By Birgitta Dagnell more
17 August 1997
My story about scientology
By Birgitta Dagnell, Sweden
It all started on the autumn of 1970 when I was out for a
walk with my baby girl. A man came by and asked me to do a test
for finding out more about myself. Later the same day I went
into the so called Church of Scientology in
doing the test. I had never
heard of this church before.
I found the people in the church very friendly and interested
in me. After the test was done I was introduced to the
Dianetics book and
told that it was a brand new science discovered in that book. I
didn't really believe that so I said no about buying a copy.
Then I was asked to do the communication course and said no to
that also as I didn't think I had any problems with
communication. I had been singing in public since the age of six
and was used to talk and sing without being nervous. And my
public seemed to like me. I was told that those facts had
nothing to do with it — the comm. course was entirely different.
Anyway — I sad no thanks and went away as this church thing made
me a bit suspicious about what it really was about. I didn't
want to believe in or join some kind of organized new religion.
In March 1971, I received a letter from them, saying that
they wanted me to come to them, some important person was about
to hold a lecture. When arriving in the evening I saw a man in
uniform walking around and the others told me whispering "this
is Captain Bill — Ron's closest man" and I understood that he
must be something special, but I wondered about the uniform. He
showed a movie about Sea Org
and it started very dramatically with the music "Also spracht
Zarathustra" which impressed on me. So I signed finally up for
the comm. course and started next day.
The years passed by with many courses and lots of
auditing and in
December 1979, I joined staff and started to work as an Class IV
auditor in the Malmoe Org. All the training was paid by myself.
In March/April 1980 the Malmoe Org was raided 3 times by the
police and they wanted me to handle bad press and public
relations. So I had to join the
Guardians Office and I was surprised to see that the GO
always did know some ten minutes in advance that the police
should come to the org and also that the GO did know what the
Treasure Sec was telling the police when he was arrested. I was
sent to East Grinstead in England for an comprehensive
PR-training. I remember I read "Public Relations" by Cutlip and
Center, "A spy and his Master" and "Art of War" plus tons of
issues from L Ron Hubbard.
I had to understand "Operation
Snow White" and other secret operations and programmes.
Back in Malmoe I started to work with PR and actually did
good in this.
In 1982 many rumours and turbulence was going on. We had to
learn that the mission holders and the whole present management
was suppressive and most
people in the Guardians Offices over the world. In January 1983
the Guardian of Malmoe received an order from
RTC to send all
reserves money to Luxemburg, which was complied with. Shortly
after that I found myself upgraded to AG Malmoe as the former AG
and the other GO staff was ripped off. The AG hadn't sent enough
money. So we were two people left in the GO; me and AG SOCO.
In February I was called to come over to
Denmark for a
briefing. I went over and met with the person in charge Allan
Hubbert from Special Unit in Los Angeles. He smiled and told me
nicely that I had to do a little "spring-cleaning-programme"
called DPF (Deck Project Force).
Had never heard about it, but he showed me an
Flag order written
by LRH. I was
told that all remaining staff from the GO's in Europe should
show up on the DPF. The reason was that we were the cause why
the churches didn't expand and that we were enemies of the
Church. The GO's should close down and be replaced by
"Department of Special Affairs". Only very clean, especially
chosen, non-guardian people should be appointed to this
Department. We, the enemies and traitors should be put onto the
DPF as an rehabilitation.
I found that I had to start on the DPF right away. There was
no time to go back home to change clothes or bring more clothes
or even to make a phone call to my husband and children. In
order to make phone calls one had to write a dispatch, asking
for permission and telling the purpose of the call and so on. It
took me around one month to get permission for my first call
home. So there I was in my black long trousers, black jumper and
my mink coat. I learned to use my mink coat as my pillow as
well. Those cloths I had to wear for more than one month. I was
one of the first on place, of the 82 of us who soon should be
collected from all over Europe.
The "rehabilitation" consisted of lots of work, mainly
cleaning, and started at 8 AM with roll-call. We had to say "Ay
Sir" when called upon or spoken to. We were not permitted to
talk to people outside the DPF and later on not to DPF-members
from other countries. In that way be became isolated. The first
night we were only 2 people in a normal 2-beds room. Next night
and the following, we were 18 people in it. We happen to get
breakfast sometimes, but that was not normal. I remember one
morning when the 82 of us got 16 slices of bread to share and
one man took 6 of them. It was near a civil war got started. The
meals was eaten in a cellar where we shared the space with lots
of pigeons. It was very dirty, filled with bird shit. At one
occasion I had to fight with the pigeons to get my meal. The
food was never enough for all of us and consisted of rice and
beans. No plates, no cutleries and no pots. Once we got soup,
and I was lucky to possess a small plastic mug so I could drink
it. We used to feel like "the poor man with no spoon when the
sky is raining semolina".
The work consisted of mainly cleaning toilets, corridors and
hotel rooms or some painting and construction work. Supplies for
cleaning was very poor, like brushes with almost no brush left.
Only cold water and no washing detergent. I was mainly doing
cleaning at Hotel Nordland and the small hotel opposite to
Nordland. At one occasion I should clean bathrooms and a long
hallway in the other hotel. I had high fever and the floor in
the hallway was very dirty. I had to do the cleaning with a
toothbrush, crawling on my knees as I wasn't able to stand up.
Next day I couldn't get out of my bed, I was too sick in
pneumonia. Guards came and tried to get me up, but I couldn't.
The day after I had to get back to work again. The working hours
was to 11 PM but we were often waked up in the night for doing
more work. Sometimes we worked til 5 in the morning with only
two breaks of 30 minutes each, during all those hours. We were
never allowed to walk or sit down — always running.
Some work was pure evil:
One of us was assigned to
paint the reception area at FOLO and 3 others of us did the
preparatory work. She thought it was quite a nice job and it
looked nice and clean when she had finished painting. But
after 5 days the colour hadn't get dry and we found out that
the paint was mixed without drying substance in it. She had
to scrape the whole reception from this wet paint and then
she received an
- Some others had to wash scrap papers. It was 5 of us,
standing on the yard at FOLO, taking scrap papers from
sacks, put it into ice cold water, keep it under the water
til it was soaking wet and then press out all water and make
small balls of it. Then return it to the sack again. The
hands ached as it was below freezing outside. The purpose of
this washing was to be able to put more paper into the sacks
as the air was pressed out.
After a couple of weeks, we got to know that we should start
doing ethics in the evenings. We were pleased as that gave us a
possibility to sit down on chairs. It was not the kind of ethics
we were used to anyhow; first one had to write up all bad
actions done (overts) in this lifetime and past lives. Then one
was put before an auditor with an E-meter. On each side of the
auditor a missionaire was standing (Mike Sutter and Isa-Bella
Ferrer) The auditor, his name was Des, read up the overt,
checked it on the Meter and the missionaires started to yell at
you. This is called
gang-bang sec checking. "This is not what you have done, you
have HUGE overts, you are the most evil one on earth, we want
your real overts..." This screaming could go on for an hour or
more til we "recognized" that we really was that bad and evil.
Many couldn't stand it. One night an italian man started to cry
and admitted to be that evil and became very thankful to the
missionaires who had revealed the truth about him. He went down
on the floor. Crawled on his knees to missionaire
Mike Sutter and kissed his shoes. Mike looked at him
scornfully and said "you are declared, get out of here". The
italian man had no money and didn't really know how to get back
to his country. Later I heard that he had found a cargo ship in
the harbor who gave him a free ride to Italy.
Another lady I remember was from Belgium. She got about the
same treatment as described above, but she gave them the wrong
cognition. In the session she told them that she finally
understood how much she had neglected her husband and children
because of scientology. After the above treatment she tried to
escape but failed. The following week after this incident, she
didn't speak with anybody. She sneaked around on the yard,
sometimes laughing hysterically for herself. I was told that she
went mad. Then she suddenly was gone. I don't know what happened
to her, but have been thinking about her a lot.
After a month I got permission to go home and see my children
over the weekend. I called my elder daughter, she was 13, and
told her that I should come home on Saturday. She became so very
happy and should make a nice dinner to welcome me. We were both
in tears of happiness when talking about it. When Saturday came,
I was told that my permission was cancelled because they thought
I shouldn't come back or tell people about what's going on in
Denmark. Half of the day was spent trying to convince them that
I had to go home to see my children, that they were expecting me
and so on. Nothing what I said helped. It was no. As I couldn't
stand the thought of my little girl being so happy, making
dinner for me, I decided to escape in the evening. So late in
the evening I sneaked out from Nordland, walked my way to the
ferries and went to Malmoe. I arrived to my home around midnight
and waked up the family. We were all so happy to meet again
until my husband told me that I had to go back in the morning. I
said no, no way, I never go there again. But he persuaded me by
saying that I had to go to the RPF or that we had to divorce if
I didn't. So I went back.
On my way to Nordland I met
Barbara Schwartz from Germany.
The two of us were room-mates and friends as I helped her one
night when she was gone and they asked me if she had been in her
bed during the night. I didn't really know if she was, as I was
sleeping, but told them that she was there the whole night. Now,
I met her and she told me that she had to report my going away
and that I should be sent to the RPF (about the same, but
usually is a longer cycle). I convinced her to not report me and
she finally agreed as I had helped her once.
So I was back on the Deck again. One night all of us were
yelled at by the missionaries. After the yelling one of them
asked if we had any questions. I had a question and stretched my
hand. As they thought it to be very impudent of me having a
question, they should make an example and ordered me to come
forward. I was put onto an chair and faced the other 80 people.
They told the others to look at me as the real suppressive
personality. The three missionaires yelled at me and derided me
for two hours in front of the others. Finally my comrades was
told to go and I was alone with them. I was sitting on the chair
for three hours with them yelling at me, telling me that I had
never done anything good in my life. Mike Sutter worked up such
an anger that he spit into my face, threw chairs around and
threw a table so it hit my stomach. Mike told me I should be
expelled from scientology for ever. There was nothing in life I
was so afraid of as to listen to those words. I remember I was
thinking "expelled, but I'm still alive". After those three
hours, I started to cry and told them that I always had been
trying to do alright and that I had been following LRH policies
all the time on staff.
That became the turning point. I was told that this setup was
a test to see if I could keep my position. Now I was their first
product! And I was their star! I should become the first officer
in the new Department of Special Affairs! I felt very happy and
very, very strong as I wasn't broken.