A cry in the night.
|To: Mary Sue Hubbard
Copies for info:
Guardian WW May 8, 1981
DG PR US
CO Child Care Org
AG PR CCO Doug Smith
Subject: Child Care Org LA, Placing Scientology at risk
Dear Mary Sue:
I am writing to alert you about a situation at the Los
Care Org that places Scientology and Scientologists at risk.
I am writing to the highest echelons of our Church because this
is, an on-going and recurring situation that has never been
handled despite attempts in the past. It is a situation that
demands perhaps a different approach and some rethinking and I
hope that as a result of this letter, something will happen in
Although I am reporting on a
regarding the care of
Sea Org children in Los Angeles, this particular situation
is only an indicator of a far more serious and widespread
situation regarding staff children, that permeates our entire
On April 29 [name deleted] a friend of mine and an
ASHO Sea Org
member, currently on a maternity leave, was informed by the
that her son [name deleted] had
asked me to drive to the CEO with her. When we arrived we were
told he was in sick bay.
We went to the sick bay which had, I think, eight children in
it. These children were all being mistreated. I do not mean
medically, only, I mean mistreated in the sense of abused.
|I observed the following:
- Sick children were being diagnosed by the
MO; as it turned
out they were misdiagnosed by the MO.
- [The son] was forced to work while ill. He was
supposed to be looking after the other sick children.
- The children were not being sent to a doctor
— for reasons of FP [financial
- The space was filthy and inadequate.
- The sick children had no beds; they were lying on a
- There was no adult supervision of these ill children.
- Children suffering from different contagious diseases
were all in the same space.
- The children were dirty and un-hygienic.
We talked to the MO at length. [The son], it turned out, had
complained of other symptoms (sore head, eyes and throat). The
MO said he only had one sore in his mouth and was not sick.
Apparently when he asked the MO if he could lie down, the MO
said he was not sick and had to stay on post, looking after the
other children. I also discovered that the MO had received no
money from ASHO for the care of ASHO children and therefore
there was no money to send the kids to the doctor. All he was
doing was giving the children vitamins for their illnesses.
The "sick bay" was an approximately 5 x 18 foot screened off
porch area outdoors, with a concrete floor. One of the children,
a three-year-old, was lying on a very thin kitchen mat, on the
floor. Others were bare-foot on the concrete floor.
The MO told us that if [mother] wanted her son to go to the
doctor, she would have to go to ASHO and put in a
I told him that all the children who had not seen a doctor
should do so, as he was not qualified to diagnose illness. At
this point he became antagonistic and said they did not need a
doctor and he did not want to discuss it further. I said to
[mother] that the conditions in the sick bay were atrocious and
if he [the Medical Officer] was not going to do anything about
it, I was going to call the Board of Health.
The MO said, of course, that what I was doing was a
act, as indeed, it is per policy. I replied that what he was
doing to those children was a suppressive act, and left. We went
to ASHO to put in a rush PO. After waiting, I became concerned
about [the son] and told his mother that I would pay for his
medicine and that they could pay me later. Doctor Victoria
Samler diagnosed [son] as having
Vincent's disease (a bacterial infection of the mouth), an
eye infection and inflamed tonsils; also a vitamin B and C
deficiency. She prescribed an antibiotic and eye drops.
To paraphrase what happened in the days that followed, the
terminals were called in because of my "threat". At first they
were more anxious that I withdraw my threat than handling the
children, but I think they realized that my true intention was
to help. I maintained my position (the "threat" seemed to be the
only leverage that would get anything done about the children)
and visited the Child Care Org daily.
The next day all the children were taken to the doctor. As
far as I know the MO is in
Ethics, the AG
was asked for a report on the situation by his seniors, ASHO
finally came through with some money for the
CCO for the first
time in weeks, and the AG has assured me, that the children will
generally be better cared for. I was also told that Jane Kember
was in the process of doing an eval on the Child Care Org. In
view of this I fail to see how the danger condition in the sick
bay persisted during the past two weeks.
«In Scientology's Sea
Organization, a Medical Officer is a staff
position within Division Five
Qualifications Division. Although Sea
Org staff often refer to the position by the
acronym MO, the correct title is Medical Liaison
Officer, or MLO. This position usually is not
filled by someone with medical training. At the
time this report was written, Michael Spearman
was the MLO at ASHO Day. He has since left the
Sea Org and has become a
In May of 1981, I was the Financial Planning
Chairman, Director of Disbursements, Payroll
Officer, Purchasing Officer, and Treasury
Secretary at ASHO Day. I was there at the time
the report was written, and I absolutely attest
that the report is factual.» [ref]
|I am pleased that the above has happened, but one battle does
not the war win. I began to look at other Sea Org kids and made
the following observations:
They are not receiving an adequate education.
One six year old couldn't even read simple words (and,
The quarters smell. Dirty.
The children are almost all dirty. Many run around naked.
There is a terrible lack of dental care, evidenced by the
dirty teeth of some children I saw. I assume they have never
seen a dentist.
There is a lack of quality and qualified personnel to
look after the kids. People that are on the
RPF are sent
to look after the kids. Lack of stable terminals for kids.
personnel, not interested in the post.
This is all symptomatic of a general attitude that children
are less important than posts. During my battle with the Child
Care Org and GO
terminals, I had to quote very simple, basic, almost
tech such as
"Insist that when a person is ill they get medical treatment"
(The Way to Happiness) "When children become unimportant to
society, etc (SOS). Children are our future, etc. I find it a
sad indictment that this was necessary even.
|As I said earlier, this has been an ongoing situation for
years. It places Scientology at risk, as has been evidenced by
flaps that have occurred in the past, and places Scientologists
at risk, in that it poses a very real danger for the children,
in many ways. For instance, I saw children playing in the
parking lot at the Child Care Org. I know that one child was
killed doing this at
Flag a few years ago. There is the added factor of what this
kind of lack of concern does to the children.
Something must be done to terminatedly handle this situation.
If we are to forge the new civilization, let it be civilized.
Let us be civilized enough to care for those who trust us with
their lives. Perhaps there is existing policy, but it is not
enforced, here or at Flag. Perhaps it needs to be re-evaluated.
In any case, in order for any policy to be followed, there has
to be a drastic re-evaluation of priorities in the Church.
Children are a priority. They are our future. They do deserve
more from us.
It is my hope that effective change in this area will soon
Class VI, OT IV
This was sent to me anonymously while I was publishing the
Her description of the Cadet Org Nursery matches the
description I've been given by numerous other people who saw it
first hand, as I did with the Flag nursery, and my own kids.
This kind of stuff gets to me.
Rev. Dennis L Erlich