What Happened at Delphian Academy

[This is a backup of http://www.witchhaven.com/atho/files/anti/SCIENTOL.TXT]

Part One: What Happened at Delphian Academy

(This begins with my discontent about a private school I was going to,
Pathways, a so-called "therapeutic learning environment. This background
is necessary to know how trapped I was.) From "It's Still Not Weird
Enough For Me" (c) 1990 M. Klein-Hass. All rights reserved...Michelle
Klein-Hass is the author of this piece for purposes of the Berne

    Pathways, however, was not always a bowl of cherries for me in other
respects. Like everywhere else, I was picked on by some of the students.
Especially when they realized that I was allowed a longer leash than
most of the other students. I did not want to continue in an environment
like that, so I told Mom that I wanted a change. There was also the
matter of a small problem in my family by the name of "Rocco Cortes."
(not his real name) Rocco was the first real boyfriend my mother had
since my father's death. He worked for the studios as a prop man, and
had an attitude that partially came from his half-Cuban, half-Sicilian
lineage and partially came from the fact that he had a serious macho

    I got along fairly well with Rocco until right after we went to see
the premiere of "Star Wars."  I said something that got him mad, and he
yelled at me in front of everyone at the Wiener Factory. We never got
along after that. Rocco felt that I only got in the way of his
relationship with my Mom, and I was afraid that he was going to try to
turn her against me. My fears wound up finding a base in reality when
Mom started to talk about sending me away to school rather than find me
a school in the area. She went to a place called American College
Placement to find a boarding school for me.

    They came up with a place in Oregon called The Delphian Academy. The
school promised a creative environment, self-directed learning and
pristine surroundings. However, it delivered only the pristine
surroundings in any sort of satisfactory manner. Everything else was
colored by the mind-f**k of the Church of Scientology.

    Scientology is a cult. Purely and simply put, it is a cult. When
P.E.I. Bonewitz came up with his Cult Evaluation Frame in the book "Real
Magic" (It was also reprinted in Adler's "Drawing Down The Moon") he
provided a marvelous resource for understanding what makes a cult what
it is. The crux of the Evaluation Frame is that a cult is less a
religious organization than a means for mass mind control. It is clear
to me that Scientology was designed from the ground up as a way for
"Ron" to have as much control as possible over as many minds as

    The Scientologist way of life is as controlled as the Fundie way of
life, with every decision demarcated by some sort of technical bulletin.
The relationship between husband and wife, between parent and child,
between teacher and student...between individuals and the church
hierarchy is covered by one technical bulletin or another. The church
uses classic brainwashing techniques like confession, teaching how to
blank out the mind (to be there and confront) and using shock and guilt
to break down confidence in the target's competence. And the result is
an army of zombified "Operating Thetans" that will do anything...
ANYTHING to further the aims of the Church.

    When "Ron" wants a best selling L. Ron Hubbard book, the
Scientologists buy out whole stores at a time of their inventory of the
particular book. When "Ron" wants political power, the Scientologists
make unholy alliances with political groups like the Libertarian Party
who crave the votes an en-masse Scientologist registration push will
yield, not realizing that their very essence will be destroyed by
getting into bed with such an anti-freedom organization as the
Scientologists. No, "Ron" didn't die in 1984, or 1980 as there is
convincing evidence pointing to that year. "Ron" is alive and well, just
like "Big Brother" is alive and well in the book "1984" despite the fact
that there is no one person who truly IS Big Brother. "Ron" is the
hierarchy of the Church of Scientology, and any person that criticises
the decisions of this hierarchy criticises their demigod "Ron".

    I know at this point that I am a certified "Suppressive Person", an
enemy of the Church that might yet be a target of their wrath. I know
that I could have died because of the abuse I suffered at their hands.
And I know that until they are seen for what they truly are, a criminal
destroyer of lives par excellence, they will continue to hurt people. I
was almost a casualty of their machinations.

    Mom and I went up to their facilities in Oregon in April of 1978.
They seemed nice enough...a converted Jesuit novitiate on the top of a
hill, overlooking a lumber town called Sheridan...a town that the series
"Twin Peaks" constantly brings to mind. (I don't mean the byzan- tine
weirdness of the burghers of Twin Peaks, but the town itself) I remember
vividly the sound of the steam whistle echoing through the still night
air dismissing the Swing Shift and calling the Graveyard Shift to their
posts. I remember the sweet taste of the blackberries growing wild along
the side of the road leading to the school. I remember the avenue of
trees leading from the school to a place where a shrine to the Virgin
Mary stood, and the peace of that little clearing.

    I was pretty thoroughly "love bombed" by the faculty there...they
were very, very attentive to me. Did they have a creative writing
program? Oh yes, Miss Klein, of course we do! You like Science Fiction?
If you write something appropriate, we might enter it in the L. Ron
Hubbard "Writers Of The Future" contest! You like art? Sure, we have all
kinds of facilities for art here...we have a filmmaking program, a
ceramics lab, and plenty of scenery to paint or sketch! Music? Let's go
down to the Corea/Clarke music lab and we'll show you the best 16-track
facility this side of Seattle or the San Francisco Bay Area!

    I still had a feeling of foreboding...a sense that I was in danger
if I agreed to go to the school. But Mom was nudging me to stay, and I
knew if I did not agree to stay there I would not hear the end of it. I
could read the handwriting on the wall...Mom wanted me out of the way so
she could romance Rocco. Rocco wanted me out of the way because I was a
"fly in the ointment"...someone who could see that one day his ill
temper might drive Mom away from him. I was also an inconvenience. If I
was up North, out of the way, Mom wouldn't have to agonize over the
choice of leaving me alone in the house or getting a sitter. Even with
the ominous sense creeping up on me, I really had no choice.

    The bad feelings got worse as time progressed. Walking down the
corridors, I saw "Ron's" face staring at me from every wall.
Occasionally a person in Sea Org uniform would pass us, all natty
pressed white nautical. There were more people in "civvies" there but
the para-Naval uniforms gave me the biggest chill. The faculty members
we talked to swore up and down that the school had nothing to do with
the Church of Scientology proper, but lo and behold, offices for this
"satellite of the Church of Scientology, Mission of Davis" were right
there, complete with auditing rooms with their E-Meters waiting for a
counseling session to begin. The Delphian Academy was wholly owned by
the Mission of Davis, and also had ties with the Mission of Portland as
well. (the regional Church of Scientology hierarchies are called

    This was only the first lie of many that the school faculty told.
Mom asked them whether I would be forced to take Scientologist religious
training. They said no, but the first class I ABSOLUTELY had to take was
the Comm Course, a course in "Hubbardian Communications Theory and Study
Skills." It was a prerequisite, according to the teachers, because it
gave the fundamentals of the learning "tech" used in the classroom. But
it also included the Training Routines, a series of exercises that are
quite obviously designed to teach people to blank out, especially under
stress. TR-0 Bullbaiting is the one that seems to have all the earmarks
of a brainwashing technique. The subject is told that they have to "be
there and confront" the person conducting the exercise, without
flinching or even blinking. The person conducting the exercise would
then be allowed to do anything he/she wanted, and the subject would be
"flunked" if they react.

    The exercise was written up in the book as only using verbal stimuli
and/or face-making to "push [the subject's] buttons." But the exercise
in praxis entailed everything from waving hands in the person's face,
removing their glasses and making motions to crush them, (this was done
to me) and even, in the case of a girl a year older than I, taking her
shirt off. If the person conducting the exercise found a "button"...that
is, something that caused a reaction, even if it was a reflexive one
like flinching when someone waved a hand in your face, it would be
repeated until the person ceased to have a reaction.

    The truth of the matter is that the exercise does not teach a person
to "be there and confront" a threatening person. It teaches a person to
"blank out" and go mindless in the presence of an order by a superior.
It is a classic brainwashing technique, one that has parallels in the
conditioning given to soldiers in boot camp and in the harsh, abusive
techniques used by e.s.t. trainers. That and other elements of the "Comm
Course" were identical to the same "Comm Course" given to neophyte
Scientologists. That was the second lie...my religious indoctrination in
Scientology started the very first day I set foot in the classroom.

    The third lie was that I would be allowed to pursue my own religious
convictions. When I arrived, Passover was about to begin, and Mom wanted
me to go to a Reform Jewish Temple in Portland for services. The faculty
member that Mom talked to assured her that I would be bused to Portland
to go to services. That promise was never fulfilled. I was not allowed
my own personal convictions either. In the school library I found a
treasure trove of materials that were kept by the Novitiate under
"comparative religion." They were unceremoniously dumped in a box
awaiting incineration. One Saturday afternoon, I grabbed my steamer
trunk and filled it full of books on Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism,
meditation, and even ritual magick. There were also Latin and Hebrew
textbooks and an old "Lives of the Saints" that listed St. Joan of Arc
as "Blessed" rather than a full-fledged saint. I hauled the trunk back
down to my dorm room, thankful that my roommate Gabrielle Becket, the
first Pagan I had ever met in my life, was sympathetic to my quest.

    I began to study the books on my free time. They were interesting
and thought provoking...the kind of books I enjoyed reading. But they
were technically verboten. Nobody knew I had them, and I wound up taking
a lot of them home with me when I was kicked out of the school. My daily
meditation practice was also technically verboten as well, but as long
as I meditated in my dorm room there were no problems. But the huge
Gothic ex-chapel that the school used as an assembly hall was way too
beautiful and peaceful not to use as a place to meditate.

    I was deep in meditation in the chapel one day after classes when
one of the faculty, Mrs. Phelps, found me.

    "What are you doing, Miss Klein?"

    I snapped back out of the Dreamtime with a sudden jolt. "I'm
meditating...if you don't mind."

    "Don't take that tone with me, Miss Klein. We don't encourage such
a...solitary practice...at the school. If you are seeking peace and
serenity, a group of students go on a hike in the woods every day around
this time. Meditation is not conducive to becoming Clear."

    "But I'm not INTERESTED in becoming...what did you say...Clear. I'm
NOT a Scientologist. I do not believe in Scientology. For all I care L.
Ron Hubbard can go to hell. I am only at this school because I was SENT
here. My mother was assured that I could continue my own religious
practices when I was signed up here."

    Mrs. Phelps looked at me stonily. "This is a Scientologist school.
You will at least respect the tenets of Scientology. If not, I can make
your life miserable. I can make your mother's life miserable. I can even
destroy you if I want to, and I will have every right to do so."

    So began a war...a war conducted against my spirit by the
Scientologist students and teachers at Delphian Academy. And this war
almost succeeded in its goal to defeat me...no, destroy me.

    I continued to meditate, but I did it either in my bunk or in the
woods. I didn't become less solitary...I became more solitary, more the
loner. I spent long hours alone in the ceramics lab that practically
nobody but me and two other faculty members used. I would hang for hours
in the studio making tape loops using an ARP Axxe and a reel-to-reel
deck. I even got the knack of doing the "Frippertronics" or "Discreet
Music" technique with two reel decks. But again, it was yet another
solitary pursuit.

    The only non-solitary pursuits I was fond of were the trips out of
the school to Mc Minnville every week and Portland every month or so,
and working on film technique with perhaps the only teacher I still
trusted, Stephen Studebaker Deal. Steve Deal was a loner too...he was a
Scientologist, true, but he seemed to be not as much of a fanatic. His
main contact with the other teachers and students was the fact that his
editing room was also the place where the Reverse Osmosis filter was set
up to filter the very cloudy, foul tasting water that came from the
school's well. He worked not for the school proper, but primarily for
the Mission of Portland doing training films.

    Steve and I worked on a film about the school called "A Learning
Experience", and I learned a wealth of information about production and
especially post-production in Mag-sound Super 8. His shyness and
hermit-like demeanor reminded me a lot of my Dad's brother, Uncle Jerry.
I was comfortable, and I managed to learn a lot about film from him. Of
all the people at Delphian Academy it was he who I missed when I was
kicked out, and kept correspondence with. In mid-1979 he left the school
and moved to Orange County where his family lived, and after a couple of
phone calls I lost contact with him. I often wonder whether the way I
was treated by the school had any effect on his leaving it.

    The field trips, other than the weekly trip to Mc Minnville which
was the closest major town to the school, were very erratic but did
happen. We went to Portland three times in the six months I went to
Delphi, and once to Tigard which is a suburb of Portland. The trip to
Tigard was to a youth disco, where I met a young man about two years my
senior named Corbett Young. I admit, the guy was the classic stoner
type, long blonde hair and all, but he was not the druggie that the
school faculty told my mother he was. I was pulled away from Corbett by
one of the chaperones from the school, and warned not to contact him. He
had slipped me his phone number, and I called him a few times afterward
on the sly. But I could never physically see him again.

    The trips to Mc Minnville were more along the lines of a shopping
expedition. Lunch and Dinner at Delphian Academy were not bad at all
usually. A lot of whole grains and fresh meats and vegetables. The
cheese and butter came from the Tillamook Creamery Association,
especially the succulent cheddar cheese that they used a lot of. But
Breakfast, to be blunt, sucked. Usually the fare was either homemade
yogurt that tasted like inedibly sour milk, oatmeal which I have never
liked in my life and wasn't going to start liking now, or plain runny
scrambled eggs and toast, plain eggs being absolutely inedible to me. If
I was lucky there would be homemade granola or cheese omelettes or BLTs.
But my luck usually was bad around Breakfast time.

    So what I did was take my $5 per week allowance and get some cereal,
some Chef Boy-Ar-Dee ravioli or something like it in the case that Lunch
or Dinner were sucky as well, and some Tab. I had gotten used to Tab
because my Mom drank the s**t by the case and even though the stuff
tasted horrible I got used to it. It also was a tolerable source of
caffeine for a non-Coffee drinker. I would sometimes also pick up a
Creem, Circus, Hit Parader or Rolling Stone magazine to keep up with the
music I loved, with Led Zep and Aerosmith and Genesis and Gentle Giant
and Rush and Be-Bop Deluxe and the rumblings of the Punk scene coming
out of New York and London. Some of the other kids would go to the local
pool hall to shoot pool and shoot the breeze with the locals. But all I
wanted to do usually was get my groceries and go back to my bunk. Bunk
Sweet Home.

    One day, about a month after my run-in with Mrs. Phelps, I got
violently ill with intestinal flu. I wanted to get some chicken noodle
Cup A Soup, some saltines and other "sick food" to aid in my healing. I
gave my $5 allowance to a girl in my dorm who I usually considered
trustworthy...let's call her Nancy. Nancy took the money and the
shopping list and promised me I would get my stuff.

    Nancy was giggling to a friend when she left. I should have taken
that as a bad sign, but I figured that she had been good to me in the
past, so no big deal. She came back a few hours later. I asked her where
my stuff was, and she said, "Oh, I'm SO SORRY, Sari! (that's the name I
was still using at the time) I got into a pool game with this cute guy,
and I thought I could beat him. I didn't, so I had to pony up your money

    I was sick, but not sick enough to raise hell. I got my robe on over
my nightshirt and went down to the "Admin Office." I looked for the
"ethics officer" but she wasn't there, so I went to the Dean and
complained. "Oh, that's too bad...sorry to hear about it...yes, I'll
tell the "ethics officer" and she'll get on it...certainly sounds like
Out-ethics to me!" (NB: Out-ethics is Scientologist slang for an
unethical act or an unethical person.)

    As far as I could tell, despite the Dean's earnest words, Nancy was
never punished. I had become "Fair Game" and I did not know it yet.
According to Scientology policy, a person who is declared "Fair Game"
may be, and this is a quote, "...deprived of property or injured by any
means by a Scientologist without discipline of the [said] Scien-
tologist. May be tricked, sued, lied to or DESTROYED." (Emphasis mine)
The policy of "Fair Game" was supposedly withdrawn by the Church in
1971, but evidence has surfaced over and over again that this policy,
instituted in 1967, has never been abolished.

    As the summer wore on, I began to get more and more hassles. The
incident with Corbett happened. I was told I could no longer go on field
trips until "(my) attitude improved." (This from my Dorm Proctor) My
mail was being opened and read, without any attempt to conceal the
invasion of my privacy. And the final blow came about two weeks before
my Leave of Absence was to come up. I was told by the Dorm Proctor that
a fellow student had seen me smoking Marijuana out in the woods. Now
drugs are about the most verboten thing there is among Scientologists,
and the penalty for drugs on campus was to be turned over to the
Willamette County Sheriff's Department for prosecution. My room was
given a very cursory search (they ignored the books, that's how cursory
it was!) and someone took a twisted-ended cigarette from my dresser

    I was told that the Deputies would be called, and until that
happened I would be "in detention". I was put in a room in the basement
level of the building that had just been repainted in anticipation of
being turned into a K-3rd level library. I was given but one meal a day,
and without a clock I could not be sure of what time it was but I
figured it was lunch by the type of food they gave me. My lessons were
given to me and picked up at the same time.

    I spent somewhere between one week to a week and a half cooped up in
the room. I spent a lot of time in deep Alpha meditation, and might have
even gone out of body a few times, although I have always had the
ability to lucid dream and those experiences might have been lucid
dreams. I know for sure that I have never been able to will an OOBE,
that's for damn sure.

    As suddenly as I was railroaded into detention I was let go. No, the
Sheriff's Deputies didn't show up...I have definate doubts about whether
or not I was actually in any sort of legal trouble, especially with the
revelation later that the "joint" contained nothing more than oregano
wrapped in a cig paper swiped from one of the teachers that favored
roll-your-owns. I was warned by Mrs. Phelps to not say a word of this to
Mom, otherwise the both of us would be "in danger." I was then told to
pack, that my Leave Of Absence was starting tomorrow and I had a plane
to catch.

    I don't know why I obeyed Mrs. Phelps and didn't breath a word of
the mistreatment that was going on at the school. Perhaps it has to do
with the Stockholm Syndrome. Perhaps I truly believed that Mom and I
would be in physical danger if I told anything. And perhaps I wanted to
make sure that when I returned to Delphian Academy that I would be able
to survive the rest of my time at the school. And I knew that with Rocco
still my Mom's boyfriend that I just couldn't tell Mom that I didn't
want to go back, for fear Rocco would retaliate. So I went back, steeled
for more BS.

    The persecution continued unabated. I was ridiculed, some of my
clothes began to disappear from the wash, I wound up getting Work Crew
and other punishments for very minor infractions that the Scientologist
kids were allowed to go scot-free on. Then came the night a week after I
came back where I was told that my life would continue to be miserable
unless I went in for higher-level Scientology courses. I told them "no,
and I wouldn't be able to afford them anyhow..." and they said "you get
the Bridge for free if you join the Sea Org." The Sea Org. The
para-Naval organization with the uniforms and the Yes Sir, No Sirring.
The "Billion year contract" to serve "Ron" over several incarnations. I
told them absolutely not, and they said "Then the abuse will continue,
and there is no guarantee that it will end after you leave here. Los
Angeles is full of Scientologists."

    It was a multiple bind. If I told Mom I wanted out, not only would
Rocco be on my butt but a bunch of Scientologist crazies wanting to
fulfill the "Fair Game" declaration on me. If I stayed, I would get
crap. If I ran, there would be no familiar place, no friends to stay
with because Gabrielle lived in Seattle and the farthest I'd probably be
able to run would be Portland but probably more like Salem or Mc

    I ran to the Girls' bathroom. The windows were open due to
unseasonably warm weather. I figured...well, it would be a 3 story drop,
and chances were if I flung myself out the window I'd break my neck. I
got up on the ledge and was ready to go when someone yelled NO! and
pulled me in.

    As it turned out, the suicide attempt was a good idea in this case,
probably the only such time when it was a good idea. I was sent back
home because I was an "insurance risk" but I'm pretty sure that they
sent me home because if I tried it again and succeeded the scandal would
be too great an embarrassment. They talked to Mom over the phone and
refused to refund the other half of the money for the rest of the year,
citing an Oregon law stating that "schools run by Religious Orders are
exempt from any regulations regarding secular public or private
schools." You could sue a public or secular private school, but not a
religious school. Not a parochial school, not a church-run school, not
even one run by the Church of Scientology.

    They offered credit at any Apple School in Los Angeles, and Mom took
it. At least I would be home and not subjected to 24 hour Scientology,
despite the fact that the Mission of Los Angeles ran the chain of
schools. I didn't like the prospect, but at least I would be gone from
Delphi and the hideous experience I had left there.

    I only spent a semester and a half at Apple School before I went
back to the public school system. I wound up at Jack London High, a
"continuation school" designed for people who had quit public school and
wanted to go back to get their diplomas. Trouble was, neither Pathways
nor Apple School and especially not Delphi kept particularly good school
records. So there I was, I was supposed to be in 11th Grade and I had
absolutely no record of credits. My only hope to graduate and get my
diploma was either the GED or the California High School Proficiency
Exam. The GED was more complete and counted as a diploma nationwide,
including in the Armed Forces. But then again, I really didn't want to
go to war, and since Carter was talking about registering women as well
as men for Selective Service, any out I could find was appreciated. The
CHSPE was good in the State of California and in most other states. It
would allow me to get into Valley College right away rather than slaving
in the salt mines for at least a year more for the GED. So I took my
chances with the CHSPE.

(c) 1990 Michelle Klein-Hass. All Rights Reserved. Michelle Klein-Hass
is the author of this piece as per the conditions of the Berne

I passed the CHSPE and went on to college. I never got a degree but at
least I was in an environment by choice. I still have nightmares about
Delphian Academy, and look to the day when Scientology is exposed for
what it truly is...a money-getting scam and a brainwashing outfit. I
know that I am not the only one who has been hurt by them.

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