Declaration of Lawrence Woodcraft
regarding his life in and out of Scientology and the subsequent harassment

24 January 2001

Part of Tax-exempt Child Abuse and Neglect by Mike Gormez



I, Lawrence Woodcraft, declare as follows:

1.  I am over the age of 18 years.

2. The statements herein are of my own personal knowledge and if called upon
as a witness, I can testify competently thereto. 

3. I joined the Scientology Sea Organization in Clearwater, Florida in 1986.
This is the main group that Scientology employs to run all of their "churches"
and various organizations. When I joined the Sea Org in Florida, I was
promised that I would work as an architect, that my family and I would live in
a two-bedroom apartment and our children would attend private school.  All of
these promises were broken.  Instead we were all crammed into one tiny motel
room, our children didn't attend school and I was made to work on interviewing
scientologists at their service organization in Florida, not in architecture.

4. I was in the Sea Org until 1988, but after that I remained a "public"
Scientologist, in other words still donating money to receive Scientology
Services and training.  

5. My ex-wife's name is Lesley and she remains in the Sea Org (we divorced in
1993.)  I have two daughters; Astra, age 22 and Zoe age 16.  Both of my
daughters came under intense pressure to join the Sea Org (a Para-military
organization to which a member is coerced to sign a contract of dedicated
service to Scientology for 1 billion years).   Astra did this at the
insistence of her mother and other Scientology Sea Org members in 1993 age 14
in Los Angeles and Zoe went to an organization called the Cadet Organization
which trains children from infants up to age 14, and prepares them to become
contracted Sea Org members in Florida and other locations.  Zoe started in the
Cadet Organization at age 2 and stayed until she was 15 years old.

6. By the year 1994, I became disillusioned with Scientology in that I
realized I was not getting the personal and spiritual benefits promised to me
in Scientology.  At that point I refused to purchase any further "services"
from Scientology.  I was working as an architect in Los Angeles and had
several clients who were Scientology construction companies, who fed me work
on a regular basis.

7. In 1998, my daughter Astra (then aged 19) abandoned her job with the Church
in LA and flew to England where she lived with my sister.  I later found out
she was pregnant. I had no prior knowledge of this, or of her mistreatment by
the church where she received none of the education she had been promised and
was made to work in excess of 80 hours a week for years.  The Church's
security chief in Los Angeles named Jeff Porter accused me of being
disaffected and causing my daughter Astra to break her billion-year contract
and leave Scientology.  Astra has formally left the church and she and her
baby now live with me. 

8. In 1998 my youngest daughter Zoe informed me that she also wanted to leave
the Church and live a normal life with me in LA and attend school.  When she
told her mother in Florida of her decision, her mother and other
Scientologists prevented her from leaving Scientology for the next two years.
Zoe found it next to impossible to leave the Church with their permission.
Her seniors in Scientology told her she would have to complete a program of
reading references by Hubbard and confess to crimes she had committed against
the Church. (Scientology believes that the only reason anyone would leave the
Sea Org is because of crimes they have committed against the organization,
Hubbard has written exactly this.)  So Zoe valiantly attempted over a two-year
period to read the references and write up her crimes, but each time she got
close to completing her mother and her Scientology seniors would add more to
the program in an effort to stop her leaving.  In Feb of 2000, I flew to
Florida to get her.  She had figured out how she would escape from the Cadet
Organization and we were to meet at the Clearwater Public Library.  She had
all her clothes jammed into a cardboard box that she had hidden in an alley.
We drove up to the alley to get the box and Zoe was terrified Church security
would catch us, or we would be seen on one of the many security cameras.  She
was very stressed, which for a 15 year old is not right.  She also had the
additional stress of knowing her mother, grandmother and brother (also in the
Sea Org) would probably never speak to her again.  After all the brainwashing
and coercion she had been put through I still had to make it okay for her to
leave Scientology.  We took a return flight to LA.  Getting Zoe to adjust to
daily normal life is an ongoing process.  When she enrolled in public school
there were no transcript records of her education to turn over, as she had
never had normal schooling and she had not been in school for the previous 6
months.  She now attends a local high school where she is at least a year
behind due to not attending school for extended periods of time.

 9. In Sept 2000, I received a phone call from Wilf Betke of Parkstone
Construction.  I have known Wilf for 4 years and I have supplied him with many
sets of plans for construction projects, with absolutely no problems or
complaints.  He said that word was going around that I was declared a
"suppressive person" and he was no longer allowed to talk to me.  A
suppressive person in Scientology is a person who no longer adheres to the
dogma of Scientology.  Being labeled suppressive in Scientology also means I
would be subjected to what is called Fair Game.  Fair game means that I could
be deprived of property or injured by any means by any Scientologist without
any discipline of the Scientologist: may be tricked, sued or lied to or
destroyed.   I called another Scientology construction company, Boston Brick
and Stone, who faxed me a copy of a letter they had received from the
Scientology International Justice Chief stating that I was a suppressive
person, and they could no longer hire me.  Again, I have worked for Boston
Brick and Stone for about 4 years, doing engineering projects for them and
obtaining building permits. Boston Brick and Stone told me that as I was in
the middle of several projects with them, the family that's owns the company
were told they could no longer receive Scientology training and auditing until
I finished up the projects.  In all, 4 companies who regularly gave me work
dropped me overnight.  David Morse and Co. also dropped me for a ranch house I
was designing for him in Ventura and I was being considered for some design
work for Survival Insurance Co and was also dropped.  This is all a result of
being Fair Game.  I was declared a suppressive person by Scientology because I
helped my two daughters start a life outside of Scientology's control. I
personally found it extremely stressful to deal with this period of my life.
People who I had professional dealings with over a period of years and whom I
counted as friends were suddenly my enemies. My work for them had been of a
high professional standard, but the fact that I suddenly lost so much work
made me feel like a failure even though rationally I knew this was not the
case.  I would have long telephone conversations with people who now despised
me in that I had "attacked" their religion.  In their ignorance of the
activities of their own Church, they thought I could just go in and repent my
"sins" and everything would be back to normal.  I knew this was not possible
and "forgiveness" would cost thousands of dollars and probably take years.
Besides, I wasn't willing to "repent" on principle.

10. Scientologists that I had worked for would call me and apply pressure on
me to go into the Organization and "handle" my declare.  This was because they
were used to working with me and found it difficult to replace me.  I had such
conversations with Wilf, Bob Roley, Don Hall of Boston Brick and Stone, and
Fred Reno.  I explained to them my upset with the Church was over the fact
that my children were abused physically and mentally in Scientology and I
would not back down.  I would never expect my daughters to go back into
Scientology so that I could maintain my business.  This in affect was

11. I obtained a copy of the order declaring me a suppressive person and it
contained many lies, for example it states that I am a "squirrel", which in
Scientology is someone who alters Scientology dogma. I have never done this.
It says that I hindered the efforts to recover my daughters.  They both
decided to leave of their own choice and Astra was pregnant and no longer
eligible for staff and therefore not recoverable unless she agreed to have an
abortion.  They also stated that I had not made "case gain" during my
participation in scientology and that made me a "suppressive."  Before this,
when Scientology personnel were trying to recover me and get me to pay for
more services, I was told that the reason I had had poor results in
Scientology was that I had received low quality service as it was before the
"golden age of tech."  The  'golden age of tech ' consisted of major
"improvements" that occurred in Scientology in 1997, when it was found that
Scientologists were not being properly trained in the delivery of auditing.  I
emphasize that I never had any kind of hearing to establish any kind of guilt
or to allow me to answer "charges" against me of things I had supposedly done
to make me a suppressive.  The first I heard was the telephone call that
Scientologists were no longer allowed to associate with me.

12. I wrote a letter to the International Justice Chief and requested a
hearing over what had happened. This was denied and I was told I would have to
be interviewed by a church employee called Lisa Hamilton.  I went in to the
Los Angeles Head Scientology Office for this in Oct 2000.  I had an interview,
which was conducted with me connected to an e-meter (presumably in an attempt
to see if I was being truthful.) Among other things, I was asked to list all
my friends who were scientologists, what conversations I had had with them,
what if any articles I had posted on the Internet, had I ever been on the
Internet, had I ever seen anti-scientology web-sites, who was my service
provider, what was my screen name.  I was asked at length questions about the
circumstances under which my daughters left the church.  I was told that I
would have to attend many more such interviews and purchase "security checks"
(invasive interrogation) so they could get to the bottom of what was going on.
I declined to attend unlimited interviews; for one thing I had to concentrate
my efforts on rebuilding my business, with two daughters and a granddaughter
to support, while a concerted attempt had been made to cause me financial

13. In summary, I was attracted to Scientology because of the claims that it
could help improve your family life by bringing family members closer
together, help a person with their personal life, and make them more able in
their professional life, able to expand their business, make a better income
and so on. In other words Scientology claimed it could help in virtually all
areas of life. With this in mind I agreed that all my family could move to
Clearwater, Florida. I sold my house in London and disposed of my business
there. Looking forward to a bright future, my wife and I, two daughters and a
stepson moved here in 1986. 14 years later, I had divorced my wife, my eldest
daughter now has a 2-year-old baby and she and the 16-year-old missed major
parts of their education. My 22-year-old daughter has a bill from the church
for $90,000 for the courses and auditing she received, but gets no child
support from her ex-husband, who remains a sea org member. Their mother and
brother will never speak to them or have any contact. Not even a birthday
card, as the Church forbids this. While I give financial support to my
daughters and try to help them complete school and college, the Church
condemns me as a "suppressive" and treats me as a common criminal. They made a
concerted effort to ruin my architectural business by forbidding any clients
who were Scientologists to have any dealings with me. Even though these
clients had been very happy with the service I had provided they all stopped
calling me. In the Dissemination Manual, Hubbard says of enemies of
Scientology, "If possible, of course, ruin him utterly". This is what the
church tried to do to me. This is despite the fact that I am a licensed
architect in the state of California, in good standing and a member of the
American Institute of Architects. If I were an unethical or non-professional
architect, I would have lost my license and be barred from the AIA. At this
time I am unable to speak to my ex-wife and stepson as Scientology prevents
them from having any contact with me. This is what Scientology has done for my
family. This is what Scientology has done for me.

I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the United States of
America and the State of Florida that the foregoing is true and correct.

Executed in Clearwater, Florida this 24th day of January, 2001

Lawrence Woodcraft

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