Declaration of Joyce Stephenson

2 Apr 1986

Flo Barnett was the mother-in-law of David Miscavige. It is alleged that she was killed by the Church of Scientology when she started to "squirrel".

April 1, 1986


I first met Flo in England in 1966-67, on the Briefing Course (I was one of her supervisors). We met again in LA around 1973 and were in comm at various times (phone calls, met for dinner, met at org events) from this time through until about 1980-1981. Went to a Xmas party at her apt. on Mariposa St. in LA 1980. It was there I first met Jim Miller who later married Flo.

Sometime in 1981 (I believe) Flo and Jim bought a trailer house and moved to Dominguez Hills. My first visit there was Thanksgiving 1981.

Most of our communication was by phone but we did visit each other's homes a couple of dozen times during the period 1981-1985. Around 1982 I did audited NOTs at AOLA - Flo had already received this auditing at Flag (possibly late 70's).

Sometime in 1982 (probably between June and September) Flo called me regarding meetings in the field to hear about the trouble between Mission Holders and the C of S. Flo had some friends working in missions so was very interested in what was going on. I had heard only vague rumors.

Around Oct. of 1982 there was a Mission Holders meeting in SF with the RTC, and a transcript of this meeting was available at the orgs. Flo sent me a copy and I was really angered by what I read. Flo felt the same way. She and I both felt these people running the RTC were mentally sick or worse still, S.P. Flo had a special interest because her daughter Michelle was married to an RTC member called David Miscavige.

This meeting in Oct. 1982 was apparently the beginning of a rampage that the RTC went on because all kinds of people connected to the C of S came under fire. One such person was Richard Stewart, a Scientology businessman, who ran courses connected with financial investments such as real estate. Flo had taken one of these courses, and when she was informed in Feb.-March 1983 that she had to fly to Flag at her expense and take a Scientology course called "Keeping Scientology Working" (KSW) in order to deprogram her, she got angry and changed her phone number to avoid C of S harassment.

Around June 1983 I received a phone call from someone in a group called "The Phoenix" who invited me to hear a lawyer tell his story about why former members were suing the church. I decided to go because the only viewpoints I ever got were from the church. What I heard at that talk by Michael Flynn was terribly disturbing but had a ring of truth because such G.O. operations as "P.C. Freakout". "Operation Snow White," and the use of pc's confession for blackmail and the like, fitted right in with the gestapo-like tactics of the RTC that I was already familiar with.

Flo was not at this meeting but heard it on tape about a week later. After Flo listened to Michael Flynn's talk she told me more interesting things that had happened while she was working for the G.O., and why she left. We were very much in agreement that the C of S had been taken over by "the enemy" and all the good people kicked out. I heard, amongst other things, that there were more Class XII's in the field than in the orgs.

Approximately 2-3 weeks after the Flynn talk I received in the mail a pack of what appeared to be NOTs materials. My first impression was that it was a joke - a parody. The "pack" was about 2-3" thick, in a binder, and printed on 8 1/2 x 11 paper (photo copies). These "bulletins" were obviously not originals because most originals are on legal size paper and printed in red. So it looked either like someone made them up or possibly re-typed from originals onto letter size paper.

I could think of no one in the C of S who would send this to me. The writing was not familiar and the return address was a P.O. Box in LA. Some of the parts I read did not make sense and some parts sounded like what I had been run on in 1982.

About 2-3 days following my receipt of this stuff, Flo came to visit me and I eventually showed them to her since she was the only person I was in comm with regarding the bad things that had happened and I felt I could trust her good judgment on what to do with this stuff. She took them home with her since it would take quite a while to really read all of it and that day we had other things to read as well. Flo indicated at the time that she thought some of the HCOBs sounded genuine. She thought that it was possibly a G.O. operation to spin in people in the field who were against the church (and I had, after all, gone to hear the biggest SP of all - Michael Flynn).

It was possible that other people had received similar packs but I did not dare to ask and no one called and told me they had received one. Not long after this occurred, maybe a week or two, I went on vacation. When I returned at the end of August 1983, I sent in my resignation from the C of S.

For the next year there was a flood of written material going around in the field so Flo and I didn't really have time to dwell on one particular thing. So many people were leaving and writing up their stories that we were flat out keeping each other informed of "the latest". The next time I saw this "NOTs pack" was towards the end of summer of 1984, August or Sept. (around the time Flo had some field auditing). She came over one Saturday and brought it with her. We went shopping to the Galleria in Glendale and while we were in that area found a photocopying place as Flo wanted to get a copy of the pack and I also had some bits and pieces she wanted copies of. Can't recall if she had 1 or 2 copies made; I think 2.

About the middle of 1984, Flo asked me if I would audit her because she was terribly unhappy about something. She asked me on the phone but wouldn't say what it was as she was afraid her phone was being tapped by the G.O. She came to see me and disclosed that she was very unhappy with Flag because she didn't want to do any more Solo NOTs and they kept insisting she continue to audit at home or fly to Flag and buy some other type of auditing - possibly review which cost about $1,000 per hour. She had written to her C/S (and also I believe she may have made one special trip to Flag to get this thing handled) but no one would acknowledge her comm. The reason she was doing NOTs was to regain an OT state achieved by her in around 1972, and continued auditing was not producing the desired effect.

As she said "When I read the end phenomena of Solo NOTs I realized it was the same thing I had in 1972 so I tried auditing the material hoping it would rehab the state but it didn't. Instead I got worse after a while so I tried to tell the C/S I had already completed Solo NOTs (completion = end phenomena) in 1972 and needed it re-habbed, not more of the same." She had a lot of grief on this, especially since no one would listen.

I tried to re-hab it by getting her to find out what caused the key-out and what happened to end the state. Unfortunately I was unsuccessful. When I had run out of things to do I suggested a more advanced auditor. Flo eventually decided to get Julie Mayo to audit her. This was around Sept. 84.

After a few sessions at the AAC, Flo got a call from Heber Jentsch because she was "suing" the church for a return of advanced payments plus for auditing Flag did that she said "messed her up." She refused to let Heber come to her house but did OK Heber's wife visiting her because she had prior ARC for Karen Jentsch. Flo was assured only Karen would be sent but Karen arrived with Ken Hoden in tow. Flo called me that same night and said she was very angry with Heber for lying to her about only sending Karen. She said that Karen was not very friendly but Ken Hoden seemed like he genuinely wanted to help her. She agreed to go into the org at their expense to have her problem handled.

The first few sessions she said were great = old lists and wrong items indicated put her in a very good mood - she felt like she was on the right track at last to getting her OT State re-habbed. But alas it went awry - as soon as she got on a subject they didn't want to hear the sessions ended badly.

She called me in a very depressed state saying this last auditor (I think at AOLA) was very cold and not at all receptive and she just couldn't go on. Flo was bitter about Ken Hoden's promises which ended up with her "messed up" again.

To my knowledge they didn't pursue trying to "fix her up". She called me one day at work (cannot recall exactly when, between Nov. 1984 - Feb. - March 1985). She was getting ready for work when out of the blue this searing blinding pain hit her in the head. She said "I feel like I'm going to die." I went to see her that afternoon. She was in real bad shape, couldn't raise her head without severe pain.

Every day or so I'd call to see how she was doing. Went to see her and she told me she thought someone wanted to "do her in" on a mental level. Saw her around March of 1985 at a talk that John McMaster gave at Forest Lawn. Jim was with her. She looked terrible - drawn, sick looking.

She collapsed in early April 1985 and subsequently had head surgery at UCLA because of an aneurysm in the left side of her head. After the surgery she had a hard time recuperating, suffering from poor coordination, memory problems, etc. Flo was very unhappy about all of this, to say the least.

She had several sessions from Julie around May or June 1985. After one of these sessions she called me and sounded almost like her old self. About 2 days after this Jim lost his job and Flo went into a tail spin. She told me this was absolute proof someone in the church was trying to do her in. As soon as she was starting to win again "pow - bad news." She was very depressed - I tried to cheer her up without success.

Went to see her in July 1985 (took supplies). Good news! Jim had another job. About a month later he lost it.

Another incident that caused Flo considerable mental anguish in 1985 was when her daughter Michelle Miscavige went to see her mother and during the visit got Flo to go outside to "see Michelle's car" or on some other pretext. When out of earshot of Jim (and possibly Camille) Michelle unleashed a tirade against her mother with words such as "You are never going to get better until you get back into the church." "You got sick because of what you did to the org (sued them)." "How could you do this to Ron?" etc.

The last time I talked to Flo on the phone was the week before I was due to go on vacation (about Sept. 4th). She had received something in the mail that day from the C of S announcing the Crusader Org and Ken Hoden's name was on it. She sounded sickened by it. I told her I would probably not be able to call her until I got back from vacation which would be 3 weeks time.

Four days later she ended her life.

In my opinion:
Flo did not commit suicide because she had NOTs materials at home. She already knew the materials from having studied them at Flag. She had already (by summer of 1984) done all the NOTs she was interested in. She only did NOTs because a friend of hers who had done it seemed to have the causative state Flo was seeking to recover.

When she read the end phenomena of Solo NOTs while at Flag she realized she had already achieved it. The reason she did any Solo NOTs at all was in the hope of re-habbing the state. When this didn't occur she refused to solo audit and tried to comm this to her Flag C/S - without success. She then turned to people in the independent field for help. She was pleased with the handling in the field because she could say anything at all and be duplicated. She could say "I feel I've completed NOTs" and people would say "congratulations." But they too could not get her OT state back for her.

Flo, in my opinion, took her life because her physical state and impaired memory were intolerable. She believed she would never fully recover and therefore would not be able to regain the OT state because of possible brain damage. Also she could not work or travel or keep her blood pressure under control. Her Sea Org daughters, she felt, hated her because she had left the fold. Her church had deserted her by not handling her case as they constantly assured her they could. She regretted working so much in the past and spending a lot of this hard-earned money on unnecessary auditing.

She believed her physical troubles were caused by "evil spirits" and that someone in the C of S wished her dead and was sending those spirits or thetans to destroy her. She and Jim had declared bankruptcy earlier in 1985 - they had no insurance - her house could be sold at any time. Jim was having difficulty keeping jobs, etc., etc.

Her daughter Michelle had confirmed that her troubles were the result of her going against Ron and the Church; so there was no way out. The future only held more problems and Flo couldn't take any more, so she became cause and stepped out of the game of life. That's what she would have called it - "becoming cause."

I have tried to keep this account to a minimum. Of course there are a lot of details left out but they can be filled in later if needed.

- From Joyce Stephenson

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