This is a mirror of

The Letters of Susan Meister and Scientology

The Church of Scientology of California

7 July 1971

George Meister
(edited by author)
Greeley, Colorado 80631

Dear Mr. Meister,

First may I express my deep and sincere condolences for your bereave-
ment in what must be a shocking and tragic loss. For myself as well as
the Church may I express the hope that the spirit of your daughter may
yet find the tranquility it has so restlessly sought................

How it started:

Susan had became interested Scientology and, on the 22nd day of November, l970 she wrote:

November 22, 1970

Dear Mother and Dad:

I am working for the church of Scientology at 414 Mason in San
Francisco.Enclosed is some literature about Scientology.
I am doing o.k. I'm still next to insolvent financially but other
than that o.k.
Would you do me a favor? I'd like to have you sell my ski equipment,
my stereo, my books and my George Berlin painting for me. Wait till
last on the painting. If you can get 6200.00 for the ski equipment
and the stereo, then don't bother about selling the painting. If you
could sell that big steamer trunk too, I'd appreciate it.
Robbin and Rick would probably know how to sell the books.I'd
really appreciate it if you'd do this for me. Please give my love
to Robbin and Rick. Ask her to write if she has time, I'm sorry I
didn't get to send you anything for your birthday Mom.I didn't
forget. Let me know what Lou'd like-something you saw out here in
San Francisco. I'11 get it to you. Happy Thanksgiving.



PS: If you want more information on Scientology, see this person
at this address:

   (edited by author)
   Denver, Colorado 80203

I'm sending you all one of the basic course books-
Dianetics, The Modern Science of Mental Health-
It's a beauty-

Love Susan

Susan stated that Scientology had several ships and among them was a small training ship at Los Angeles where she was to go for training for a month and, after that, would proably be sent to Flag, which she said was a large headquarters ship.

Susan came home to Greeley for Christmas, l970 and after spending the holidays, returned to San Francisco. During the time she was at home, her parents, family and friends asked her what sort of a church Scientology was. What was their purpose? No one had ever heard of it. All she would say was that it was something that she really wanted to to and meant very much to her.

After returning to San Francisco, Susan wrote:

Saturday, January 9, 1971
San Francisco, California

Dear Mom, Dad, Greta,

     I'm sitting here at the San Francisco Scientology Organization
in my office waiting for a friend of mine, who also works here,
named Merri, to get out of session (an auditing session), so that
we can go to lunch, It's a fine San Francisco day here, no rain,
it's clear (well if you discount the smog it's clear).The weather
is crisp, just bordering on cold.I was walking down the street with a
friend of mine just a few minutes ago him all about all the
many little things that have changed in my life since I got into
Scientoiogy;all for the better! Do you remember how, when I'd get
hungry, and the rest of the family wasn't ready to eat, l'd just
forget about the rest of you and eat by myself and then go away
someplace and read? Well, that's one of the little things that have
chanaed. Now, even if I'm hungry, and it looks like I might have someone
to eat with and talk to, I wait. I used to dislike company unless I
expressly desired; don't call me I'll call you. Well, that's changed
and changing more every day. I like to be with people now, and I like
being with people more every day. Every day, in every little way,
Scientology is changing me for the better.



Becoming more and more concerned about Susan, the Meisters went to San Francisco to see her in early February. They had a good visit but it was more noticable that her attitude and personality were changing. She spoke of Scientology constantly and urged her mother to become a Scientologist, advising her to go to the "Org" in Denver as soon as possible and buy Scientology books.

Susan left for Los Angeles shortly after that and this would be the last time they were ever to talk with her or see her alive. Susan didn't remain in Los Angeles very long. She went from Los Angeles by air to New York and then to Lisbon, Portugal. She went on board Hubbard's Flagship on February 21, 1971.


On March 3, 1971 she wrote:

Flag Ship
(edited by author)
Greeley, Colorado

Dear Family:

 Well, I've now been on the Flagship for over a month, and it's great!
and it just keeps getting better.
Let me tell you all a little about my actual daily routine. At 7:30am
I awake at 7:30am. I live a11 the way forward, near the boatswain's
locker. I live in a cabin with one other person, (which is rare-most
people with the exception of the officers and auditors live in
packed dorms) We have a porthole, my cabin is on the starboard side.
Then, I take a shower or just wash my face and brush my teeth, break is
at 0800 hrs lasting 0830. I go on post at 0845. I am on post from 0845
until 1200. Lunch is from 1200 to 1225. I am on post: again frorm 1245
to 1500. From 1500 to 1800 I am on study time. Dinner is from 1800
to 1845. I am on post again from 1845 until 2315. At 2330 I usually
go to the main dining room for Midrats(Midnight Rations) to have an
orange and some tea. Then brush teeth, wash face, go to bed.
 The Apollo is a yacht. She is about a hundred meters long and weighs
about 3000 tons. She was built in 1936 in Belfast, Ireland and used
as a passenger ferry. At the beginning of the 2nd World war, she was
requisitioned by the British Royal Navy for active duty. She was used
again for important launching operations in Norway and the south of
France. She carried reinforcements to Iceland, disembarked troops at
Casablanca and traveled a total of 11,000 miles of North African
coast, as a transport.
In 1945 she became headquarters for Operation Anvil. So the old
girl has been around- now she is a Scientology ship.
My post consists of administrative work in the Academy here. It's a
great post. I started out in the galley washing dishes like every one
else. Please go to the Denver and see the Scientology Franchise there
if you haven't already done so. Give me a report on it. When you
go down to the Franchise, please pick me up a Scientology dictionary.
See if there is an unabridged one. There may be, rumors heard about
one being in existance.
Read the Fundamentals of Thought by L.Ron Hubbard. It's a beginning
Scientology book and it's great.


My address:


811 S.Beacon St.
Los Angeles

(Author's note: USLO means United States Laison Office)

On May 5, 1971 Susan Wrote:

(edited by author)
Greeley, Colo


Do you recall talking to me about WW III- and where it would start
if it were to start- father and most everyone else maintained that it
would start in either China or Russia vs U.S. ' and you said- oh no
it would originate in Germany - that the Nazis hadn't given up yet-?
well babe, you were right-there is a new Nazi resurgence taking place
in Germany- so now it's a race between the good guys in the white hats
(Scientologists) and the L'eiptzig death camp (Nazis) the bad guys in
the black hats- we'll win of course- but the game is exciting.
Truth is stranger than fiction. As Alice (Alice in Wonderland) says.
"Things get curiouser and curiouser!" Get into Scientology now.
It's fantastic!

Love, Susan

On May 12, 1971 Susan wrote: (photostat copy of a letter)

Letter of Susan Meister

(photostat reads in part)

Dear Family,

I just had a session an auditing session
I feel great! Great GREAT!
and my life is EXPANDING
and it's All Hurry Up: Hurry, Hurry
Be a friend to yourselves
Get into this stuff Now -
It's more precious than gold
it's the best thing that's
_ever_ever_ever_ever_ come
along. Love, Susan

On June 15, 1971 Susan wrote:

15 June 71


Dear Mother and Dad,

 Thanks S0 much for things that vou sent me. They'll really cone
in handy. I received the iron, clock, dictionary (really a beauty)
stockings, dress (nice, I'll probably wear it today) shampoo, (always
appreciated) soap, toothpaste and a few other items- all very much
appreciated! Thanks, The birthday card was cute. I also appreciated
a look at the paper.
I'm doing well - still like it here, I have a lot to learn though,
Scientology is where it's at - so to speak. I'm sorry I haven't
sent your copy of how to save your marriage. I have to go to the
External Communications Bureau and get it weighed so that I can pay
the shipping costs. It will get to you though,
I can't tell you exactly where we are. We have enemies who are
profiting from peoples's ignorance and lack of self-determinism and do
not wish to see us succeed in restoring freedom and self-determinism to
this planet's people. If these people were to find out where we are
located - they would attempt to destroy us. Therefore, we are not
allowed to say where this ship is located.
Do read those Scicntology books that you have mother, You would make
an excellent auditor. Go to the Franchise in Denver as soon as possible
and take the HAS (Hubbard Apprentice Scientologist)Course.
If there are some questions that you've asked in past letters that
haven't been answered, please ask them again in your next letter so
that I can answer them. I enjoy answering your questions.



The Church of Scientology of California

7 July 1971

George Meister
(edited by author)
Greeley, Colorado 80631

Dear Mr. Meister,

First may I express my deep and sincere condolences for your bereave-
ment in what must be a shocking and tragic loss. For myself as well as
the Church may I express the hope that the spirit of your daughter may
yet find the tranquility it has so restlessly sought.

The purpose of Rev. Maren's visit was an expression of the solicitude
that any Church might feel upon the loss of a parishioner. Rev. Maren
acted as an emissary for the Church and, at the request of Captain
Starkey, was entrusted with easing the distress to you and your family
of what might otherwise have been a belated and perhaps abruptly
inpersonal notification by officialdom.

As to your request to Rev. Maren for additional information, I fully
understand your concern. Official details relative to the tragedy will
I am sure be contained in the duly recorded testimony supplied the In-
quest; as well as the Coroner's report; and the death certificate which
I am informed is presently enroute to you. These documents will undoubt-
edly contain the detailed information which you as a relative of the
deceased should expect to receive regarding the circumstances of death.

I am sure you understand that the ship's company, an independent Panamanian
agency, is under no obligation to The Church of Scientology of California
to provide information that it might deem goes beyond the scope of a
reasonable inquiry by bereaved parents.

In addition to the details Rev. Maren has already cocrmunicated to you (a
recis of which is attached), further details as to Church activity and
doctrine can be found in the literature and Book of Ceremonies enclosed.

As to shipment of the remains, the ship's captain has indicated that should
you wish local Christian burial with monument, such will be arranged in
a Christian cemetery in Morocco, at company expense. If the remains are to
be shipped to the United States, which I understand is your desire, the
company regrettably is not in a position to bear the considerable costs

Please call me personally should you I have any further need of the services
or good offices of The Church, and may I re-express my deepest condolences.

Yours in God

Rev. Robert H, Thomas
Church of Scientology
of California

RKI: jm

cc: Mr. Cheever
   U.S. State Department

The Scientology "Fact Sheet" concerning Susan's death

C O M P A N Y   M E M O R A N D U M   T S M Y   A P O L L O

Data Concerning The Death Of Scientology Parishioner Susan Meister

Basic Facts:

  1. Miss Susan Meister was found dead from a gun shot wound in her forehead at approximately 7:35 PM on Friday, June 25,1971.
  2. The door was locked and admittance to the cabin was only gained after a key had been obtained from the Berthing Steward.
  3. She was lying fully clothed on a bunk in the cabin. There was no pulse.
  4. The police authorities were immediately notified and the body was taken ashore to the police mortuary for an autopsy as required in such circumstances. On the floor of the cabin the police found a suicide note which they took as evidence.
  5. The Captain had all persons restricted to the vessel except for senior officers assisting the police in their investigation until such time as the autopsy was completed and the police investigation completed.
  6. The gun used was a .22 target revolver belonging to another person on board. Susan knew that he had such a gun as she had watched him clean, assemble and replace it in a drawer in his cabin. The gun was found clasped in her hand.
  7. On the day of her death, Susan was seen aboard by many people, particularly up until 2:30 PM. She appeared to be quite happy and not in the least distressed or disturbed. As her job entailed the delivery of communications to all parts of the vessel, this explains why so many saw her in the time period mentioned.
  8. However,in the afternoon she was found missing at her work as clerical assistant and a crew mwmber looked for her and found her alone in the cabin where she later committed suicide. This was 3:00 PM, He asked her to come back to work,which he did as she was seen by her senior at 4:00 PM. However she did not make her usual communication deliveries at 5:00 PM, nor did she appear for dinner at 6:00 PM.
  9. Susan arrived on board February 19,1971. Although the police took the suicide note as evidence,one of the ship's officers was asked to read it to them. He stated that in the note Susan mentioned that she wanted her possessions to be sent to her parents,especially her books and she was sorry for any mess caused anyone.

Death of Susan Meister