Stephen Kent Affidavit - January 6, 2000
CITY OF EDMONTON
PROVINCE OF ALBERTA
BEFORE ME, the undersigned authority, Stephen A. Kent personally appeared, and whom I know on a professional basis, and after first being duly affirmed by me states:
- I, Stephen A. Kent, Ph.D., the undersigned affiant, am a professor at the University of Alberta in the Department of Sociology, and incorporate my attached curriculum vitae to this affidavit.
- I have spent thirteen years studying the many aspects and organizations comprising the Church of Scientology. I also have published peer-reviewed, academic articles on Scientology, and in them have discussed its claim to be a religion.
- Counsel for the plaintiff asked me to provide opinions, based upon my education, experience, and investigation concerning: whether Scientology is solely and exclusively a religion; whether the Church of Scientology Flag Service Organization is solely and exclusively a religious organization; whether Scientology's "isolation" procedures toward perceived psychotics is a religious practice; whether "auditing" procedures are solely and exclusively religious practices; and whether the "Introspection Rundown" is a religious practice.
- As discussed below, my opinion is that Scientology is a multifaceted transnational organization that is not solely religious. Among the organization's non-religious activities are its practices of both isolating perceived psychotics and auditing perceived psychotics.These specific activities are pseudo-medical and pseudo-psychiatric practices, not religious ones. Both practices, however, are in keeping with Scientology's primary, secular goal of eradicating psychiatry and replacing mental health treatments with Scientology ones. Partly because Scientology's pseudo-medical and pseudo-psychiatric practices take place in the Flag Service Organization, and partly for other reasons that I state below, the Flag Service Organization is not solely and exclusively religious in operation.
- In order to determine what role, if any, religion plays within the Flag Service Organization and the practices that occur there, I utilize a definition of religion that combines classic functional and substantive elements (as they appear individually in social scientific literature). Religion is 'a set of beliefs in supernatural beings or forces along with practices related to them that provides people with a deep and abiding sense of meaning and order' (my definition).
- On other basic terms I follow definitions given in the Oxford English Dictionary. Therefore, when I use the term, "medicine," I mean "[t]hat department of knowledge and practice which is concerned with the cure, alleviation, and prevention of disease in human beings, and with the restoration and preservation of health...; the art of restoring and preserving the health of human beings by the administration of remedial substances and the regulation of diet, habits, and conditions of life...." By "psychiatry" I simply mean, "the medical treatment of diseases of the mind." Frequently in this report I will use the preface, "pseudo," when discussing medical and psychiatric practices, and by that term I mean, "false, counterfeit, pretended, [or] spurious."
- I base my analysis upon Scientology documents, legal decisions, and current scholarship about Scientology and its practices.
II. OVERVIEW OF SCIENTOLOGY
- A. Brief History and Doctrines--Known for his pulp fiction and science fiction writing prior to and after World War II, L. Ron Hubbard (1911-1986) introduced Scientology's forerunner, Dianetics, to the world in 1950. Dianetics claimed that people had what Hubbard called a "reactive mind" and an "analytical mind." The reactive mind had imprinted in it painful incidents along with incidents involving unconsciousness, either of which could have taken place at any point in one's life (including in pre-natal states). These imprinted incidents were called "engrams," and various stimuli could trigger them in ways that lead to irrational or harmful behavior. In contrast, the analytical mind is not subject to such negative influences, and the goal of Dianetics was to free the analytic mind by ridding the reactive mind of its engrams, thereby reaching the state known as "clear." This act of ridding the reactive mind comes about through a process called "auditing," which in the earliest days of Dianetics involved exercises in which an auditor directed a subject (called a "pre-clear") back into his or her life-events to discover and dispel engrams. The dispersal of engrams, Hubbard claimed, could lead to a wide range of cures for what he described as psychosomatic illnesses, including (among others) allergies, arthritis, asthma, bursitis, eye trouble, migraine headaches, sinusitis, some coronary problems, and ulcers. Hubbard also claimed that Dianetics could reduce insanity to neurosis. Even as Dianetics practitioners allegedly began running incidents from past lives by the end of 1950, Hubbard remained steadfast that his new system was a science. He never espoused at that time that it was a religion.
- In March 1952, Hubbard's introduction of a device known as the E-meter allegedly enhanced his followers' ability to run current-life and past-life incidents. This device measures changes in the electrical conductivity of the skin as a small current runs between two metal cans that the pre-clear holds (usually one in each hand). Scientologists believe that the device gives accurate indications of emotional changes, and they continue to use the device as an auditing tool (and often as a reputed lie detector).
10. Hubbard began what he named, "Scientology," in the Spring of 1952, and he introduced it as an extension and expansion of the reputed science of Dianetics and not as a religion. Only in December 1953 did Hubbard initiate his assertion that Scientology was a religion. In Scientology he developed teachings about past lives (including ones in different galaxies) more than he had in his initial Dianetics system. The entity that Scientologists believe continues through countless lives is called a thetan, which is roughly analogous to a soul or spirit that has forgotten its true nature. By 1967, Hubbard claimed he had learned that individual thetans had become burdened with clusters of lost and confused entities ("body thetans") attached to people's bodies. These attachments were the result of billions of victims having died when an evil galactic warlord named Xenu captured and sent them to earth's volcanic areas, then exploded the volcanos by dropping hydrogen bombs. Scientology's upper level courses, called the "Operating Thetan" or "OT" levels, claim to free one's body and its thetan from the numerous body clusters of confused and frightened thetans.
- As a network of interrelated organizations, Scientology insists that it is a religion when it represents itself in the United States, Canada, Australia, and most of Europe. In 1983, however, Scientology entered one European country-Greece-by claiming that it was a "philosophic association," not a religion (see Angelis, 1996: 3 ), and two years later it called itself "Scientology philosophy" when it entered Japan. Scientology therefore, is willing to compromise its 'demanded self-designation' as a religion when entering countries whose cultures "might not respond favourably to a foreign religious incursion" (Kent, 1999a: 155). As Scientology's calculated self-representation suggests, the organization "is much more than merely a religious organization. Its complex, international structure actively markets, promotes, and advertises material related to business management, education, mental health, physical health, drug rehabilitation, taxation, 'moral revitalization' (to use its own term), and entertainment" (Kent, 1999a: 148). Similarly, in another article I discuss components in Scientology that extend beyond religion to include its "political aspirations, business ventures, cultural productions, pseudo-medical practices, pseudo-psychiatric claims, and (among its most devoted members who have joined the Sea Organization), an alternative family structure" (abstract in Kent, 1999b).
- Support for my conclusion-that Scientology "is much more than merely a religious organization"-comes from a top Scientology official, Norman Starkey, who is the Trustee of the Estate of L. Ron Hubbard. In 1997, when controversy erupted over Scientology's (ultimately successful) efforts to get some of its educational material approved for use in the California school system (see Helfand, 1997), Starkey wrote a letter to the editor of the Los Angeles Times in which he stated, "[t]he fact of the matter is that L. Ron Hubbard wrote prodigiously in numerous fields. His books on the subject of study are not a part of the religion of Scientology any more than his prolific output of fiction would be considered part of the church's doctrine" (Starkey, 1997). Without wishing to analyze closely the exact content of Starkey's claim (especially about Hubbard's fiction and church doctrine), my argument about the Introspection Rundown and its related practices of isolation and auditing parallels Starkey's statement about Hubbard's educational writings. Said directly, the Introspection Rundown and related practices of auditing and isolation are part of Hubbard's prodigious output in fields related to pseudo-medicine and pseudo-psychiatry, and are not religious in nature or content.
- In 1956, Hubbard himself identified Scientology as psychology and science, and specifically denied its religious nature:
Scientology is that branch of psychology which treats of [sic] human ability. It is an extension of DIANETICS which is itself an extension of old-time faculty-psychology of 400 years ago.... Scientology is actually a new very basic psychology in the most exact meaning of the word. It can and does change behaviour and intelligence and it can and does assist people to study life (Hubbard, 1956: ).
- To bolster his scientific claims, Hubbard proclaimed:
Tens of thousands of case histories, and individual records, all sworn to, are in the possession of the organizations of Scientology. No other subject on earth except physics and chemistry has had such gruelling testing....
Scientology falls within the definition of sciences, and is more rigorously organized than any other group of data which bear the designation of science. It is derived from closely defined axioms which are then uniformly discoverable and applicable in the physical universe (Hubbard, 1956: ).
Hubbard's "scientific" claims for Scientology could not be clearer.
- Regarding religion, Hubbard stated:
Scientology conflicts nowhere with the truth, and will be found to agree with known facts in whatever field it overlaps. It does not conflict with any religious truths. On the contrary, it has something to offer everyone, Christian, Jew, Buddhist, Mohammedan [sic], Agnostic, and Atheist. It does not try to change the beliefs, doctrine or creed of the individual's church, on the contrary it brings the individual to a point of better understanding of them, whatever they may be (Hubbard, 1956: [2-3]).
Hubbard is very clear that both Dianetics and Scientology are psychological sciences, and that Scientology does not conflict with any religious or non-religious belief system. In this document, therefore, Scientology is not a religion, according to Hubbard himself.
- Hubbard's statements about the pseudo-scientific nature of Scientology, including his medical and psychiatric claims, are part of Scientology's alleged "scriptures." One of the standard Scientology dictionaries, for example, states, "Scientologists recognize and revere the spiritual leadership of L. Ron Hubbard as the Founder, and as the Source of the religious philosophy of Scientology" (Hubbard, 1976: 486 [boldface in original]). Subsequently, the high-level administrative group, called the Watchdog Committee for the Church of Scientology International, issued a "policy directive" entitled, "The Integrity of Source." The policy stated:
It is hereafter firm Church policy that LRH [L. Ron Hubbard] ISSUES ARE TO BE LEFT INTACT AS ISSUED.
No one except LRH may cancel his issues.
No one except LRH can revise his issues whereby changes are incorporated into the text and re-issued. Any valid revisions must hereafter be made in a separate issue stating the change and how the revision is to be read. It must also state why the change is being effected, for example, if there has been an ecclesiastical change or a technical development.
Changes in Church policy become valid Church policy by being adopted by the Board [of Directors]....
However, the original LRH issue (regardless of type) shall remain intact so that the original wording is kept. In this way, his writings retain their integrity and there is no mystery as to what he wrote and what the revision stated and why.
The only occasion for any revision of an LRH issue is if a typographical error is found in the original.
Already existing issues stand intact and valid. Any further changes will be dealt with on an issue-by-issue basis.
This policy will allow the integrity of Source to be reinstated (Watchdog Committee for the Church of Scientology International, 1982 [capitalization and underlining in original]).
When, therefore, I quote Hubbard himself in this report, I am quoting sources that MUST remain unaltered within the Scientology organization unless Hubbard himself subsequently had changed them.
II. IS THE CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY FLAG SERVICE ORGANIZATION SOLELY AND EXCLUSIVELY A RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATION?
- A. Courses--Currently Scientology offers numerous courses to its members at a variety of locations. Members can take lower level courses at local Scientology organizations (called "missions"), while they must go to larger Scientology facilities to take more "advanced" material. The Flag Service Organization, for example, in Clearwater, Florida, offers all of the courses provided in other, 'lower' Scientology organizations, plus delivers numerous higher level courses along with some exclusive auditor training. According to a Scientology publication, Flag Service Organization is both a religious retreat and the world's largest Scientology church (Church of Scientology International, 1992: 356). Together the courses and related training programs constitute what Scientology calls "The Bridge to Total Freedom."
- Important to note is the controversy over whether the auditing and courses that Scientology offers at the Flag Service Organization are secular, rather than religious, in nature. For example, in late 1999 the United Kingdom's Charity Commission ruled that Scientology did not qualify as "a body established for the charitable purpose of the advancement of religion" (Charity Commission, 1999b: 1) for several reasons, one of which involved the nature of auditing and training:
The Commissioners[,] having considered the activities of auditing and training, which Scientology regards as its worship, concluded that auditing is more akin to therapy or counselling and training more akin to study and that both auditing and training are not in their essence exhibitions of reverence paid to a supreme being and such Scientology practices are not worship for the purposes of charity law. The Commissioners decided that auditing and training do not constitute worship as defined and interpreted from the legal authorities (Charity Commission, 1999b: 2).
In the complete version of the decision, the Commissioners concluded:
that auditing appears in essence very much akin to counselling, conducted on a one to one basis, in private, and addressed to the needs of the individual receiving auditing. Scientologists themselves describe auditing as counselling (for example in the video presentation to the Charity Commissioners for England and Wales). On the whole they do not appear to describe auditing in terms of worship (Charity Commission 1999a: 25).
Auditing, therefore, did not appear as a religious activity.
- Specifically concerning Scientology training, the Commission:
further concluded that training in Scientology, involving the detailed study of the works of L. Ron Hubbard, according to particular set formulae or methods of study, similarly lacks the elements of reverence or veneration necessary if it is to constitute worship. Scientology training appears more like an educational activity (the acquisition of knowledge and practical skills in the application of Scientology theory and technology) than a religious activity or worship in the sense defined by the Commissioners (Charity Commission, 1999a: 25).
Like auditing, Scientology training appeared to be non-religious.
- In a similar vein, the Commission "considered the core practices of Scientology, namely auditing and training, and concluded that the private conduct and nature of these practices together with their general lack of accessibility meant that the benefits were of a personal as opposed to a public nature." The Commission concluded, therefore, that Scientology's application for charitable status had not established public benefit, nor had it established Scientology's auditing and training as religious practices. Accordingly, the Commission rejected its application for charitable status (Charity Commission, 1999b: 4; 1999a: 47-49).
- B. Scientology's Penal System: The Rehabilitation Project Force-An additional factor weighing against Flag Service Organization's claim to be solely and exclusively a religious organization is the operation on its premises of Scientology's forced labor and re-indoctrination program, the Rehabilitation Project Force (RPF). This program is decidedly not religious. Moreover, it almost certainly violates a number of human rights conventions involving: the right to fair and public hearings by impartial judges: the right to freedom of thought; the right to freedom from unlawful interference with privacy; the right to just and favourable work conditions; and the right to appropriate standards of physical and mental health .
- The RPF is a penal program that Scientology operates to correct alleged deviations by members of its elite Sea Organization (commonly called Sea Org). Scientology leaders send Sea Org members to the RPF if they received a particular type of reading while being "counseled" (or what Scientology calls "audited") on an E-meter (which is a device that gives readings about galvanic skin responses). Sea Org members also enter the RPF program if they are producing poor results on their jobs, have poor personality indicators (presumably such things as depression, grumbling, or expressing doubts about Scientology or its techniques), or are obviously making trouble (Boards of Directors of the Churches of Scientology, 1977: 1).
23. Scientology's official policies allow a person to refuse an RPF assignment by resigning from Sea Org and/or by signing a statement documenting his or her alleged "crimes" and absolving the group from future legal action (see Anonymous, n.d.). Unofficially, however, numerous accounts exist of Sea Org members who simply were taken into RPF facilities against their will. Moreover, inmates in the RPF program who deviate from its strict rules may have their RPF overseers assign them to the harsher and more punitive, "RPF's RPF," and these assignments are unlikely ever to be 'voluntary' in any manner.
24. The RPF involves: forcible confinement; hard physical labor and other forms of physical maltreatment: long hours of study; various forms of social maltreatment; forced confessions; and (as a final condition of release from the program) obligatory "success stories" (see, for example, Boards of Directors of the Churches of Scientology, 1980). Inmates remain in the RPF for indefinite periods of time, and accounts from former Scientologists who were in this penal system report that some people remain in it for well over a year.
25. While Scientology operates RPF programs in various locations around the world (East Grinstead, England; Copenhagen; Los Angeles; Hemet and Happy Valley, California), one of these programs takes place in and around Flag Service Organization's Fort Harrison Hotel in Clearwater. Publicly available accounts of people who have been in the Clearwater RPF program include: Gerry Armstrong; Tonya Burden; Dennis Erlich; Nefertiti [Pseudonym]; Anne Rosenblum; Margery Wakefield; and Hana Whitfield. Former Scientologist, Lori Taverna, spoke about the RPF in the City of Clearwater Commission Hearings on Scientology in 1982. Erlich reported being locked in a cage in the basement of Flag Service Organization's Fort Harrison Hotel, and Whitfield declared under oath that she saw a woman (Lyn Froyland, who was on the RPF's RPF) chained to a pipe in that same basement. The RPF is not a religious institution and apparently was not discussed in Scientology's charitable tax exemption decision with the Internal Revenue Service. Its existence and operation in the Flag Service Organization mitigates against Flag's claim to be a religious institution.
26. In 1984, the Clearwater Sun ran an article about the RPF. The article begins as follows:
"The young man-by all appearances a teenager-crouched on the dark, narrow stairway as he scrubbed the sixth-floor landing in the former Fort Harrison Hotel, the 'flag Land Base' headquarters of the Church of Scientology.
'Are you in RPF?' queried a reporter.
'Sir?' he asked quietly, peering up from his work.
'Are you in RPF?'
'Yes sir I am.'
RPF is the Rehabilitation Project Force (RPF), which, depending on who is speaking, is either a businessman's approach to improving an employee's lagging job performance or a form of punishment for Scientologists who are banished to serve penance for their misdeeds and 'bad thoughts.'
Two others-adult men who, like the youth, were dressed in blue shorts and faded blue shirts-worked two floors below, also cleaning the stairs. They spoke not a word. Former Scientologists say that those in RPF 'are not to speak unless spoken to.'
Those who have spent time in the RPF at the Fort Harrison tell a harrowing tale of long hours at work-as much as 100 hours a week-and of months of humiliation and mental abuse at the hands of other Scientologists.
But their vivid recollections of hard work and abuse contradict current Church of Scientology statements that the RPF is 'an entirely voluntary' program (Shelor, 1984: 1B).
- Taken together, these accounts indicate that the RPF has operated in the Fort Harrison Hotel from Scientology's earliest days in Clearwater. Since, in 1996, Scientology maintained a website devoted to the RPF (Church of Scientology International, 1996), I have every reason to believe that the RPF was in operation during the period in which Lisa McPherson was on the Introspection Rundown (or some other Scientology program). Likewise, it continues today.
28. C. Vacation Resort--In addition to Flag Service Organization's role in delivering Scientology courses and housing Scientology's RPF penal system, it also serves as a vacation resort. One Flag publication, for example, states:
It's the perfect time to take a vacation at Flag! Located on Florida's Suncoast-a favorite vacation paradise-Flag is convenient to a wide range of vacation attractions. The Flag Social Director can help arrange the activities of your choice. Clearwater's sparkling beaches are only minutes away. Family attractions such as Walt Disney World and EPCOT Center, Busch Gardens, Sea World, Cypress Gardens and more can be reached by daily bus excursions. Summer sports enthusiasts can still enjoy waterskiing, sailing, wind surfing, jogging, bicycling, or tennis. Or just relax by the Fort Harrison pool and enjoy the many Flag activities! (Flag Crew Church of Scientology Flag Service Org, Inc., 1989: ).
- A similar advertisement appeared again several years later:
Summer's the perfect time to vacation at Flag! Located on Florida's Suncoast-a favorite vacation paradise-Flag is convenient to a wide range of vacation attractions. The Flag Social Director can help arrange the activities of your choice. Your children can learn to sail or windsurf at the Flag Sea Org Cadet Sailing School! Clearwater's sparkling white beaches are only minutes away. Attractions and Theme parks such as Walt Disney World, Busch Gardens, Sea World, Universal Studios, Cypress Gardens and many others are a short drive away either by car or by special bus excursions. Summer sports enthusiasts can enjoy waterskiing, sailing, wind surfing, jogging, bicycling, tennis and many other activities. Come to Flag now and take advantage of the summer accommodations specials for Visitors and Vacationers! Bring your family and friends! (Church of Scientology Flag Service Organization, Inc., 1992: [11; boldface in original]).
- In summary, Flag encourages Scientologists to use its facilities even if they are not doing courses and are simply vacationing with family and friends.
- This portrayal of the Flag Service Organization's Fort Harrison Hotel merely as a hotel is in keeping with statements that some Scientology spokespersons made after Lisa McPherson's death. Speaking about the period in which Lisa McPherson was in the Hotel prior to her death, "Church officials have described that 17-day period as little more than a normal stay where McPherson sought 'rest and relaxation.' Indeed, a top church official suggested in recent days that her death could have occurred at any hotel" (Tobin 1997c: 7A). The "top church official" was Mike Rinder, who wrote to the St. Petersburg Times in an effort to clarify remarks that he had made to a German television crew that Lisa McPherson "died in a hotel room" (Tobin, 1997b: 8A). In the clarifying letter, Rinder insisted, "'[t]he point being made for a German audience completely unfamiliar with this issue was that the only connection between the church and Lisa McPherson was that she had been staying in a hotel room at the church and that, had this occurred in any other hotel or with someone from another religion, it would not have been a media event" (Rinder quoted in Tobin, 1997b: 8A).
- While vacationing, Scientologists can go to the Flag Bookstore and purchase a non-religious item that will allow them to "study the craft of writing" through tips provided by L. Ron Hubbard. A 1997 publication from the Flag Land Base told its readers that, in a new edition of Ron Magazine, "the esoteric subject of writing is brought to light with candor and authenticity" by Hubbard himself, since he "was among the world's most enduring and widely-read authors of popular fiction, with over 60 million words to his credit." Readers, therefore, were encouraged to "[c]all the Flag Bookstore to order your copy today" (CSI, 1997: [27; emphasis in original]). Learning the skills needed for fiction writing is not a religious activity; it is a professional or leisure activity.
33. Viewing all of this material together, one can say that Flag Service Organization operates facilities that provide auditing and training that may be closer to counseling and study than they are to religious activities. Added to this ambiguity is the use of Flag Service Organization facilities as a penal system against some members and a vacation resort for others. The combined weight of the evidence, therefore, leads me to conclude that the Flag Service Organization is not a religious institution.
III. IS SCIENTOLOGY'S INTROSPECTION RUNDOWN A RELIGIOUS PRACTICE?
34. In reaching a conclusion about whether the Introspection Rundown is a religious practice, it is important to keep the rundown's threefold intent in mind. First, it intends to correct the conditions that psychotics suffer, including their (frequent) violence and destructiveness (see Hubbard, 1991: 1). Second, it intends to attack reputed critics of the Scientology ideology and/or organization. Third, it intends to eliminate psychiatry by introducing a treatment procedure for psychosis that makes the profession unnecessary. According to Hubbard's teachings for Scientologists, the introduction of the Introspection Rundown "MEANS THE LAST REASON TO HAVE PSYCHIATRY AROUND IS GONE" (Hubbard, 1991: 1 [emphasis in original]). Hubbard's desire and attempts to replace psychiatry with his own form of 'counseling' appears in Dianetics material that pre-dates his creation of Scientology. An examination of that early material in combination with subsequent Scientology information leads to the inescapable conclusion that the Introspection Rundown is, fundamentally, a pseudo-psychiatric (hence pseudo-medical) practice, and is not a religious practice. Flag Service Organization provided a facility-the Fort Harrison Hotel-that allowed Scientology to engage in this pseudo-medical, pseudo-psychiatric practice.
35. Two basic claims that remain at the heart of both Dianetics and Scientology auditing appear in a very early Dianetics publication. In the May 1950 edition of Astounding Science Fiction, Hubbard included in his summary of Dianetics the following claims:
1. Dianetics is an organized science of thought built upon definite axioms; it apparently reveals the existence of natural laws by which behavior can uniformly be caused or predicted in the unit organism or society.
2. Dianetics offers a therapeutic technique with which we can treat any and all inorganic mental and organic psychosomatic ills, with assurance of complete cure in unselected cases. It produces a mental stability in the 'cleared' patient which is far superior to the current norm.
13. Dianetics set forth the non-germ theory of disease, embracing, it has been estimated by competent physicians, the cure of some seventy percent of man's pathology (Hubbard, 1950a: 85, 86).
- In summary, in the founding moments of his movement, Hubbard claimed that Dianetics was a therapeutic science that could cure seventy percent of human ills, including mental problems. Scientology has never deviated from these basic beliefs (see, for example, L. Ron Hubbard Library, 1996: 50), and it has developed procedures (most notably the Introspection Rundown) in an attempt to act upon them.
- Hubbard's primary statement about Dianetics also appeared in May 1950 in the form of a book entitled, Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health. The very title emphasizes his pseudo-scientific claims about his new practices, and he reiterated the claim about seventy percent of human illness being psychosomatic (Hubbard, 1950b: 108). Already in this work, he made assertions about the power of Dianetics to eliminate psychosis. He told his readers, "[i]t is not known at this writing how long is the average time to raise the institutionally insane into the neurotic level: it has been done in two hours, it has been done in ten and in some cases it has required two hundred" (Hubbard, 1950b: 206). In a long footnote he added:
The dianetic auditor who practices with the institutionally insane exclusively should provide himself [sic] with the text now in preparation on that subject: the techniques are similar to those now described here [in the book] but incline more toward heroic measures: this present volume is addressed to treatment of the normal person or the neurotic patient not sufficiently violent to be institutionalized. However, with intelligence and imagination these same techniques can be applied with success to any mental state or physical illness. Institutional Dianetics is primarily the reduction of an insanity to a neurosis (Hubbard, 1950b: 206n.).
- Hubbard's claims for the effectiveness of auditing on insanity and specifically psychosis (Hubbard, 1950b: 151, 152) were pseudo-medical. He had not yet developed either Scientology or any religious claims for his practices. This book, however, remains required reading for Scientologists, so its claims about psychiatric cures are familiar to all members (including the personnel at the Flag Service Organization). Indeed, Hubbard would refer back to this footnote in Dianetics fifteen and twenty years later in publications, one of which appeared slightly over three years before he published the Introspection Rundown.
- Six months after the appearance of Dianetics, Hubbard wrote again about psychotics. This statement was of "considerable historical interest" to the subsequent Scientology organization because it gave "the basis of the Auditor's Code [of conduct] and [the] policy on psychotics," so the organization reprinted it as a Policy Letter in 1970. Hubbard made the following claims:
Any school of mental healing in the past has been victimized by that irrationality known as psychosis. Dianetics, no matter if it has the answer to psychosis, is yet victimized by its existence in the society.
Psychotics, people with histories of known breaks, of suicide attempts, of homicidal tendencies, can yet be expected to apply for instruction in dianetics.
A psychotic discovered by screening should either be routed into processing (if the case is mild and non-suicidal) or rejected. At such time as the [Hubbard Dianetics] Foundation possess adequate and lawful housing facilities for the retention of psychotics, those who might have been turned away may be routed to the unit which has such facilities in its charge. Efforts are being made, and others should be made, to procure such sanitarium facilities wherein psychotics may be dianetically processed (Hubbard, 1970a: 1).
- Especially after the Internal Revenue Service granted charitable status to Scientology organizations in 1993, it is highly probable that Scientologists concluded that facilities such as the Flag Service Org facility's Fort Harrison Hotel was the functional equivalent of a legal sanitarium facility for treating psychotics like Lisa McPherson.
- The animosity that the early Dianetics community felt toward psychiatry and psychiatric treatment appeared in an early 1951 newsletter published by The Hubbard Dianetic Research Foundation. One of its instructors, David E. Cary, died in a murder/suicide committed by his psychologically troubled wife, Helen (Los Angeles Times, 1951). After losing a child, Helen became suicidal and took an overdose of sleeping pills. She repeated her suicide attempts two or three additional times. "Each time her husband arrived in time. Psychiatrists were called in." On their final day of life, however, Helen bought a gun, shot her husband, then killed herself. The Dianeticist who reported the sad news concluded:
Helen and David Cary, directly or indirectly, were still two more victims of psychiatric inadequacy and ineptitude. We are trying not to feel intensely about it just because the fact strikes so 'close to home.' But even with a clinical attitude, we can't help thinking of the millions of other homes who have similar good reason to fear for the failures of 'recognized' psychotherapy.
...Yes, David Cary was attracted to dianetics when and because psychiatry had failed. He learned it well because he wanted to help the woman he loved, but his efforts to process her met with only the greatest resistance (Leonard, 1951: 2).
- This animosity toward psychiatry, and willingness (often on very weak evidence) to blame it for causing tragedy, existed within the pseudo-scientific Dianetics community from the very beginning, and it became a part of the Scientology subculture.
- This animosity toward psychiatry became a part of Scientology at the same time that Hubbard and his adherents continued making claims about the curative effectiveness of the techniques that he and others had developed. In 1952, for example, Hubbard spoke about a technique called "Technique 100" or "Associative Processing" developed by the E-meter inventor, Volney Mathison. Hubbard then added:
With reference to psychosis, or severe neurosis, the technique can be considered to be, and is considered to be, indispensible [sic] for both the auditor and the psychoanalyst. In this state it is especially difficult to pick from the babblings of a patient the clue for the material which, if brought to light, may relieve his stress.
Despite its importance, associative processing requires very little technical background or information. It can be utilized by one who has had no more than the most elementary instruction on the psychometer [i.e., the E-meter]-such as how it is turned on, how the electrodes are connected, and how to keep the needle balanced in the middle of the meter.
The patient is given the electrodes to hold. If he is particularly disturbed, they are strapped to his hands with adhesive tape, and a mitten is placed over one side of the hands holding the electrodes so that banging them together will not disturb the needle reading (Hubbard, 1952: 5).
- Noteworthy in this statement is Hubbard's instruction to use force against a psychotic by strapping the E-meter's cans to a psychotic's hands.
- In late May 1953, Hubbard published instructions in the newsletter of the Scientology Council about how to handle psychotic cases, and some of his directives continued to appear in Scientology publications for years:
Step VII PSYCHOTIC CASES. Whether in or out of body.
The psychotic looks to be in such desperate straits that the auditor often errs in thinking desperate measures are necessary. Use the lightest possible methods.
Give case [i.e., the psychotic] space and freedom where possible. Have psychotic IMITATE (not MOCK-UP [i.e., not creating an imaginary picture of] various things. Have him do PRESENT TIME DIFFERENTIATION.
Get him [sic] to tell the difference between things by actual touch. Have him locate, differentiate, and touch things that are really real to him (real objects or items).
If inaccessible, mimic him with own body, whatever he does until he comes into communication. Have him locate corners of the room and hold them without thinking. As soon as his communication is up go to STEP VI [mentioned earlier in the newsletter]; BUT BE VERY SURE he changes any mock-up until he knows it is a mock-up, that it exists and that he himself made it.
Do not run engrams. He is psychotic because viewpoints in present time are so scarce that he has gone into the past for viewpoints which at least he knew existed. By PRESENT TIME DIFFERENTIATION, by tactile on objects, return his idea of an abundance of viewpoint in present time (Hubbard, 1953: [6; capitals and underlining in original]).
The directives about having the psychotic individual locate himself (or herself) in present time and in present location, along with using mimicry techniques in an attempt to get the psychotic to orient him- or herself, are recurrent (albeit simplistic) themes that reappear in subsequent publications.
- Another early example of a statement within Scientology about treating psychotics came in January 1954, by a member of the Hubbard Association of Scientologists:
The goal of Scientologists is a sane world. This can be achieved, but only by freeing people, freeing them from their own aberrations and from the control of others. The techniques can be used to cure the seriously ill and the insane, and there is no reason why this should not be done...(O'Connell, 1954: 5).
- Sometime in that same year (but not published until early 1955), Hubbard discussed again some of the issues involved with auditors working with psychotics:
The auditor, then who is looking at a psychotic, is trying to understand an incomprehensible, and if we were to cease using the psychotic and begin to use the word, 'incomprehensetic [sic]', we would have a word which would serve us extremely well.
Thus, an auditor processes the psychotic with considerable difficulty in the absence of this understanding of incomprehensibility.... The best way to handle a psychotic is with physical form, making the psychotic mimic the physical form be [sic: by?] mimicing [sic], with the physical form, the psychotic. Thus we have our basic level of mimicry, and thus we have the entering wedge of communication (Hubbard, 1955: 1-2).
- These confusing and vague directions to auditors seem to imply that they were to get psychotics to begin communicating to others (and expressing their own thoughts) through simple acts of mimicry. While no indication exists that Scientologists attempted any mimicking exercises with Lisa McPherson, they apparently believed that eventually they would be able get her to communicate through auditing (see Hubbard, 1974a: 240-241), which seems also to have been what Hubbard envisioned that these early, simplistic techniques also were to have done. No auditing, however, took place with Lisa McPherson. According to Scientology's attorney and spokesperson, Elliot Abelson, Lisa McPherson "was ineligible to receive Scientology counseling there [at the Fort Harrison Hotel] because she was having trouble sleeping. Counseling cannot be done on a person who has not had six to eight hours sleep, he said. A person also must be stable to receive counseling, he said. Toward the midpoint of her stay, Lisa McPherson began to pound on the walls of her room, Abelson said. 'It was kind of a self-destructive mode she was in'" (Abelson quoted in Tobin, 1997a: 12A). Even, therefore, if Scientology considers auditing to be a religious exercise, McPherson did not participate in it during the 17 days in which she was in the Fort Harrison Hotel prior to her death.
- In 1956, Hubbard's discussion about Scientology's alleged power to cure insanity was unusually crisp and to-the-point. "To discuss a field of application" for the 'psychological science' of Scientology, Hubbard indicated, "we have assumed control over insanity, neurosis, and aberration, and can actually vanish them. In the first book, Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, techniques were present which would place in view, and then vanquish any mental manifestation known in the field of insanity and aberration" (Hubbard, 1956: ). Again, Hubbard portrayed Scientology as a science, not a religion, with the ability to cure insanity.
- As Scientology evolved, Hubbard continued to write about psychosis, insanity, and psychotics. In 1960, he produced a Bulletin titled, "New Definition of Psychosis," in which he concluded, "[a] psychotic is that person who cannot receive orders of any kind, who sits unmoving or goes berserk at the thought of doing anything told [h]im by another determinism. Want to know if they're crazy? Give them a simple order" (Hubbard, 1960).
- A remarkable 1968 document that Hubbard wrote showed that he felt himself and his organization to be at war with the mental health profession around the world. In an Executive Directive entitled, "The War," Hubbard proclaimed, "Psychiatry and 'Mental Health' was [sic] chosen as a vehicle to undermine and destroy the West! And we stood in their way" (Hubbard, 1968: 1). About Scientology's challenge to psychiatry and mental health, Hubbard claimed, "[i]t is a tough war. All wars are tough. It isn't over" (Hubbard, 1968: 2). Strategically, Hubbard claimed, "[o]ur error was in failing to take over total control of all mental healing in the West. Well, we'll do that too" (Hubbard, 1968: 2). Likewise, two years later, Hubbard announced, "I am working to cohese [sic] all persons trained to date into a professional association in every country and getting things set up to take over 'mental healing' facilities and social appropriations on the planet" (Hubbard, 1970b: 3).
- During the mid-to-late-1960s and early 1970s, Hubbard was very active about writing on the topic of psychosis. It is impossible to unravel a consistent set of statements or recommendations about psychosis in all that Hubbard wrote during this period, except to say that he rejected psychiatry's ability to deal with insanity at the same time that he claimed Scientology could. Time and again, Hubbard made pseudo-psychiatric pronouncements about mental conditions and their alleged treatment. In 1965, for example, Hubbard identified what he called a "Type Three PTS," who was someone with sufficiently severe mental impairment that he or she "is mostly in institutions or would be" (Hubbard, 1965: 3). The insanity of this type of person is from having "been overwhelmed by an actual SP [i.e., Suppressive Person-an enemy of Scientology] until too many persons are apparent SPs" (Hubbard, 1965: 3). (That is, so many of Scientology's opponents cause such disruption to the person that soon everyone looks like an opponent and critic as the person becomes increasingly paranoid.)
- Hubbard advised against institutionalizing such a person because doing so simply puts him or her into "bedlam." Instead, Hubbard instructed that Scientologists should give a "Type Three PTS" person "a relatively safe environment and quiet and rest and no treatment of a mental nature at all.... Medical care of a very unbrutal [sic] nature is necessary, as intravenous feeding and soporifics (sleeping and quietening drugs) may be necessary. Such persons are sometimes also physically ill from an illness with a known medical cure" (Hubbard, 1965: 4). In this Bulletin, therefore, Hubbard gave directions involving both pseudo-medicine and pseudo-psychiatry that have no religious context.
- The assumption that Hubbard made in this Bulletin was that the person would calm down sufficiently so that he or she could be audited, which supposedly would lead to finding and processing the cause of the insanity. He specifically recommended occasional medical intervention (which he was unqualified to do). He also added, however, a statement that has relevance to the Lisa McPherson estate case: "[b]ut there will always be some failures as the insane sometimes withdraw into rigid unawareness as a final defense, sometimes can't be kept alive and sometimes are too hectic and distraught to ever be quiet" (Hubbard, 1965: 4). He gave no direction about what people were to do in these circumstances. It seems highly likely that some of the directives in this Bulletin influenced the creation of the Introspection Rundown, and he believed that it fulfilled "a promise given in Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health to develop 'Institutional Dianetics" (Hubbard, 1965: 4).
- In 1966, Hubbard again discussed psychosis, this time in an article entitled, "Psychosis, Neurosis and Psychiatrists." He insisted "that all neuroses and psychoses are EXAGGERATED, CONCENTRATED ABILITIES," and that "we have the standard Scientology method of eradicating one of these psychoses or neuroses" (Hubbard, 1966a: 4 [capitalization in original]). With Scientology techniques in mind, Hubbard concluded to his followers, "[i]f you thoroughly understand that the downfall of psychiatry which is now occurring came about because the psychiatrist never understood sanity then we won't have any future specialists in insanity beyond these data" (Hubbard, 1966a: 6). Also in 1966, Hubbard wrote an article titled, "Psychotics," in which he indicated, "[t]he total indicated therapy cure for an institutional psychotic who is, after all, only the victim of an actual psychotic is to locate the actual psychotic in that person's life. There is a very magic response to this action. The technology now exists. It is called 'Search and Discovery," which is a particular Scientology auditing exercise (Hubbard, 1966b: ). Again, Hubbard made no claim that his purported "therapy cure" for psychosis was a religious practice.
- In 1969, Hubbard devoted a paragraph to the topic of treating insane people in a document that he instructed was to be "([i]nclude[d] in Medical Series) The Use of Dianetics to the Medical Doctor:
The temporarily insane by reason of emotional shock, where no medical illness exists should be permitted rest and should then be handled by an [auditing] assist as above [i.e., discussed earlier in the Bulletin] or normal Dianetic auditing. Most often, rest and no further harassment result in a return to sanity in a short time such as a few days, but not in the terror atmosphere such as a psychiatric asylum, where the patient is in the risk of being hurt or killed (Hubbard, 1969: 3).
His comments about a temporarily insane person being at risk of harm or death in a psychiatric asylum seem ironic in light of what happened to Lisa McPherson while in Scientology's care.
- A long discussion of psychosis occurred in a Bulletin published in late 1970 and devoted solely to that topic. "Through a slight change of procedure on certain preclears," Hubbard began, "I have been able to view the underlining motives and mechanisms of psychosis.... The alleviation of the condition of insanity has also been accomplished now and the footnote in Dianetics the Modern Science of Mental Health concerning future research into this field can be considered fulfilled" (Hubbard, 1970c: 1). This Bulletin is important because Hubbard claimed to have discovered dimensions of psychosis and insanity that were more serious than what psychiatry described, and these more serious dimensions were the same ones that he identified with the supposed enemies ("suppressive persons") of Scientology. "Under apparent social behaviour the continual crimes knowingly committed by the insane are much more vicious than ever has been catalogued in psychiatric texts.... All characteristics classified as those of 'suppressive persons' are in fact those of an insane person" (Hubbard, 1970c: 1).
- Opposition to Scientology, therefore, was an act of insanity, and insane people were, by definition, opponents. Consequently, a significant aspect of Scientology's efforts at controlling members who wanted to leave the organization (such as Lisa McPherson) was to handle them as psychotic opponents. When Hubbard identified, for example, "the easiest ways for a C/S [i.e., an auditing case supervisor] to detect the insane," six out of the seven characteristics that he identified involved ones that damaged or challenged Scientology itself:
1. Pretending to do a post or duties, the real consistent result is destructive to the group in terms of breakage, lost items, injured business etc.
2. The case is no case gain or roller coaster and is covered under 'PTS [Potential Trouble Source] symptoms.' [A Potential Trouble Source is someone who cannot make gains in his or her auditing because the person is connected to a Scientology enemy or "Suppressive Person."]
3. They are usually chronically physically ill.
4. They have a deep but carefully masked hatred of anyone who seeks to help them.
5. The result of their 'help' is actually injurious.
6. They often seek transfers or wish to leave.
7. They are involved in warfare with conflicts around them which are invisible to others. One wonders how they can be so involved or get so involved in so much hostility (Hubbard, 1970c: 1-2).
- Needless to say, McPherson certainly represented the sixth characteristic (wished to leave) that Hubbard offered, but he allowed no room for someone who had chosen to leave because of objective circumstances involving Scientology itself.
- Throughout this 1970 document Hubbard moved between attacks on psychiatry and its handling of insanity and his expanded definition of psychoses, which involved labeling Scientology's opponents as "insane." "The psychotic is motivated by intent to harm," Hubbard deduced. "In the psychotic the impulse is quite conscious" (Hubbard, 1970c: 2). These reputed realizations were important to Hubbard, since "[f]or a long time I've realized that we would have to be able to handle insane people as the psychiatrist is fading. I have had opportunity to work on the problem. And have it handled [sic]" (Hubbard, 1970c: 4).
- The Introspection Rundown first appeared in print on January 23, 1974, and was revised twice by November 1st of that year. The November revision claimed, "there has never been a cure for the psychotic break until now" (Hubbard, 1974a: 346 [original emphasis]). After claiming that this procedure was the result of an auditor bringing back to "present time" a person who had suffered a psychotic break, Hubbard proclaimed, "THIS MEANS THE LAST REASON TO HAVE PSYCHIATRY AROUND IS GONE" (Hubbard, 1974a: 346 [original capitalization]). Contrary to Hubbard's conclusions in 1965 (about not auditing a "Type Three PTS" until the person had calmed down), now Hubbard instructed that Scientologists were to isolate the psychotic, not speak to him or her, give the person specific vitamins and minerals, and begin auditing (Hubbard, 1974a: 347). The auditing case supervisor (who, presumably, would probably not be trained in medicine or psychiatry) had the power and responsibility to decide when a person who had suffered a psychosis was safe enough to be released from isolation (1974b: 261). The revised, 1991 version added many additional auditing questions to the 1974 version (Hubbard, 1991: 3-23), and it eliminated Hubbard's gleeful final words: "THE PLANET IS OURS" (Hubbard, 1974a: 353).
- In the Church of Scientology of California's major book publication, What is Scientology? (1978), the organization made a clear and strong statement about the ability of Scientology to cure psychosis. In a section subtitled, "The Accomplishments of Scientology," the organization wrote:
Scientology is the first to make a technical breakthrough in the subject of psychosis (meaning a definite obsessive desire to destroy). In 1970 the actual cause of psychosis was isolated, and in ensuing years this has proven beyond doubt to be totally correct. Man has never been able to solve the psychotic break. In fact, human beings are actually afraid of a person in a psychotic break and in desperation turn to psychiatry to handle [it]. Psychiatry, desperate in its turn, without effective technology, resorts to barbarities such as heavy drugs, ice picks, electric shock and insulin shock which half kill the person and only suppress him. The fact remains that there has never been a cure for the psychotic break until now (Church of Scientology of California, 1978: 5).
- This is a clear statement that Scientology claimed that it could cure psychotics, which was an achievement (the paragraph says) psychiatry had not attained.
- Seen in historical context, the Introspection Rundown is the culmination of pseudo-psychiatric and pseudo-medical therapies that dates back to the founding of Dianetics and runs through Scientology up to the present day. Nothing about the Introspection Rundown is religious. Hubbard's stated secular intention was to eliminate psychiatry, and Lisa McPherson fell victim to an organization, Scientology's Flag Service Org, whose members were following Scientology policy. In answer to the related queries posed to me by the plaintiff's counsel-"is the Scientology practice of isolating persons apparently suffering from severe mental distress a religious practice?" and "is auditing a religious practice?"--I must answer "no" in the context of the Introspection Rundown. In that context, both are pseudo-psychiatric practices that unqualified people impose and which are based upon the "unscientific" statements about treating psychosis that Scientology's founder wrote.
IV. SCIENTOLOGY'S HISTORY OF ISOLATING AND ATTEMPTING TO TREAT MENTALLY DISTRESSED MEMBERS
- Scientology's isolation of members who appear to have severe psychiatric problems began quite early in the organization's history. In mid-1955, a person named Estrid Anderson Humphreys received an out-of-court-settlement in a lawsuit that she filed against L. Ron Hubbard, the Church of Scientology, the Hubbard Dianetic Research Foundation, the Hubbard Association of Scientologists, and others for $9,000 in damages, claiming that her house (near Phoenix, Arizona) "was extensively damaged by 'persons' the suit charged 'with seriously deranged minds' who were placed there for care and treatment. It charges these deranged persons broke windows, tore out entire window casements, pulled loose electrical fixtures, tore and broke great holes in the walls and ceilings, and broke off doors, screen doors, and cabinets, and did other serious damage" (Gazette, 1955b; Republic 1955a, 1955b).
- Another account about Scientology locking up and isolating someone who apparently had severe mental problems is in a sworn deposition by former member, Homer Schomer, about his time on the Scientology ship, Apollo, during the early 1970s. Speaking about a man named Bruce (who was the former brother-in-law of a Scientologist named Anne Broeker), Schomer stated:
He was actually locked up in a cabin in one of the-in the front of the ship and it was for a number of weeks. Even it could have been a couple of months where, you know, he was really-he should have been like in a straightjacket in a paddled cell because if you would have seen the cabin after he got through with it, I mean he had torn up, you know, ripped the wood off the walls, you know, he slept and ate and lived in his own, you know, excrete-excrement. It was just, you know, he tried to knock holes in the door and for the first several weeks they tried to treat him just by, you know, hopefully he would get some rest" (Schomer, 1985: 30).
- In both accounts, the violent behavior is reminiscent of some of Lisa McPerson's actions. Also reminiscent of McPherson is the account of Marianne Coenan, 31, whose Scientology family locked her up in a "cell-like" bedroom in a house near Los Angeles. When authorities located her, she "was wearing a shirt and pants but no shoes. Her legs were bruised, and scratches covered her wrists and neck, but she was otherwise uninjured" (Freed and Ahn, 1990: B1). Press accounts strongly suggested that her family had placed her on the "Introspection Rundown" (Lee and Johnson, 1990: B15) .
- Another mention of a Scientologist being put on the Introspection Rundown appears in the sworn affidavit of former member, Stacy Young, who related:
116. When I was in Scientology I was assigned to keep watch over a young girl in her early twenties who became Type 3 PTS after being forced to sever all communication with her family, because they were upset about her involvement in Scientology. This incident occurred in Hemet, California, at the high-security international headquarters of Scientology (Young, 1994: 19).
- Young does not have medical or psychiatric training.
- Similar incidents involving the Introspection Rundown have occurred in the United Kingdom, specifically at Scientology's facility in East Grinstead. The British newspaper, The Independent, ran an article about the Introspection Rundown in 1994. Entitled, "The Prisoners of Saint Hill," it related the following information:
The middle-aged German student started screaming. He seemed to have lost control. He was a Scientologist, a member of the world's largest cult, on a course of study that, he had been promised, would bring him closer to the secrets of the universe and, eventually, give him the key to eternal life.
According to eyewitnesses, the man, whose name is known to The Independent, was taken to an isolated room in a communal building not far from Saint Hill, a 17th-century manor house in East Grinstead, West Sussex, and the UK headquarters of the cult.
For two weeks, the room was locked. The German had been placed on an 'isolation watch'--or what Scientologists more informally refer to as a 'baby watch.' It is a treatment that was prescribed by the founder of the cult, L. Ron Hubbard, a science fiction writer, for members showing signs of psychosis or mental ill- health--people who are, literally, plagued by evil spirits. It is the last resort for dealing with difficult Scientologists. It is a treatment that the organisation has so far kept secret. The subject of the watch is observed at all times, and not allowed to talk to anybody. He or she is, in the language of the cult, 'muzzled.' Our witnesses, who have asked to remain anonymous, remember that the German was sometimes incontinent and that they had to wash him down at the sink in the otherwise bare room. The five people who guarded him were only allowed to communicate with him in writing. Eventually he was allowed to return to Germany....
For the past few months, The Independent has been investigating claims that the cult employs quasi-psychological techniques that are possibly illegal and potentially dangerous to the long-term health of its more vulnerable members....
The 'baby-watching' incident with the German student occurred in 1991. But the technique has been used more recently, according to confidential church documents dating from September 1993, which have been leaked to The lndependent. These show that the Scientologists mounted an internal investigation after a baby watch conducted on another German, again at Saint Hill, last year. The investigation was instigated because the woman put in isolation was already suffering from an acute mental disorder--in the terminology used by the investigating officer, she was Type III, which translates as 'insane.' She went insane, according to the document, while she was working for the organisation in Europe. In early 1993, she arrived in Saint Hill and was put on a baby watch because she was thought to be a 'security risk.' Her boyfriend was put in charge of the watch. But something went badly wrong, and the watch was 'very extended' because of incompetence by local officials, reports the document. It is not clear whether she was locked in a room throughout or allowed, as is sometimes the case, to walk around during the watch. There seems to be some dispute about whether the local staff were adequately trained to deal with such a case, and permission for her 'treatment' finally had to come directly from the American leadership of the cult.
Several of the most senior officers of the British arm of the cult were blamed for allowing this woman to remain a member of the cult--according to the internal memo, she apparently had a history of drug abuse. These senior members were ordered to attend an internal tribunal. If found guilty of failing to ensure the 'security' of the member, they will be demoted and sentenced to a period of 'rehabilitation' through hard labour. According to the report, it seems that the woman escaped from Saint Hill, was arrested by police and then returned to Germany.
One former senior cult official who worked in the Californian section of the organisation was involved in several baby watches. On one occasion, a woman staff member was put in isolation after she started throwing furniture out of the window of her flat, which overlooked Hollywood Boulevard. She was then locked in her room. 'We had to take all the furniture out of the room, strip it completely and leave her in there on her own for more than a week,' the official said. 'She was just crazy, talking to herself and screaming.' This woman had been engaged in one of the most demanding of the Scientology courses, during which students are taught that 75 million years ago the earth was part of a galactic confederation ruled by an evil prince called Xenu. He shipped the inhabitants of 76 planets to earth. The spirits (or thetans) of these extra-terrestrials inhabit the souls of contemporary human beings and have to be exorcised.
Dr. Betty Tylden, a retired consultant psychiatrist who is regularly called as an expert court witness on cults, has treated Scientologists recovering from the effects of baby watches--both the victims and the guards. She has seen several in the past six months alone. 'People are terribly frightened of it,' she said. 'They come out of it suffering from something very similar to Post- traumatic Stress Disorder, the "prisoner" syndrome. There is hyper- arousal, flashbacks, fear and obsessions. It is very nasty, and even if it doesn't break a law, it is a gross curtailment of an individual's liberty' (Kelsey and Ricks, 1994).
- Clearly, Scientology is using the Introspection Rundown in the United Kingdom, and concerns about its legality and safety have surfaced there.
- The ordeal, therefore, that Lisa McPherson was subjected to appears to be widespread in the Scientology organization. Scientologists have used what came to be called the Introspection Rundown for decades in different parts of the world. The members who oversee the psychotic 'patients' do not seem to be licensed to practice either psychiatry or medicine, and the 'patients' themselves always appear to be suffering severe psychiatric distress. Ironically, given what happened to Lisa McPherson, even Scientologists knew (according to Hubbard's 1965 statements that Scientology reprinted in 1987) that some psychotics "sometimes can't be kept alive" (Hubbard, 1965: 4).
- To call the Introspection Rundown a religious practice is to ignore its obvious pseudo-medical intentions and content. Around the issue of treating psychosis and insanity, the Flag Service Organization has allowed some of its members to engage in pseudo-medical practices for which they were not licensed. Indeed, Scientology has had a history of unlawfully practicing medicine, and authorities have attempted to hold its members accountable for doing so since the early 1950s.
V. DIANETICS'S AND SCIENTOLOGY'S HISTORIES OF UNLICENSED MEDICAL PRACTICES
- Dianetics encountered charges about the unlawful practice of medicine almost from its inception. As I summarized in an academic article a few years ago (Kent, 1996: 30):
... the New Jersey State Board of Medical Examiners accused the Hubbard Dianetic Research Foundation, Inc., of 'operating a school for the treatment of disease without a license' in January, 1951 (Elizabeth Daily Journal, 1951a), which contributed to the organization's departure from Elizabeth, New Jersey in April-- prior to its pending trial in May (Elizabeth Daily Journal, 1951b). In late March, 1953, two Dianetics and Scientology practitioners were arrested, along with the confiscation of an E-meter, as part of an investigation into 'running an unlicensed school and practicing medicine without licenses' (Detroit News, 1953, Detroit Free Press, 1953; see Pickering, 1953). Likewise, in late 1953 or early 1954, a Glendale, California Dianeticist or Scientologist apparently spent ten days in jail for "'practicising medicine without a license'" (quoted in Aberree, 1954: 4).
- An additional case occurred in Phoenix, Arizona in 1955, in which Edd [sic] Clark, 56, was charged with "practicing medicine without a license" (Gazette, 1955a).
- On two occasions, the American federal government has intervened against aspects of Scientology's pseudo-medical practices. The first intervention took place in 1958, when the:
US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) seized and destroyed 21,000 tablets of a compound known as Dianazene, marketed by an agency associated with the Founding Church of Scientology in Washington, the Distribution Center, claiming that they were falsely labeled as a preventative and treatment of 'radiation sickness' (Wallis, 1976: 190).
- The second intervention occurred in 1963, when the FDA again raided the Founding Church of Scientology, confiscating E-meters and associated literature (Wallis, 1976: 191). The FDA believed that the organization was making false claims about curing a number of diseases when a person reached that state of "clear," which required extensive work on an E-meter (see United States District Court, District of Columbia, 1971: 359). The final court ruling in 1971 allowed Scientologists to use the E-meter only in "bona fide religious counseling if labeled as ineffective in treating illness" (Wallis, 1976: 197). Specifically, the ruled required:
The device should bear a prominent, clearly visible notice warning that any person using it for auditing or counseling of any kind is forbidden by law to represent that there is any medical or scientific basis for believing or asserting that the device is useful in the diagnosis, treatment or prevention of any disease. It should be noted in the warning that the device has been condemned by a United States District Court for misrepresentation and misbranding under Food and Drug laws, that use is permitted only as a religious activity, and that the E-meter is not medically or scientifically capable of improving the health or bodily functions of anyone (United States District Court, District of Columbia, 1971: 364).
Worth mentioning is the fact that the label subsequently appearing on E-meters fails to state that the devices were condemned by the court for misrepresentation and misbranding.
- A few years ago I published a peer-reviewed article in which I examined Hubbard's claims that Scientology was similar to several Eastern religions. Based upon the evidence that I had at the time, I concluded that, in the 1950s and 1960s, "Hubbard made most of his claims about Eastern [religious] similarities to Scientology during periods when he was attempting to reduce the likelihood of governmental interventions against it for allegedly practicing medicine without a license" (Kent, 1996: 30). The additional examples that I uncovered for this expert report only reinforce that conclusion. Hubbard's efforts to gain protection for his pseudo-medical and pseudo-psychiatric practices, in conjunction with financial motives involving governmental tax concessions, together explain why Hubbard made religious claims for the Scientology organization. Hubbard apparently made these claims out of pure convenience, attempting to minimize if not eliminate governmental scrutiny and interference with his pseudo-medical activities.
- Based upon the above, Scientology is not for all purposes a religion, since key components of Hubbard's writings addressed secular issues such as purported techniques for treating psychosis. Scientology's Introspection Rundown and the practice of isolating people thought to be having psychotic episodes are not religious practices; they are pseudo-medical and pseudo-psychiatric ones. This conclusion takes into account a long and dangerous tradition of attempted cures for psychotics that dates back to the early days of Dianetics and continues throughout Scientology's history. The fact that Lisa McPherson apparently became psychotic after she had attained the Scientology status of "Clear" and supposedly was free from her "reactive mind" strongly suggests that Scientology "technology" is ineffective regarding psychiatric treatment of at least some forms of mental illness, and that this technology can be fatal.
- On a related question, the Church of Scientology Flag Service Organization also is not solely and exclusively a religious institution. Significant questions exist about the purported religious nature of auditing and training that go on at the Flag Service Organization, and the operation of the Fort Harrison Hotel as a resort that also houses a penal system eliminates any possibility for the organization to claim religious status. So does the reality that the pseudo-medical and pseudo-psychiatric practice of the Introspection Rundown took place at a Flag Service Organization facility, the Fort Harrison Hotel.
- My curriculum vitae is attached to this report, and it lists all of my publications for the past ten years along with court cases in which I testified as an expert. For preparing this report I have been compensated at the rate of $200.00 per hour. I have worked approximately 55 hours on it. The exhibits that I plan to use in support of my opinion are included in my bibliography.
FURTHER AFFIANT SAITH NOT.
Stephen A. Kent, Ph.D.
CITY OF EDMONTON
PROVINCE OF ALBERTA
The foregoing instrument was acknowledged before me this 6th day of January 2000, by Stephen A. Kent, whom I know professionally and who did take an affirmation.
My commission expires_______
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