and correction from within.

“Hubbard’s policy of “Always attack, never defend!” makes it impossible for the organization to admit wrongdoing, particularly Hubbard’s.  He could not introspect, and neither can his creation.”[3]

“I became a true believer”

Whitfield joined Scientology in 1965 in Johannesburg in her native South Africa.
She was 24, trained as a nurse, and in her own words “altruistic, na├»ve, and looking for answers.”

When she travelled to Hubbard’s then headquarters at East Grinstead in southern England, she found a friendly atmosphere, as several veterans from that era have also recalled.

She trained to “Class Seven”, the highest level then available for auditing, the movement’s therapy system; she was number 60 on the list of people declared Clear, the much sought-after state of mental and spiritual well-being.

“I became a true believer,” she recalled.

Hubbard created the Sea Project, the Sea Org’s precursor in August 1967, as hostile media coverage at Scientology’s destructive practices began attracting unwelcome attention.

“I was one of 35 people invited to Las Palmas, in the Canary Islands, to help with his research, as he put it, to salvage the planet.

“Of course, I accepted; I believed.

“Then I met him, and began experiencing the way he treated those close to him as well as outsiders, people like all of you,” she said, indicating her audience.

“It was only decades after I left the Sea Organization, that I was finally able to recognize the extent of his abuse.”

Whitfield’s anecdotes, which she said covered a one-year period, clearly showed that far from Miscavige’s abuses being a corruption of Scientology, they were the logical continuation of Hubbard’s own behaviour.

“In Las Palmas, I discovered that Hubbard angered easily, and went into frequent unpredictable outbursts at those around him.

“I quickly rationalized his tantrums; after all, he was the only one who knew what it took to get things done, and he alone had the techniques.”     

But Whitfield also acknowledged that Hubbard’s tremendous charisma had its positive aspects.

“Hubbard’s emotional excesses brought out the best in us as well as the worst.

“Truthfully, Hubbard inspired me to achieve things I never would have otherwise; captaining two ships through all weathers and conditions, running organizations, and completing assignments that others could not.

“There were unforgettable moments such as those on deck at night,” she added.

“Hubbard sat with us for hours as we passed around bottles of Spanish wine, talking about civilizations that existed in the constellations above.  He named them, and pointed them out as he spoke.

“I grasped those moments, hung onto them, and never wanted them to stop.”
But Hubbard’s hypnotic charm also blinded his followers to his dark side.

“Realize that none of us was aware of what was really happening to us; we simply clung to what we perceived as good, and crazily justified the bad.

“On the dark side, Hubbard introduced, and indeed thrust, us into his practices of cruelty, inhumanity, abuse, and punishment, all of which he systematically reframed as positive, and as requirements for enlightenment.

Thus Hubbard trained Whitfield to become the first Master at Arms, or Ethics Officer, whose job it was to carry out any disciplinary action he deemed necessary.

“…a broken man”

“One day, his messenger, Linda, brought me a hand-written note from him about Terry Dickinson, an Australian electrician,” she recalled.

Dickinson had failed to purchase and intall a ship-to-shore radio, as Hubbard had ordered him to do.

“His punishment?  He had to stay awake until the radio was on board and operating,” said Whitfield. “If he fell asleep, he would never again talk with the crew, eat with the crew, or sleep below deck. He would literally be excommunicated…

“I read the order and froze.  His messenger took it out of my hand and returned it, I presume, to Hubbard.”

“To this day, I don’t know if Hubbard was testing my loyalty.  Or Terry’s.   Or if he believed that that kind of inhumane action was required to raise my confront of evil, a subject he was obsessed with. Or Terry’s.

“Or if he simply wanted to see how much brutality and manipulation someone under his control would tolerate.

Why did I comply?  It was simple; he had indoctrinated me well.  I was in love with the whole concept of Hubbard, who he was, that he had chosen to return at that time, and that we were fortunate beyond belief to be there with him.

“Early on in Scientology, my emotions had gone into overdrive and blocked my rational thought processes and reality checks.  Additionally, the belief that Hubbard could do no wrong set up a circular logic that I could not escape.  I was incapable of thinking logically. 

“Knowing Terry, a happy, jocular Australian, I knew he wouldn’t make it on his own.  As I couldn’t face him enduring the punishment, I vowed to stay up with him until the radio was on board and operating.

“I forced him to stay awake when he could not, for five days and nights.  I pushed coffee down his throat, encouraged him, gave him hope, and walked up and down the beach with him through the wee hours of the night when he wept that he couldn’t go on anymore.

“Much later, my ex-husband, still a scientologist, reviled me publically for the brutality Terry experienced by my hand.

“He didn’t know the order, never published, came from Hubbard.   He wouldn’t have believed me had I told him.

“It is probably now behind one of those one-thousand-year doors that guard the underground storage vaults of Hubbard archives in the New Mexico desert, waiting for a time when humans will be advanced enough to see that Hubbard was infallible.[4]

“I believed I was doing it for Terry’s salvation as well as my own.  Terry left the Sea Project soon afterward, a broken man.

“I often wondered, given that LRH was right, why Terry did not come through the punishment okay.  Obviously, he was at fault, not Hubbard.”

Heads on pikes

Whitfield recalled that about the same time Phoebe Maurer, another Sea Project member, became the first person to be assigned Hubbard’s new ethics condition of Liability.

According to the policy letter Hubbard wrote at the time, being assigned the condition of Liability meant: “Suspension of Pay and a dirty grey rag on left arm and and day and night confinement to org premises.”[5]

Whitfield explained what this meant in Maurer’s case.

“She had to wear a raggedy jumpsuit, a grey rag tied around one arm, and a large black mark on her left cheek.  She could not talk to us.

“She had to stay on deck 24 hours a day, even sleep up there.

“The cook, Virginia Downsborough, could choose to give her food – [or] not.  She could not bathe or wash.

“One of Hubbard’s policies was to put a head on a pike, and he had many ways to do so,” Whitfield explained.

“His shock tactics worked well; we were a compliant crew.”

Later, Hubbard even punished a whole ship, according to his new ethics system’s bizarre rules.

“Hubbard assigned the Royal Scotman crew and the ship the Ethics condition of Liability for non-compliance,” she said.

“Hubbard stood on the bridge of the Avon River next to me as the Royal Scotman sailed out of Valencia harbour with a long length of gray material tied around her funnel.

“The crew – men, women and children - wore old jumpsuits, gray rags around their arms, and black on their cheeks – the marks of being a liability to Hubbard and the Sea Organization.

“The crew could sleep only five hours each night and had limited hygiene. The whole scenario shouted unclean!

“Yet it was clear Hubbard got what he wanted; he walked around the bridge, chest puffed out, nodding, smiling and saying, ‘That will do it!’

“I felt fear, not so much of what he had done as of the apparent wickedness he saw in the Royal Scotman crew that I did not – and the possibility he might one day see the same in me.

“I thought my inability to see his punishment as something positive was proof of my limitations.”

Sexual predator

During this time, Hubbard was based in a villa outside Las Palmas. Another Sea Project member, Yvonne Jentsch, also lived there.

“Yvonne confided in me years later, that Hubbard made repeated sexual advances to her, even though he knew Yvonne was married, and his wife, Mary Sue visited every so often.

The only way to escape the harassment, Jentsch told her, was to request to be assigned elsewhere.

“Hubbard finally sent her to establish and run the Los Angeles Celebrity Center.  She remained there for the rest of her life, and only returned to Clearwater after developing a brain tumour.

“She never had licensed medical care.  She died soon afterwards.

“Yvonne was one of the most loved and respected women in Scientology and the Sea Organization, a friend to all.”[6]

Whitfield also named another woman, who confided in her that she was having an affair with Hubbard.

“I was shocked,” she said. But once again the circular logic kicked in to justify it. “Obviously Hubbard knew what he was doing.”

So when the woman in question fell out of favour and Hubbard declared her suppressive, an enemy of Scientology, “I believed that my friend was to blame for what had happened,” she said.

The Wall of Fire

“By October 1967, Hubbard declared the Sea Project a success, renamed it the Sea Organization, created billion-year contracts and assigned us the goal of personally helping him salvage the planet,” Whitfield added.

“The heady emotions we experienced acted as glue that trapped us inside Hubbard’s belief system in which he continually reframed abuse as help, punishment as salvation, and unconditional obedience to his will as the only way to achieve total freedom.”
Hubbard appointed Whitfield as captain of the Avon River, one of the dilapidated vessels he had bought for his new fleet, a 150-foot (46-metre) North Sea trawler.

“Yes, I really was the captain, and fully responsible for the ship and crew. We trained new Sea Org recruits in everything, including navigating by the stars with a sextant.  In addition, later, I captained the 350-foot Royal Scotman.

“About this time, Hubbard released a taped briefing called Ron’s Journal 1967 in which he described the hardship of his spiritual research and how it almost caused his death.

“Early 1968 brought the release of his arduous research; OT 3, the strange story about Xenu and body thetans or spirits.

“Emotions ran sky high.  I found the sci-fi story incomprehensible, and from then on for fifteen years, I struggled to apply its techniques.

“Why? Because the alternative, according to Hubbard, who was always right, meant that I was suppressive, a degraded being, and beyond salvation.

“That’s when my headaches started.”

“And from that point on they got worse and worse and worse and I was, finally, never without a headache for the rest of my Sea Org career…

“And the most important thing about this is that we... our right to speak out was taken away in Scientology. Our right to express an opinion was not just limited by Hubbard's policy; it was totally obliterated. Everything you find fault with in Scientology is put back on you; it is not a fault of the organization.”

Whitfield is not the only person to have had trouble accepting the space opera cosmology contained in the OT III, also known as the Wall of Fire.

Robert Kaufman describes how he got stuck on OT III, unable to get past the idea that he was infested with the souls of dead space aliens, in his book Inside Scientology.

He had increasing difficulty sleeping, started hallucinating and, feeling increasingly suicidal, eventually had himself committed to a psychiatric hospital. [7]

In the 1990s, Scientology waged a long and bitter war with its critics on the Internet to keep these materials off the Internet: they failed, spectacularly.

Critics argue that one of the reasons Scientology fought so hard on this point was that no one would join the movement if they knew from the beginning what was in store for them in the upper levels.

Loyal Scientologists need to spend years in side the movement and spend hundreds of thousands of dollars before they get to these secret materials.

These texts are so powerful, they are told, that reading them prematurely would be fatal.

By the time they do get to them, they have been long enough under the movement’s influence, are sufficiently committed to its values and its mindset, to accept its contents.

In the chain locker…

As Hubbard developed his disciplinary system for the Sea Org, the punishments he imposed became more and more cruel.

On one occasion, when a sudden influx of new, untrained recruits caused chaos on one of his ships, Hubbard contacted Whitfield.
“Late one night, Amos, my Chief Officer called me to the bridge,” said Whitfield.

“Hubbard was on the radio, crying, begging me to sail immediately to Melilla to help him as he had lost control of the RS [Royal Scotman]. I wanted to run the other way.

“By the time we arrived, the worst was over.  My then-husband told me that a hundred new untrained recruits had come aboard and caused havoc.

“To regain control, Hubbard ordered the recruits, and the SO [Sea Org] officers who failed to hold the line, into the ship’s old water tanks to chip out all the ancient paint and rust; they were huge metal containers with small outlets.”

They were in there for up 84 hours, her then-husband among them, she recalled.

“They had to chip twenty-four hours a day without sleep. When someone stopped chipping or nodded off, a guard at the hatch hit the tank with a metal bar.

“I shuddered when I heard there were no toilet breaks, and no toilet paper. They ate meals by hand out of buckets lowered down to them.

“Hubbard enjoyed these punishments.  He did not need wire fences; he shocked people into compliance with his will.”

Her then-husband said that Hubbard had planned to appoint her as captain of the Royal Scotman to get things in order, a poisoned chalice if ever there was one.

“However, did I question how withholding toilet paper could improve people?  Or denying sleep?  No, I was still incapable of thinking logically.

But working in a senior executive position under Hubbard, she could not escape this kind of moral dilemma for long.

Hubbard sent a telex ordering her to put a colleague, Nikki Freedman, in the chain locker for five days. Freedman had been working with Hubbard’s wife.

“I don't know if you all know what a chain locker is,” said Whitfield.

“It is a big steel compartment, in the front of the ship, where the anchor chain is curled up when the anchor is out of the water. And it's dark in there; it is cold, and when you're out on the ocean it's freezing and it's damp.”

But she complied with the order, she said.

“I complied. But the thought of Nikki in that dark freezing metal compartment at night without warm clothes, limited food, no toilet facilities … I couldn’t do it. After a few hours, I said to hell with it, and took her out.

“Was I scared that Hubbard would punish me for non-compliance? Of course. Did he? No. What was amazing was that he never questioned me as to why I let her out.

“What was more amazing was that I never questioned disobeying Hubbard’s order and getting away with. It showed the extent to which he controlled me, indeed, to which he controlled us all.

“Granada TV has a revealing video program of the Royal Scotman crew in those days, filthy, dressed in rags, degraded.

“They looked more like prison convicts than an elite crew helping L. Ron Hubbard save the world: and not one of us saw the contradictions.”[8]

But Hubbard also put children in the chain locker, justifying his actions with his teachings that they were nothing but adults in young bodies. In fact, a child was the first victim of this practice, said Whitfield.

“The first one he put in was a four-year-old boy, Derek Greene. Derek had to be in there for five days and five nights, and the little boy was put in with just his normal clothes.

“He was not given extra blankets, extra clothing, and the worst thing of all – he was given food – he was not allowed to go to the bathroom. He was left in there like that for five days and five nights..”

At this point during her speech, she had to pause for several seconds to compose herself.

Even worse, Felice Greene -- Derek's mother -- was on deck pleading with Hubbard to let her child out and all he said was... ‘Children are really adults in children's bodies. They know what they've done. He knows what he's done,’ and he turned away from the mother.

This child, said Whitfield, had no blankets, no extra clothing.  He could not go to the bathroom.  He was in there, crying, for four days and nights.[9]

“You would say to yourself ‘Why didn't you do anything? Why didn't you speak out?’ You see, I was a true believer. I believed that Hubbard knew what he was doing. I, unfortunately, believed that he knew what it was going to take to help everyone in the world and that, even though I didn't understand, it was my duty to follow and support what he was doing and none of us spoke out. None of us did anything.


Whitfeld was also present the first time Hubbard introduced the practice of throwing Sea Org members overboard as a punishment.

And she saw how he added increasingly dangerous variants to the practice when it seemed to him his victims were not suffering enough.

“The first overboard occurred in mid-1968, in Tunisia,” she recalled.

“Hubbard ordered the Royal Scotman and Avon River moved during a severe storm.

“I never understood why, as he taught us on no account to endanger our ships and crew unnecessarily.

“One Sea Org executive attempted to transfer a Royal Scotman steel cable from one bollard to another, but the storm wind was pushing the RS away from the dock, and he could not hold on.

“Later, with both ships safe, Hubbard ordered the man thrown from the RS’s bridge, a height of four or more stories. I wrote to Hubbard that night with what I knew.  My report came back with a note – ‘Never question LRH’.”

Later that year, when Hubbard had found a temporary base in the Greek island of Corfu, Hubbard began making it a daily ritual, she continued.

Each morning, the whole crew was required to be there, standing to attention, while the punishments were carried out.
“No one was exempt, except Hubbard’s family. The designated person had to jump overboard, two and a half stories down - about 30 feet or 9.2 meter - into dirty harbour water.

“Hubbard watched daily from a higher deck, his aides and I by his side.

“When he saw the jumpers enjoying themselves, he ordered their hands tied. Later, he ordered hands and feet tied. A week after that, he ordered blindfolds as well.

“Why? The existing punishment wasn’t severe enough to improve their confront of evil,” she said.

One morning, two deckhands threw Julia Lewis Salmen, about sixty years old, and a senior Scientology Executive for decades, over blindfolded, her hands and feet tied.

“She screamed all the way down.

“And when the sound stopped Hubbard looked interested for the first time and sent two deck hands overboard to make sure she was ok and help her back on board.

“Had he not, I think Julia may have drowned. She left soon afterwards.”

More abuses

“The same year, Hubbard ordered Mike Douglas, a fellow SO officer, to clean out the bilges, where waste fuels, oils and water collect to form a black foul-smelling sludge.

“Michael had messed up.  Hubbard went to talk to him, did not like what Michael said, and hit him so hard that Mike flew back into a metal bulkhead.

“Though injured, he received no medical care.  He was down there a week under guard – again, with no sleep, food in a bucket… not allowed to go to the bathroom, not allowed any toilet paper, and he was fed meager meals. Allowed no sleep… [10]

Did one of us question how denying someone going to the toilet would help their salvation? Did one of us ask how denying somebody toilet paper would help? Not one, and I'm truly ashamed to tell you that today.

“And the only thing I can tell you is that this is the totalitarian organization that Hubbard created. This is the culture he created. Once you are in that culture you do not think logically. Your logical thought processes are turned off; you are committed to his ideals, his vision of the future, and you pardon everything he does.”

On another occasion, Hubbard decided that a Scientologist on board for training was stealing employees from another organisation.

“He told me she was guilty and ordered me to ‘Find her crimes.’  I spent an 18-hour day investigating, and came up with nothing.

“That evening, Hubbard told me, ‘I hear you have her crimes!  I want them tonight!’ I had no way out.  I am ashamed to say that for my survival, I gave him what he wanted.

“The next day, he triumphantly declared her a Suppressive Person.  One could say she was lucky, to be out.  But not to be treated that way.  I do not remember her name.  I hope she learns the truth someday and can forgive me.”

All these incidents happened in a little over one year, said Whitfield – and that was just what she knew about.

“Hubbard had three ships in the Mediterranean, and I served on only one at one time.  I did not always know what was happening on the other two.

“Abuses like these continued through the years. Several people on the Royal Scotman/Apollo went crazy, psychotic I presume, and Hubbard ordered them confined and locked up in cabins in the ship’s stern; they never received proper medical or mental health care.

“And just as Hubbard created the ‘Mud Box Brigade’ as a punishment project force in 1968, and various other project forces after that, he created the RPF, or Rehabilitation Project Force, in 1974.

“It survives today.  It reduced crew to the status of sub-humans, living in filthy, unhygienic quarters, eating slop out of buckets with their bare hands.

“There were Hubbard’s frequent rages and screaming fits, and once I heard sounds like dishes smashing against a bulkhead.  There were secretive flights to New York by Hubbard Aides and others for abortions either ordered or condoned by Hubbard.

“There were Hubbard’s ‘Kali Ceremonies’ where administrative trainees who erred had to hammer cardboard representations of their organizations to pieces in front of their peers to illustrate how their evil intentions were damaging Scientology.

“There was Susan Meister’s so-called suicide on board the Royal Scotman in Safi, Morocco, her body shipped to her family in the US in a sealed casket due to a ‘cholera scare’.  I was there; I can verify there was no cholera outbreak in Morocco; it was a fancy PR caper that Hubbard called ‘a brilliant PR coup’.

“Two decades later, her father, Mr. Meister, called my husband and myself in Los Angeles, his voice broken, pleading for help, still searching for information on what happened to his daughter.

“There was the young woman, Pearl O’Krackel, who escaped from the Royal Scotman in Corfu and managed to evade ship’s crew as they chased her through that town.

Dead babies

“There was the little body of one baby found dead in his crib in the revolting, urine-smelling nursery at the Fort Harrison in Clearwater, Florida. A Sea Org friend, Judi Light, whose daughter was in that nursery, told me she had seen more than one dead baby.

“There were children from three to nine years old who, as punishment, had to pick lint off the nursery carpet for hours each day while reciting, ‘I am glad to be in the Sea Organization’.

“And there was the Rock-Slam Project in the late 1970’s in Clearwater, Hubbard’s witch-hunt, his purge, to find those disloyal to him; it ended with hundreds assigned to the RPF and the RPF’s RPF.

“The list goes on. Personnel were safe only as long as they appeared to be following Hubbard’s policies. If someone took a step out of line, he became an outsider and had to work his way back into acceptance by the whole group.

“In 1978, there was my own inevitable RPF assignment in ClearwaterHow did I ever think I could escape that fate?  All I remember is the intense Florida heat, my head pounding, running up and down endless flights of stairs to clean toilets – we could not walk.

“My twin, Lynn Froyland, from the Guardian Office, refused to confess her misdeeds, and was assigned to the RPF’s RPF, chained in the basement boiler room in the dark and heat, filthy, insolent, still refusing to cooperate.

“Years later, in response to my affidavit about her experience, she – still in Scientology – replied that her experience ‘… wasn’t that bad’.

“After I graduated the RPF – yes, Hubbard used words that reframed normally denigrating experiences into the opposite – after I graduated the RPF, a Board of Review granted me a full pardon, and restored my back pay and my rank of Commander Right Arm.

“I was glad to get the pardon; but the assignment had broken my will.  I was in pain all the time. Auditing had not worked on me for years. I was unable to work. When I began getting panic attacks, I knew I had to leave while I knew I had to leave. I say this, because I could not remember the thought for long.

“I want to end with a final word about those who do get out on their own. When I walked out of the Fort Harrison Hotel, Clearwater, in March 1982, I had no one to go to, no family in the US, and no friends, as I was a declared Suppressive.

“I had no money, and I did not drive.  I was fortunate in that I had a Resident Visa.  I did not go to the authorities, as I still believed they were the enemy.  

“Many people who leave end in a sort of no-man’s land; they have no family or friends to go to, and they consider outsiders, who are often eager to help, are enemies.  Some are ‘billed’ staggering amounts of money for the ‘services’ they received. My bill came to almost half a million dollars.

“Some, after no contact with real life for decades, are almost unemployable. Without family ties or the kindness of friends, it is a terrible experience, particularly for those with small children who may or may not have had proper schooling.”

In her closing remarks, Whitfield spoke about the difficulty bringing herself to leave the organization, a conflict many former members have described.

“When I walked out of the Fort Harrison Hotel in Clearwater in 1982, I had no one to go to. I had no family in the United States. I had no friends. I was a Declared Suppressive. I had no money. I did not drive a car. And that is what kept me from leaving for years, because I constantly had the thought in my background for years: ‘I need to leave. Something is not right.’

But the fear of going out on my own to no one, nowhere, with nothing, kept me from doing that. The only thing that pushed me into that, finally, was the fact that I thought I was going crazy. The pain in my head was so bad I could not work, and I was starting to get what I call almost ‘two Hanas.’

“There were two parts of me… at one time I would be one, at one time I would be another and in agreement with Scientology, and then I would flip back to the other one who knew I had to leave. And that scared the hell out of me. And that was when I finally said ‘I'm out of here,’ and it took me three months to leave; it was very arduous.

Whitfield’s shocking litany of abuse makes it clear that the problems did not start with the current regime, but came from the founder himself.

These are issues that the likes of Marty Rathbun and Mike Rinder, prominent members of what is being called the independent Scientology movement, need to address.

[1] My thanks to Hana for letting me have an advance copy of her speech. This article then is a composite of the original text version and the version actually delivered in Hamburg on the day. Thanks to the transcript put up with the video by Anonymous activists, I have incorporated one or two of Hana’s unscripted elaborations from the speech as she eventually gave it.
[2] “Raw meat preclear: 1. one who has never had Sc’n processing.” (Hubbard Communications Office Bulletin, January 16, 1968. Dianetics and Scientology Technical Dictionary.
[3] “The DEFENSE of anything is UNTENABLE. The only way to defend anything is to ATTACK…” A Manual on the Dissemination of Materials, published in Ability, a Scientology magazine, in 1955. Note how early Hubbard was advancing this kind of attack-dog mentality.
[4] Scientology has created special underground vaults to ensure that copies of Hubbard’s writings are preserved for all time. See here for Washington Post writer Richard Leiby’s piece on this folie de grandeur.
[5] “Penalties For Lower Conditions” Hubbard Communications Office Police Letter, October 18, 1967. This punishment is mild compared to what is in store for you if you are assigned the condition of Treason, Doubt or Enemy.
[6] Whitfield described Yvonne Jentsch’s ordeal in more detail in a 1994 affidavit in which she also recounted similar stories. Elsewhere on this site I have set out in detail how these earlier cases closely resemble the kind of medical neglect still going on inside the movement: see Peta O’Brien’s Letter: Medical Neglect.
[7] Here is Kaufman’s account of his deteriorating mental condition as he tries to get through the secret, upper levels of Scientology, from Inside Scientology/Dianetics: How I Joined Dianetics/Scientology and Became Superhuman (revised 1995 edition).
“I sat at the meter for twenty minutes, in a trance, smoking and scanning, as my body gradually turned into a field of electric charge and my head bloated with the pressure. The body thetans were there now. I had left several of them restimulated in prior sessions and at last they were rebelling. I was kicking them up all over me, making them crawl around on my skin and inside of me.” (Part Three, “The Upper Levels”)
He has increasing difficulty sleeping and starts hallucinating.
“My mind was damaged. Something had been taken away and something put there. At times I could feel the thing in my head trying to eat its way out. Once I had the notion that my brain was quicksand, with a puckered hole through which it sucked itself down with gurgling noises. Once it was a hole in a sofa, left by a burning cigarette, the faint trickle of smoke wafting up through charred shreds of fabric.” (Part Four, “Scientology Sickness”).
At was at this point that admitted himself to a psychiatric hospital in a last-ditch bid to overcome his suicidal urges.
[8] This appears to be a reference to The Shrinking World of L. Ron Hubbard.
[9] Sharone Stainforth, who was a child in the Sea Org during the same period that Whitfield served, has posted on Internet message boards describing her memories.
In correspondence with me she recalled: “I remember a young girl, maybe 4/5, maybe younger, it’s hard to remember exactly. Strangely enough, had an image of a grate/mesh with the child down in this dark hole, crying hysterically, someone had moved the grill/mesh and there was people shouting and seeing what was wrong with the girl. We were told to go away… The little girl was filthy, and covered in snot where she'd been crying so much. How could that have been allowed to happen? How????”
In a posting to the Ex-Scientologist Message Board, Stainforth compiled some other references to Hubbard’s use of the chain locker.
In Stuart Lamont’s Religion Inc., John McMaster told the author of another child being confined to the chain locker. McMaster remembers once being asked by the Master At Arms  to come and help her. He pulled up the wedge from the chain-locker, a dank unhealthy part of the ship into which offenders were flung without food as a punishment. Out crawled a little girl who turned out to be a deaf-mute who had been unable to write her name and had incurred the Commodore’s wrath. (Page 59 of my edition, but webbed here.)
Bent Corydon, in L. Ron Hubbard: Madman or Messiah? writes about a four-year-old boy having been thrown in the chain locker of the Apollo, the ship in which Hubbard was normally based, for having eaten strips of paper from the telex machine.
The four-year-old boy could no longer cry. He had been nearly 48 hours in the chain locker of the flagship Apollo and his entire body was aching from his efforts to chip off rust. His knees and hands were raw with cuts and bruises. His voice was raspy from crying, and he was desperately afraid…
Little Tony had entered the chain locker through the tiny manhole that led to it. The metallic sound as the lid slammed shut sounded final somehow. The space was cramped for even his small body, and he was enveloped by darkness. It was wet in there and very, very scary. The chains of the ship's anchor took on the dimensions of a
monster. At one point a rat scuttled by him squealing. He was sure he was going to die...
The Commodore had been outraged, and just the fact that this person had a young body was in no way going to prevent him from administering the appropriate penalty.”(p27 of my edition, but webbed here). Corydon writes that his account is a composite of conversations with the boy’s mother and other crew members.
Corydon also gives McMaster’s account of the deaf-mute girl (pp 29-30), as does Jon Atack in his A Piece of Blue Sky. And Atack quotes a 1980 affidavit from Tonja Burden, a former Messenger, one of the teenage aides who worked directly with Hubbard, in which she gives another example of child abuse.
On a number of occasions, I saw people placed in the "chain lockers" of the boat on direct orders of Hubbard. These lockers were small, smelly holes, covered by grates, where the chain for the anchor was stored. I saw one boy held in there for thirty nights, crying and begging to be released. He was only allowed out to clean the bilges where the sewer and refuse of the ship collected. I believe his "crimes" were taking or using a musical instrument, I believe a flute, of someone else [sic] without permission. (Page 246 of my edition, webbed here).
For the full affidavit, see here.
ABC News Australia recently tracked down another former child member who witnessed similar abuse. See Sarah Collerton’s exclusive, “Scientology Insider’s Nightmare Childhood”. March 12, 2010.
[10] For more on Mike Douglas, see this tribute to him from Gerry Armstrong.


  1. What a superb article. Her testimony is extraordinary. I am beginning to gain insight into Hubbard evil charisma. His totalitarian cruelty is evident. It reminds me of Saddam Hussein.

    I am looking forward to more reports on this remarkable conference in Hamburg. WWP thread with vids in preparation is at:

  2. It is absolutly fine that people who want to practice Scientology are allowed to do so, freely, with no suppression from anyone, not even from Miscavige's Church of Money. I am thinking about Marty, independents and freezoners. But I am at loss at how so many of them are still trying to depict Hubbard as a good person. Ron Hubbard was a false and manipulative liar. A piece of shit in my view. There are some gems in Scientology, but whathever purpose had Hubbard to set up scientology, I am certain it was not to set people free. If the 'good' side of Scientology has to survive, it has to drop LRH name and all of his toxic policies in the recycle bin, where they belong.

  3. Thank you Hana, for speaking your truth. That is one despicable experience to had to live through.

    The fact that so many governments have adopted this nightmare organization as a 'religious' entity speaks very loudly about the lack of genuine care, if not outright condoning it's citizens to become subjects to a totalitarian system... could it be that they hope Scn will prepare their citizens for future intended designs? At minimum it shows that many govt's have long since abandoned the principle of 'for the people'.

  4. This is excellent. Hana's affidavits and write ups that are already on the internet were instrumental in helping me face the madness I had observed and been a part of. She also helped document what the reports from Hubbard's military history showed - that Hubbard was coniving and disturbed mad man.

    Thanks for reporting on her speech. She is a voice of reason and experience and I hope the Hubbard lovers tht are out will take time to read this and all that she has written or stated.

  5. I do NOT accept these "I couldn't help it" escuses. I was in Scientology for 5 years and ALWAYS told someone to go fuck themselves when they told me to do something harmful to myself or others - and there were plenty of attempts. I told Sea Org Missionaires to go fuck themselves. I told Artie Maren to go fuck himself. I told the AG Andy Savas to go fuck himself and when I finally left I wrote a memo to the entire organization saying Scientology was ALL BULLSHIT and they all could go fuck themselves.
    So, please spare me the "I had to lock a deaF mute 5 year old up because I was so enamored with Hubbard. No, you did it because it gave you the same sick pleasure it gave that psychopath Hubbard

  6. Sharone Stainforth29 March 2010 at 21:19

    Thank You so much Jonny for your staying power and believing in me. I know it hasn't been easy.

    When you're a young kid and people tell you, "No one will ever believe you, because it is all so unbelievable". You believe that, I believed that as a kid, and continued to believe that as an adult.

    Scientology thrives on creating fear, and it works.

    Rock on Jonny!

  7. To the Anonymous poster who has no sympathy with people who did nothing when the abuse was going on in front of them: I wonder, first, if you ever had to work with Hubbard? And don't you think it takes a degree of courage to own up to having done nothing to stop such abuse, especially when you are standing up in public and saying it?

    It is no doubt true that some of Hubbard's lieutenants were as sadistic as he was. Anyone who has traced the chain of command through the different eras of Scientology can identify some people who took pride in terrorizing their subordinates. But I think you'll find that, for the most part, they are not the ones with the courage to speak out about it afterwards.

    You might want to save your anger for the highly placed former members currently condemning the violence of Miscavige without owning up to their own abusive behaviour.

  8. Thanks again Jonny for your years of reporting, and for particularly taking on the violence history, and for Hana for doing round two for her, of speaking out. I am so glad that this important point of how this sort of unofficial, but still prevalent history of violence traces to Hubbard. There is much to think about if one is an historian of new religions.

    I see it as Scientology's violence history tracing to Hubbard, and numerous other authoritarian church policies that tightly keep the members in line.

    The whole new wave of ex senior people who are still believers in the spiritual practices of Scientology (which Hubbard made the "upper levels" secret, but it is the public's right to KNOW what those secret practices are, and those spiritual practices ARE simple exorcism of great numbers of supposed spirits that co-habit our bodies, spirits from dead outer space humanoids supposedly murdered some 75 million years ago by a long ago space alien leader named Xenu), the new wave of ex Scientologists who still believe and practice this Hubbard alien spirit exorcism are at least NOT as authoritarian and vicious to one another as are the official Scientologists.

    Official Scientologists today suffer under the whole mantle of Hubbard's voluminous policy rules and regulations, including the infamous excommunication policy called "disconnection" that has the hated ramifications of forcing official Scientologists to choose the extreme choice of stopping ALL communication with family who oppose Scientology.

    The independent, so called, new ex official Scientologists cherry pick the spiritual practices of Hubbard, but leave behind the vicious rules and regulations of Hubbard.

    So, the independents who expose the authoritarianism and vicious heartless rules and practices of existing Scientologists, I have to thank them, for what they are doing.

    I think were official Scientology to drop the most heinous and vicious and irrational of Hubbard rules, and normalize, then official Scientology would become more acceptable, and less of a continuing controversial group.

    In the 4 decades that ex official Scientologists have been practicing Hubbard spiritual exorcism practice, they have NOT drawn ANY of the horrendous backlash, and that is because the unofficial Scientologists have dropped Hubbard's vicious authoritarian rules and practices.

    So, I fear, honestly, that Scientology, the official group, will continue to generate controversy, unfortunately, due to the tenacious nature of Hubbard's FULL body of administrative church rules, that disallow the official Scientologists the option to DROP those vicious heartless rules and policies.

    The ex members, who are currently focusing on Miscavige, while they are seemingly currently blind to the longer ago Hubbard personal bad history that a person like Hana so clearly explains, simply because she's of an even earlier generation.

    There are so many stories of Hubbard's personal heartlessness, which others besides Hana have spoken of.

    I had hoped some researcher would catalog and verify them all, SOON, before the people who suffered directly at Hubbard's hand, die off!

    This movement, people forget, is only 60 years old!!!

    You've done a huge historically significant public service Jonny Jacobsen!

    Thank you in advance for future researchers who will appreciate your work in the years to come!

    Chuck Beatty
    ex Sea Org, 1975-2003
    Pittsburgh, USA

  9. Thanks for your continuing support, Chuck.

    I have approached one or two former members who knew and worked with Hubbard, as well as some who witnessed Miscavige's rise to power, but they have not been prepared to go public: at least yet.

    In some cases the people concerned can still be hurt by Scientology's disconnection policy: others simply do not wish to revisit that part of their life. But I hope that in time more people will go public.

  10. It has always been clear to me since leaving that the source of Scientology's abuses were Hubbard himself. I recall the HCOPL as many others will where he talks of what you should be willing to do to support your boss. It was all told as sort of detective fiction where he talked of rivals to the power being bumped off, ending up in the harbour wearing concrete boots or whatever. Even when I was a more or less indoctrinated Scientologist I still thought this was pretty odd coming from the same guy who spoke in such warm tones about saving the planet, having ARC and so forth.

    And then there were the lies he told. Blatent lies.

    Back when I was in Scientology you could still read the old policy letters and various documents from the distant past. In our org they were all stored in a little room and I recall sifting through them. These and other later documents authored by Hubbard would sometimes be contradicted... stuff like the Quickie Grades and the watered down CCHs. He was the one who made the changes which were subsequently denounced.

    The guy didn't care a damn about people or the truth. And calling Scientology the Road to Total Freedom was a total joke. You had the freedom to believe everything you were told by Hubbard and that was ALL the freedom you had.