All of them, those in power, and those who want the power, would pamper us, if we agreed to overlook their crookedness by wilfully restricting our activities.
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William Franks (Bill Franks)
Sometimes even the church's biggest zealots can use a little protection. Screen star Travolta, 37, has long served as an unofficial Scientology spokesman, even though he told a magazine in 1983 that he was opposed to the church's management. High-level defectors claim that Travolta has long feared that if he defected, details of his sexual life would be made public. "He felt pretty intimidated about this getting out and told me so," recalls William Franks, the church's former chairman of the board. "There were no outright threats made, but it was implicit. If you leave, they immediately start digging up everything." Franks was driven out in 1981 after attempting to reform the church.
Bill Franks was instrumental in creating the foundation in 1981 when he served as the Church of Scientology's executive director, a post from which he was later ousted in a power struggle. Franks described the foundation in an interview as a Scientology "front group."
"The concept," he said, "was to get some scientific recognition" for Hubbard's treatment without overtly linking it to the church.
Buttressing Franks' account, the foundation's original incorporation papers state that its purpose was to "research the efficacy of and promote the use of the works of L. Ron Hubbard in the solving of social problems; and to scientifically research and provide public information and education concerning the efficacy of other programs."
The document was later amended, however, to remove Hubbard's name, obscuring the foundation's ties to the Scientology movement and its founder in official records.
"The question was always how to get more money into Hubbard's pocket and how to hide that from the IRS," says Franks, who was responsible for investing about $150 million of church reserves in 1980, most of it held in foreign currencies. "There was literally cash all over the place. There would be people leaving from Florida for Europe with bags of cash on a weekly basis. There were hundreds of bank accounts." In 1981 Franks started taking Hubbard's name off these accounts as signatory—15 years after Hubbard was said to have retired from the church—to hide the connection to church funds they represented.
Former Executive Director International Bill Franks put it this way: "I was giving acceptable truth. In Scientology that is how we are trained to talk." [...]
The description by Bill Franks was similar. lasted "15 hours per day, seven days a week." When interviewed by Williamette Week, Walters described the strange combination of working conditions and rewards that characterized Scientology projects:
The kids [many are in their 20s] are made to work 14 - 18 hours a day. They are brought very high with clapping and yelling about how great a job they are doing and hit really hard at other times. It's a tremendous handling of rewards and punishment . . . . The kids can never live up to L. Ron Hubbard. That's how he is made to feel. But at the same time, Ron writes beautiful, flowery prose at times, just praising them, you know. It's very clever. [...]
Bill Franks, who was RPF'd several times before being named executive director international, said the "idea is to be reprogrammed." All the former members who discussed the RPFs said the sessions lasted anywhere from two to 18 months. [...]
Bill Franks, at one point in his duties, monitored the International Weekly Statistics Sheets, which outlined the financial status of all Scientology missions and organizations on a worldwide basis. He testified that they did between one and two million dollars of business each week. The local missions in the United States sent 10 percent of their gross incomes as well as vast sums for higher levels of training for their staffs, to the CSC. The CSC, said Franks, had a net worth of at least $340 million in 1981.
In addition, Franks said, at least another $150 million was kept in a fund known as the Sea Organization reserves. [...]
Franks testified that Hubbard received $85 million from the CSC for the rights to the E-Meter.
The income figures were even more impressive for the CSC. Bill Franks, at one point in his duties, monitored the International Weekly Statistics Sheets, which outlined the financial status of all Scientology missions and organizations on a worldwide basis. He testified that they did between one and two million dollars of business each week. The local missions in the United States sent 10 percent of their gross incomes as well as vast sums for higher levels of training for their staffs, to the CSC. The CSC, said Franks, had a net worth of at least $340 million in 1981.
In addition, Franks said, at least another $150 million was kept in a fund known as the Sea Organization reserves.
2. In December 1980, I was appointed by L. Ron Hubbard to be "Executive Director International" of all Churches of Scientology throughout the world. I saw an order written by L. Ron Hubbard himself appointing me to this position. The last Executive Director International was L. Ron Hubbard himself, who allegedly resigned from that position in 1966. Therefore, by virtue of this appointment, which was a lifetime appointment, I was senior to every Scientology executive throughout the world. Theoretically, since I held the post of Executive Director International, no person, even L. Ron Hubbard, could countermand my orders. However, as I learned shortly after my appointment, this was not how Hubbard intended me to operate.
A purge of veteran Scientologists quickly followed the takeover. Bill Franks, 26, was thrown out of his office in Clearwater in December 1981 and fired as Scientology's executive director. "It's just a power grab," he says of the new leader's acts. Their motive, he charges, is "totally money, absolute greed."