My husband, Jerry Whitfield, and I have been being subjected to one of scientology's "noisy investigations" for the past three weeks. Four private investigators, three of whom are Jon J. Gaw, Cathy Dinstitt and Ted Heissig, having been nosing around among more than twenty of our friends, associates and casual acquaintances. All work for the LA law firm of Bowles and Moxon, itself in the hire of scientology.
The most common questions asked have been: Does the person know us? How much money are we paying the Cult Awareness Network to refer families to us? How much do we pay people for referrals? One PI said his New York client had a son in scientology he wanted deprogrammed and asked if the Whitfields were any good. Several people were told that scientology is preparing to file a civil law suit against us for counseling without a license.
These are typical scientology strong-arm, bully tactics designed to harass us, invade our privacy, deprive us of our rights to free speech, and scare us into being "good little boys and girls". Why? Because we don't counsel! Never have, never will. Unlike the cult which supports unlicensed, unqualified counsellors, we do not. We educate.
Further, we don't solicit work. Never have, never will. Our business comes to us by word of mouth and referral. I guess it's impossible for scientology to comprehend this because their orgs do nothing but sell, sell, sell....
We don't. Our work is legal and honest. It's fully with the law, unlike many of the "operations" of scientology. We don't lock people up, coerce them, force them, threaten them or harass them. Scientology does, such as Paulette Cooper (trying to get her arrested by the FBI by planting a false bomb threat, trying to drive her insane and into an institution), Dee Rowe (who was locked up and held against her will-see TIME MAG article), Dr. Bob Geary's wife (held against her will), or threatening to expose, through Sterling, a vet's tax misdeeds, and more . . . much, much more.
Scientology threatened TIME MAGAZINE and Richard Behar with law suits for their May 1991 cover story on the cult, yet no suits have been filed.
As my husband and I are "small fry" and lack the financial and legal resources of TIME, scientology might launch their onslaught at us thinking that we won't be able to withstand it. On the other hand this threat might just be hot air. We shall see.....
If any other friends or acquaintances of ours get visited by any of the above PIs (or others as yet unnamed), I'd sure be grateful if they would let us know. If they don't know our address or phone, could they write to the inFormer so we would get the message?
We are interested in documenting just how far this harassment of us and our friends will go.
By the way, congratulations on successfully launching the inFormer. Jerry and I really enjoy it and are happy to subscribe. We get a real chuckle out of some of the articles, and others are thoroughly thought-provoking. We hope it will be well accepted and widely read. A newsletter like this has been needed for some time.
I encourage you to include a column which discusses the major issues that ex-members run into after leaving and how they have successfully dealt with them.
Thank you for standing up and speaking out.
Hana Eltringham Whitfield