August 8, 1989
My name is HANA ELTRINGHAM WHITFIELD.
I was in Scientology for 19 years from March 1965 to August 1984. The majority of those years, particularly the last 10 were filled with great emotional, mental and physical trauma. This experience was the most humiliating and degrading one I've ever experienced. I still suffer from frequent nightmares, emotional distress and severe headaches because of it.
I first joined Scientology in March 1965 in johannesburg, South Africa. I read Hubbard's book, DIANETICS, THE MODERN SCIENCE OF MENTAL'HEALTH and it captivated me with its promise of being the first real science of the mind. It promised that man could free himself from all reactivity and achieve a God-like state called Clear. It promised that man would never again suffer any physical disease, infection, ache or pain and that he would thereafter always be in perfect mental, emotional and physical health. It promised higher I.Q. and much, much more.
Toward the end of the same year, I was in England doing further studies in Scientology.
In 1967 I was invited to join the elite of Scientology in a new project of Hubbard's - the SEA PROJECT. Hubbard started the venture for two main reasons - to escape the law and to run his international Scientology empire without interference.
By October 1967, the Sea Project had been formulated by Hubbard into the SEA ORGANIZATION and those on board the first ships who wished to stay signed contracts for a billion years of duty to Hubbard and his cause.
The first six months aboard the SY AVON RIVER (SY = Steam Yacht) with Hubbard were pleasant and exhilarating. The fearful moments I experienced were during Hubbard's frequent psychotic outbursts of fury, during which he screamed and threatened for minutes and sometimes for several txours without ceasing, and other occasions where crew were brutally punished for errors and mistakes. One such example had to do with 2nd Engineer, Terry Dickensen, a tall and kindly Australian. Terry had failed to install a Sharpes ship- to-shore radio on the AVON RIVER bridge according to Hubbard's schedule, and the Ethics edict Hubbard issued as a result horrified me to the core. It stated that Terry could not eat with the crew until the Sharpes had been obtained from New York and installed on the AVON RIVER bridge. Further, Terry was denied any sleep until the Sharpes was installed, no matter how long it took. If he did sleep, the penalty of not eating with the crew would become permanent. Furthermore, he would have to sleep on deck for all time without pillow or blankets. I was the Officer in cllarge of crew ethics and morals at the time and was expected to enforce the ethics order. It took five long, very long days and nights before the Sharpes arrived from New York and was installed. During that entire time, Terry and I did not sleep. I didn't sleep to be certain that Terry didn't. Terry never recovered from the experience and left the Sea Organization shortly thereafter, a broken man.
A while later, Hubbard broke up a strong relationship I had with another Sea Org member. (I was not aware at the time that Hubbard routinely surrounded himself with women executives and bitterly resented one of them leaving the job to marry.)
In early 1968 "0T 3" was released. OT 3 is a secret upper level counseling procedure that says thousands of souls of people who died 75 million years ago are attached to your body. I was eligible to start on it shortly after its release. I remember my amazement when I first read the materials and the story of OT 3. I thought it was a joke, or a figment of Hubbard's sci-fi imagination. However, I dutifully made myself read and reread and restudy the story and tried my hardest to counsel myself on the level honestly. (All adverse reactions to the counseling materials are thoroughly explained in Scientology - Hubbard states that those unableto audit the materials have drugs problems, have earlier auditing actions left incomplete, are connected to a suppressive person, have undisclosed misdeeds or a host of other ills). I finally completed the level later that year. Thus, thousands of souls from people who had been dead about 75 million years had been freed from my body to go, each one separately, incarnate and live his or her own life.
It took me many, many years after I left Scientology to realize what a scam it and its auditing procedures are; to realize that the procedures all utilize techniques to induce increasingly deeper trance states and rapidly bring about "auditing junkies" who only live for their next "high". Victims of Scientology who continue in its altered states of consciousness wind up being programmed robots, spending all their time, energy and money in Scientology.
Later in 1968, I was order to sail with the AVON RIVER from La Goulette, Tunisia to Melilla, Spanish Morocco, to wind up several incomplete projects left there during a recent visit of the Flagship. The AVON RIVER was not sea worthy. She had a faulty boiler input pump and the high pressure cylinder rings in its steam engine kept breaking.
As the Captain, I reported the fact to Hubbard. He immediately assigned the vessel and all crew a condition of Liability, (the ship being a liability as it not sail). The entire crew and myself were up for seven days with only two to three hours of sleep each night, disassembling and cleaning the condenser, emptying and cleaning out the huge boiler, the steam lines from the boiler to the main engine and lines from the engine to the condenser - a mammoth job. After seven days, I was threatened by one of Hubbard's aides with an even lower condition if we did not sail within 24 hours. To avoid additional duress and punishment, I had the engine room rapidly put together again, had some old and very worn piston rings installed and allowed the AVON RIVER to sail so that we could get away from La Goulette and the crew could get some much needed sleep.
In March 1969, I was assigned to the Advanced Organization in Los Angeles as its Commanding Officer and later that year assumed the position of Deputy Commodore. Both postings were made by Hubbard. It was a harrowing job. The streams of orders I received on a daily basis from the Flagship often contained ten to fifteen contradictory orders from Hubbard's senior management staff. Worse yet, the orders had to all be executed NOW, so attempting to query and coordinate them with management proved fruitless.
In addition to the administrative dilemma I experienced at that time, Hubbard ordered me to return to OT 3 and continue auditing on the level. I did so hesitatingly, but complied as, of course, "Hubbard knew best". During the remainder of 1969 and the whole of 1970, I audited on the level almost daily. I gradually felt worse and worse mentally and emotionally and physically.
I felt as if my personality was becoming fragmented, as if I was splitting up into hundreds of different "me's". I felt devoid of energy and will and interest in doing anything. I only wanted to get away and sleep and forget about Scientology and the Sea Org world I was living in. I was terribly worried and fearful about what was happening to me; but even though I reported it frequently, I was told by several case supervisors to just carry on. So I continued to believe that time and persistence would solve the difficult circumstances. They did not, of course ... and months later and well into 1970, I was no longer aware of my earlier consideration. I was only intent on doing what work I could get done and keeping my energy and will high enough to do it. I felt mentally and emotionally drained, dull and lifeless. I did not know why. It bothered me immensely.
Upon return to the Flagship at the end of 1970, I was assigned as one of Hubbard's several executive aides. I fought on through the weariness and tiredness that I felt inside myself continually for the next few years, through the ups and downs of being in and out of favor with Hubbard, the disgrace of another Committee of Evidence and being forbidden by Hubbard ever again to hold an executive position. But that passed also and before I knew it, I was back in favor again.
In early 1974, Hubbard instituted the Rehabilitation Project Force - also known as the "RPF" - on board the Flagship Apollo. To it was assigned anyone who Hubbard felt might be a plant or a covert operative against himself, or anyone who had bad thoughts about him.
The RPF was represented as a place, a group, where those assigned to it could rehabilitate themselves using Hubbard's techniques. In actuality, it was a type of slave labor camp whose members lived, ate and worked in squalid, degrading conditions and who were utterly forbidden to talk to anyone but their own kind. They were completely segregated from normal crew. One evening I saw its members on the aft deck. They were eating with their hands out of buckets containing leftover food - they were standing around a large pot of leftovers shoveling them into their mouths with their hands as if they were starving. I developed a very real horror of the RPF and what it represented and a slowly growing fear of Hubbard and the organization from that point onward.
During the early 70's, Hubbard supervised my auditing personally for several years. I was in session almost every day. I gradually became more and more convinced that I was the cause of the auditing "not working" on me, that I was stopping it from being successful even though I did not know how I was doing it. It was firm policy that Hubbard could do no wrong- - ever, that the auditing techniques be had devised were never wrong - ever, and that the auditor applying them was rarely wrong. In the face of such totalist belief, which I completely believed at the time, the only possible cause of the failure was myself.
Then one day in 1974 during another round of auditing sessions ordered by Hubbard, I got a bad headache. Nothing that was done that day got rid of it. It continued thereafter ... and continued daily for the rest of the week ... and continued the next week ... and week after week thereafter ... and from that time on I had a headache almost constantly for 10 years. It would get so bad two or three times weekly that I was not able to work. The only way I could tolerate the intense throbbing pain was to sit in my bunk with. my chin on my knees and wait out the one to three days it took for it to dull enough so I could return to work. During this period, I gradually got more and more paranoid about my "evilness". Because the cause of the headaches could not possibly be Hubbard or his philosophy or his technology, it HAD to be myself. It HAD to be something I had done or said at some time in the past, or something bad or evil about myself that I had not yet had the courage to face up to. Hubbard ordered the auditing to be continued but it never got rid of the pain. Sometimes the headache improved slightly and at other times it worsened. But it never left.
From late 1975 to March 1982, I lived and worked at the Fort Harrison Hotel, at 210 South Fort Harrison Avenue in Clearwater, Florida. The Sea Organization had moved ashore in late 1975 to its new headquarters in Clearwater, Florida. Hubbard orchestrated the entire move, including the use of front names so that Scientology could move into Clearwater incognito. His personal intelligence agency, the Guardian Office, which ran overt and covert operations against anyone who dared come up against Hubbard in any way, assisted with the deception during and after the move.
From October 1975 onward, I held several senior positions at Flag, this being the name for the complex of organizations which existed at the Fort Harrison Hotel and other buildings close by. I was an Officer of the Flag Service Organization, the senior-most organization in the United States which counseled and trained Scientologists.
As a staff member during this period, I was aware of the public outcry against Scientology from time to time.
I and other staff at the Fort Harrison Hotel were briefed by senior Sea Organization or Guardian Office executives as to what was happening, who was at fault and why, and the positioning and conduct that we, as staff, were expected to uphold.
During these years, I was completely unaware of the covert operations run by the Guardian Office against the Clearwater Mayor Mr. Gabriel Cazares, or against Scientologist Mike Meisner, or that Scientology senior management discussed murdering Mike Meisner and "deep sixing" him to prevent him from getting to the FBI and spilling his guts about the covert operations Hubbard's Guardian's Office and he had been running against every major branch of the United States Government including the FDA, the AMA and more, and the covert operatives placed in many government agencies including the Justice Department. I was also unaware of the covert plan and operation that cost Scientology $250,000.00 to compromise Florida judge Richie at a time when he was sitting on a case against Scientology. Fortunately, that Guardian Office operation failed.
During my years in Clearwater, I was aware the Scientology was deeply disliked and resented by the Clearwater public as evidenced by their protest marches around the Fort Harrison Hotel. I was told by Guardian Office representatives, as were all staff, that the resentment was being stirred up by Scientology's enemies such as the Mental Health institutions, the FBI and the CIA among others. I believed the information at the time as it was the only information I had. All staff were forbidden to read newspapers and magazines in a successful effort to preclude those that contained bad news about Scientology. We were also forbidden to watch TV, and TVs were being methodically stripped from all rooms in the Fort Harrison Hotel.
My emotional and mental health continued to gradually worsen throughout the years in Florida and I battled to put up a "normal" front. I continued working to the best of my ability. Often I had to leave work due to the intensity of the pain. I started getting suicidal as I could see no other way out of the condition I was in and I was convinced the cause was within myself. From time to time and particularly when the headaches worsened, I mulled over how I would kill myself. I decided that to safeguard the good name of Scientology (I had no idea at that time how deeply and completely deceived I had been all those years about Scientology and Hubbard) I would end my life at some location distant to Clearwater and destroy all identification beforehand. I made these thoughts known to my auditors, and carried on as normally as I could outwardly.
Then in 1978, I was assigned to the Rehabilitation Project Force at the Fort Harrison, the Sea Organization's slave labor camp. I was assigned to it because I had evil thoughts about Hubbard and the Sea Organization. I was utterly shocked and devastated. I was escorted to the RPF location between two heavy men, both well over 6' tall. I was locked up for about 24 hours in a room with no windows. I was under continual guard during that time and slept on a mattress on the floor without sheets or blanket. I was shocked and awake the entire night sometimes weeping and other times completely numb, devoid of all feeling or thought. I had a crazed urge to escape but knew I could not, that I had to finally confront myself and discover how evil and truly bad I was. I felt I was split into several people - one of them a kind, loving person who was in deep shock, the other a cold, calculating, evil- minded person who was intent on harming others for the fun of it, and yet another person who was terribly confused and did not know which of the other two was correctly me. I felt my mind was being ripped apart, that I could not think or feel anything. I forced myself blindly through the routine of having' to run continually (RPF members were not allowed to walk at any time), of having to talk to non-RPF staff only when spoken to, of having to address everyone as "Sir", of having to do menial work of cleaning toilets, of having to wear old, torn and tattered blue overalls, of having to be seen running in the Florida heat, perspiring and without makeup or hairdo, doing menial and embarrassing work in front of all the public - in pain all the time.
I requested to go in front of a Review Board. The Board was disinclined to see me personally. It found my assignment correct and ordered I remain in the RPF.
RPF members at that time were completely segregated from "normal" staff and slept, lived and often ate in the Fort Harrison garage in the midst of continual exhaust fumes. They were not allowed to talk to, mix with or eat with "normal" staff. They wore old, tattered, ripped up navy jump suits or boiler suits and looked like derelicts from skid row. Women were not allowed to use any makeup or have any hairdos. No jewelry was allowed. Even in the incredible hot and humid Florida summers, women were not allowed to wear short cut-offs but had to wear longer shorts or skirts or long trousers. No clothing lighter than the heavy material the jump suits were made from could be worn intitially.
RPF members had to run all the time. They were not allowed to walk. They had to run while doing their cleaning assignments in bathrooms and toilets, while doing the garbage details or while going up and down the 12 flights of stairs in the Fort Harrison building carrying buckets, brooms and heavy cleaning equipment, and sometimes buckets full of heavy construction material. RPF members were not allowed to use the elevators, not even the service elevator.
To prevent zoning, health and other city inspectors from seeing the RPF conditions as they really existed, all RPFers were practiced and skilled in transforming their normal RPF sleeping areas into what looked like a regular furniture storage space, and doing so in a very short period of time. I often wished that someone from the city would spring a surprise visit on the Fort Harrison kitchen or garage or nursery but it never occurred.
This is how we really lived in the RPF. Some of us slept on thin mattresses on the bare cement floor. Some had crude bunk beds. There was no place for clothes, so we lived out of suitcases and bags which were kept on the bare floors. Some privacy was maintained by hanging sheets up between bunk beds and between floor mattresses. The women and men had separate bathrooms and toilets but they were small. We were not allowed to shower longer than 30 seconds. We had time only to run through the shower and out the other end. There was no spare time for talk or relaxation. We awoke at 6:30 A.M. or earlier at times, did hard labor and heavy construction work and cleaning until late afternoon. After 8 quick shower and change of clothing, we had to audit each other and "rehabilitate" ourselves until 10:30 P.M. or later each evening'. There were no days off, no vacations. We worked seven days a week, four weeks a month. We ate our meals in the garage or at times in the dining rooms AFTER normal meals had ended. Our food consisted of leftovers from staff. On occasions which seemed like Christmas, we were able to prepare ourselves fresh meals if leftovers were insufficient.
The RPF maintained a very strict reform code which tolerated no insubordination or resistance of any kind whatsoever. Any instance of such was dealt with by immediate push ups or running up and down the garage inumerable times. The slightest infraction earned hard and harsh penalties. Every rule had to be followed regardless of its correctness or applicability at any given point in time.
Certain infractions caused the person responsible to be assigned to the RPF's RPF, a place in the lower boiler room under the Fort Harrison Hotel, among the boilers and hot water pipes which rumbled and hissed twenty-four tlours a day. The place was only dimly lit. It consisted of interconnecting- spaces through which one had to crawl on hands and knees at times past or underneath huge pipes and massive 10 foot high boilers. It was a dark, forbidding, somewhat scary place. One of my buddies was assigned to the RPF's RPF for two months for refusing to divulge confidential information for which she had been bonded in the Guardian's Office. She was kept in that space excommunicado for the entire time, with limited bathing and toilet privileges, all the time being threatened and verbally harassed by RPF superiors. She finally emerged a broken, silent, sullen person who soon after managed to escape from the RPF and the Fort Harrison Hotel. Her name was Lynn Froyland.
I have never seen her since she left.
The RPF had been established for the stated purpose of "rehabilitation and redemption". It was made to appear as a constructive and positive activity, devised to help the individual at a time when he was unable to help himself. However, it was Hubbard's belief and practice that force, duress and punishment were necessary and vital to cut through human emotion and reaction so as to rescue the soul or thetan. I believed Hubbard. But I was experiencing such humiliation, such degradation and worthlessness in the RPF that Hubbard's theories began to make less sense to me. I entered into a profound confusion and a deep emotional and mental instability which continued onward almost continually up to the time I left.
To compound the situation, Hubbard states categorically that criticism is a sign that one has committed a harmful or destructive action on the person or area one is critical of. This belief has high credence in Scientology and is rigidly adhered to. It is common for staff and public to receive extensive confessional auditing and security checking if they are found to have the slightest criticism of Hubbard. I now know that this practice is a very effective thoughtstopping technique and that it is solely aimed at reforming the individual's thought patterns and his conduct and was never intended for his enlightenment. I had no knowledge of this at the time I was in the RPF, and had I been told it at the time, I would have vehemently denied it as would all Scientologists.
Throughout my period in the RPF, I felt more and more degraded and worthless the more I tried to reconcile the slavery of the RPF and its blatantly anti-social activities to Scientology being the only road to total freedom. I laboured hard during many auditing sessions to find the harmful actions I had committed to cause me to become so full of pain and negative emotion.
Toward the end of 1978, I finally escaped. I left the RPF without approvaland flew to New York to friends. But within a week the senior Ethics person at Flag, Tom Provenzano, located me and by phone threatened me with a Suppressive Person declare and with being sued, followed and never being left in peace again for the rest of my life if I did not immediately return to Clearwater. I broke down completely. I flew back to Clearwater and to the RPF, but only after Provenzano had promised me I could speak with him about my assignment to the RPF when I returned. Of course, no such thing occurred. I had no idea that his "promise" was made solely to get me back to Clearwater. Once back in the RPF I succumbed. I returned to working and running and sweating and pain.
After a year, I finally graduated. I was a subdued quiet, obedient robot, a far more subservient and compliant one than at any time previously. The headaches were a continuing part of my day to day life. By that time the fear I was evil had omewhat subsided but not left. "Graduation" acted as a momentary panacea. I curried fayour with my superiors constantly as a way to survive.
I refused to return to any executive position again and was finally approved to counsel or audit others.
I audited continually and well for several years, and even earned an "Auditor of the Year" award in 1980 in Clearwater. The intensity of the head pains increased at times and diminished at others. I received auditing from time to time, always on the orders of others and none of it making any noticeable difference. The suicide thoughts continued as well. I desperately hunted for a way out of my situation. I desperately wanted time to sleep, rest, think and, above all, escape from the madness of the world I was in. I had no one to go to if I left, no money to go anywher with and nowhere to go to anyway. My family lived overseas. I had no means to get to them and they had no means to assist me. If I left I knew I would be declared a Suppressive Person which would automatically deny me contact with any of my Scientology friends. I was a resident alien in America and didn't know how to market myself to get a job. I felt utterly trapped by the circumstances I was in.
Then an old friend of mine with whom I had had a relationship in 1967, made contact with me in the middle of 1981. After meeting several times, he proposed marriage and I accepted. From that point on I made secret plans to leave the Fort Harrison and get back to a normal life.
I finally left at the end of March 1982, after three harrowing months of security checking, being screamed at, being threatened, being asked angrily and threateningly over and over again while hooked up to Scientology's lie detector, whether I was in contact with the FBI, the CIA, the US Government, the Mafia, the Secret Sercie, the AMA, the FDA, the AFF, or with hundreds of named Scientology dissidents. I was accused of being in their pay. I was threateningly asked whether any of them were paying me. I was angrily accused of being in phone communication with them. None of it was true. I painstakingly wrote down every misdeed I could ever remember committing and worked long hours late in the night, night after night for a week, "to make up the dreadful damage I had caused". I started making up, imagining greater and worse misdeeds in my written admissions to try to reach the "evil" in me again. Not even that worked.
I left after realizing that enough was enough, and that I would no longer subject myself to the unbelievable abuses and threats which had been thrust at me both verbally and in writing all in the name of "saving my soul"; threats that I would be sued, I would be expelled, I would be declared a Suppressive Person, I would die, I would be ordered on a Committee of Evidence (a trial), that I had to work in the main kitchens, that I was being assigned to the RPF again, that my eternity would be taken away from me, and that I would never be left in peace again for as long as I lived.
I finally walked out of the Fort Harrison Hotel toward the end of March 1982, the threats of security checkers and ethics superiors echoing in my footsteps.
My marriage fell through. My fiance was terribly harassed and threatened by Scientologists from Clearwater and did not stand up to their pressure. I left him as cleanly and quickly as I could and made my way on my own.
I had left staff and employment with Scientology and the Sea Organization, but I still considered myself a Scientologist and therefore followed a Policy of Hubbard's to be accepted back into Scientology in good standing. The program has five steps, steps A to E. I did them all extensively, and have copies of them as bubmitted. By the end of 1983, I was accepted back into Scientology in good standing. I thereafter worked for Sterling Management in 1984 for a short period, was horrified to find myself embroiled in similar situations as that at Flag, and after completing some assignments, left.
In August 1984 I decided to leave Scientology forever, a decision I have been extremely and deeply thankful for. It's only been since late 1984, early 1985, that I started to learn about the dark side of Scientology and the skillful thought reform and mind control that it practices on all its adherents.
I have now completed extensive dental work to remedy the years of sporadic and inadequate dental care allowed in the Sea Organization and I am under medical care for the headaches.
My life is now worth living once more.
I am one of the lucky ones.
(End of Affidavit as received.)