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A personal aide to Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard for eight of her nearly 20 years with the group says that fluoxetine (Prozac) and therapy have finally stopped the depression and suicidal ideation she had suffered since 1976. "I have to speak out." Hana (Eltringham) Whitfield told The Psychiatric Times. "The Scientologists choose the most prominent psychiatrists and the most successful drugs to attack. That's why they attacked Ritalin, and that's why they are now attacking Prozac."
Although trained as a nurse in South Africa, Hana said she didn't realize that she had a mental block toward seeking therapy because of the hatred for psychiatry taught by Hubbard and maintained by his followers. "It took me five years to get over the fear of going to a counselor, therapist, or anyone connected with the psychiatric field," she said. Then, in 1989, she and her husband, Jerry, also a former Scientologist, read Combatting Cult Mind Control by Steven Hassan. "Suddenly we realized that there was such a thing as mind control, that it was practiced by Scientologists and that we had been subjected to it," she said. "It was only then that the 'cult personality' began to fracture."
Once it did, Hana said she gained some frightening insights:
* "Scientology makes people into clones of Hubbard. You can't think except within the parameters he has set.
* "Auditors [Scientology counselors] are unlicensed practitioners who don't know that they are putting people into trance states and using desensitization techniques that appear to work for a time but then the problem recurs or is replaced by another one."
It was physical illness, depression, and suicidal ideation that finally pushed Hana out of Scientology. "I got a terrible headache during an auditing session in 1974 and from then on for 10 years I was almost never without a migraine," she said. According to Scientology, Hana is "Clear 60" — she was the 60th person to reach Hubbard's "nirvana state." Therefore, it was embarrassing to Hubbard that she was having the headaches since "clears" are not supposed to have physical or emotional problems. He even supervised her auditing personally for two years, but the headaches didn't improve. In fact, Hana said, "she was constantly depressed and the last five years constantly suicidal. The headaches were so bad I couldn't work two or three days a week, and even the vibration of a person walking in the hall outside my room made the pain excruciating. I am five feet nine inches tall and I weighed only 125 pounds."
Looking back, Hana said the trance state of the auditing process, which heightens awareness accounts for the headaches she suffered, Hubbard was hypersensitive, too, particularly to smells, she said. "He would fly into rages it he could smell soap in his shirts or if the cleaning girl used a product whose smell irritated him." The trance state also makes people more suggestible and easier to control, Hana said. She and others she knew experienced leaving their bodies and other altered states. "This was what Hubbard wanted us all to attain permanently," she said. "Now I'm aghast to think about it."
Hana believes that her suicidal ideation resulted from her acceptance of Scientology's doctrines of reincarnation and karma. "If I was experiencing such pain in the present, what was the bad thing from the past that had caused it?" Hana said. "I couldn't find it and it haunted me."
For nearly 20 years, Scientology was her whole life. At one time, Hana said, "I was in charge of a whole block of international affairs." But in 1981 she made a decision to leave: "I decided 'if I don't leave while I know I have to, I won't make it.' I knew I had to get away so I could think." It still took three years for her to make the final break.
Nine months ago, Hana began counseling with a social worker from the Cult Clinic at Jewish Family Services in Los Angeles who recommended that she ask her physician for an antidepressant. The endocrinologist she had been seeing for migraine headaches prescribed fluoxetine. Hana said she feels calm for the first time in years. "I can think more clearly now, my memory is coming back, I can assess situations and reach logical conclusions and express my feelings again," she said. "It's taken me nine months to be able to let people know the good Prozac can do. It has changed my life around."
Before beginning counseling and fluoxetine treatment, Hana said, discussing her experiences often triggered so much emotion she would have to pull back. Now she said she can speak freely and help her husband with their work. The couple offers, their services to people who are concerned for a family member who is in Scientology.
There is no coercion or kidnapping involved, Hana said. "We just talk with them. And because of our experiences, many see more clearly."
Hana Eltringham was a nurse in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 1965 when she took her first Scientology course on the recommendation of a physician with whom she worked. Her instructors encouraged her to continue, and she moved to England for more advanced training. She came to Los Angeles in 1966 for additional training. "I loved the organization," she said. "What I didn't like was the race that Americans live in."
In 1967, she accepted an opportunity to leave the United States to work personally with L. Ron Hubbard on a "secret project." She was not told where she was going and had to change planes a couple of times in Europe, eventually reaching the Canary Islands and a refurbished cattle ferry called the "Royal Scotsman," where she spent the next eight years. During that time she witnessed Hubbard having innumerable "unpredictable raging, screaming tantrums for the least irritation." At other times, "he would sulk in his cabin for days if a project didn't go well or he didn't think the mechanic had fixed his car properly. He would be petulant, mope and cry and moan.
"I once saw him lift Michael Douglas [another aide] by the shirt neck, shove him against a wall, and scream in his face for five or six minutes." Hana said, "It was uncivilized, a barbaric kind of thing." Despite their fear of Hubbard, however, Hana said both she and other staff members rationalized that his behavior was due to the pressures of wanting to save the world. "We revered him, there's no doubt about it," she said. "I and most of my associates saw him almost as God incarnate."
While Hubbard never made claim to that title, she said, he did claim to be the reincarnation of Buddha in a book he wrote called The Hymn of Asia. In retrospect, she said: "He was a deranged man. He wasn't anywhere near normal."
During those years, she also heard Hubbard rail against psychiatry. "The gist was that psychiatry was intent on destroying Dianetics and Scientology because it was the only practice that could cure people who had been treated by psychiatrists," she said. As a nurse, Hana said she only had four weeks of training on a psychiatric ward, which she found "most unpleasant." She witnessed one patient administered ECT without medication, which left her shaken. "I never saw the positive side of psychiatry, so his [Hubbard's] prejudices fed into my own."
Although they never met while in the Church of Scientology, Hana and Jerry both left the cult in 1984. They met shortly after that, were married in 1985, and together have faced harassment from Scientologists. After he was accused of writing a bomb threat to Sterling Management, a front group for Scientology, Jerry showed investigators papers about the "PC Freakout," a Scientology plot to discredit author Paulette Cooper, who had written a scathing book about the group, accusing her of a similar plot. "As it turned out, the private investigator looking into the matter was a handwriting expert and already knew I hadn't printed the note," he said. Private investigators lured by Scientology still question neighbors, family, and friends. Jerry said he takes their pictures and goes out to talk to them whenever he sees them.
"Hubbard taught them to rule by fear and intimidation using harassment tactics," Hana said of the current Scientology leadership. "The more you speak out and tell the truth, the less they harass you. When they start bothering us we contact the national media."
"[Mental health] is a dirty inhuman rotten field, full of graft, misappropriation, phoney authoritarianism and betrayal. Because it is like this we get a back flash from it. We are the only ones in it who have clean hands and effective technology. So we have no choice but to NOISILY CLEAN IT UP."
— L. Ron Hubbard, quoted in a 1980 "Psych Buster" memo issued by Scientology's CCHR
The Church of Scientology, one of the oldest and certainly the most powerful of the anti-psychiatry groups, has become more public in its attacks on pharmaceuticals and ECT in recent years, while continuing to gather material covertly to use against psychiatry. They may be paying a price for this boldness, however, as two prestigious national publications — first The Wall Street Journal in April and then Time magazine in May — have broken a long silence in the media, carrying critical articles about the damage the organization is doing, both in its hate campaigns and to individuals seeking help for personal problems.
"Scientology is the most dangerous cult out there in terms of its impact on American society," according to Cynthia Kisser, executive director of the Cult Awareness Network (CAN). "It's a terrorist organization." CAN receives so many complaints about Scientology that it is designated as a separate category and, in 1990, ranked second only to the general category of Satanism in the number of complaint calls. "From January to August of 1990 we had 506 phone complaints and 80 write-ins specifically about Scientology," she said. "That doesn't sound like many, but it is for just one specific cult."
Although the group has many "front" organizations that try to hide and downplay their links to Scientology (see sidebar below), the most public anti-psychiatry arm of the group has tried to position itself as a grassroots organization standing up for the mentally ill. Sanford Block, executive director, and Dennis Clarke, president of the church's Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), have become familiar faces on television talk shows, their quotes appearing regularly in major publications. Founded in 1969, the group has been behind some of the most sensationalized attacks on psychiatry, the most recent being directed against Eli Lilly's antidepressant, fluoxetine (Prozac).
"Prozac is a killer psychiatric drug which is destroying thousands of lives," Block said in one of 16 similar 1990 news releases obtained by The Psychiatric Times. "Psychiatrists are making a lot of money turning people psychotic with Prozac and then claiming that these drug reactions are the person's own mental problems," he said. Clarke, a former solar heating salesman, now uses his emotionally charged pitch to sell the public at distorted facts such as this diatribe made on "Donahue" in February about fluoxetine: "...people are killing themselves and making it appear to be accidents. ...It appears to be accidents because the drug is producing in these people an obsessive violent need to kill and to be killed."
According to Edward West, director of corporate communications for Eli Lilly, "The producers of 'Donahue' were apparently duped by the Scientologists into presenting this very biased and outrageous program. This show is only one example of how the media has, for the most part, been manipulated by a highly orchestrated, pervasive, Scientology-inspired, public relations campaign. This campaign is designed to frighten patients away not only from Prozac but from their psychiatrists as well and into the clutches of Scientology."
CCHR uses a variety of tactics to wage its war against psychiatry, sending out press releases, publishing a newsletter, picketing conferences and the stock exchange, and encouraging people to inform them and the FDA of psychiatric abuses and adverse reactions to psychiatric treatment. CCHR news releases may reach many rural Americans without being edited. When Linda White, editor of a small rural newspaper in Virginia, was asked why she had run an unedited Scientology news release, she told The Wall Street Journal that small newspapers don't have the resources to verify information in press releases. All those who read the Smyth County News that week were informed that: "A nationwide warning has been issued on the psychiatric antidepressant drug Prozac cautioning that the drug can generate intense, violent suicidal thoughts and can push unsuspecting users of the drug to commit murder." It did not include any comments from psychiatrists, Eli Lilly, or the Food and Drug Administration.
"I'd never heard of this group, the Citizens Commission on Human Rights, and I didn't know they were associated with Scientology until I read The Wall Street Journal story," White said. "I never got any response from readers for our story, but right after The Wall Street Journal article ran, they (CCHR) contacted me and asked if they could send me some information. Two days later I received a three-inch stack of information by Federal Express. It must have cost them a lot."
CCHR keeps close tabs on what is reported on psychiatry in the media. When Newsweek touted Prozac as a new wonder drug last year, CCHR International sent a telex to its local offices encouraging them to flood the magazine with letters condemning the "promotion of such barbarism. This is a declaration of war!" Once the small Teicher study was published in February 1990 on the intense suicidal ideation observed in six patients taking Prozac, lawsuits were filed using the "Prozac defense," saying the drug made people kill themselves and/or others. CCHR stepped up its attack, organizing the national "Prozac Survivors Support Group" in which depressed patients who have taken fluoxetine are encouraged to blame the drug for any suicidal or homicidal ideation or actions they might experience. (See May TPT). They enclosed FDA adverse reaction forms in their mailing, encouraging people to report their symptoms to the FDA.
In March a local Chicago television station alerted viewers that picketers at the trade center who were urging people not to buy stock in pharmaceutical companies were actually Scientologists from CCHR. And in April, The Wall Street Journal reported that Lilly's share of the antidepressant market had dropped from 25 to 21 percent.
ECT, another long-term CCHR target, is getting headlines in San Francisco where CCHR and other antipsychiatry factions triggered hearings to tighten restrictions on its use in that city. On April 30 the California Assembly's Public Safety Committee passed AB 1817 out of committee without the provision (lobbied for by CCHR) that any voluntary or involuntary patient could refuse ECT treatment, even if ordered by the court. The bill would make appointment of a patient's rights advocate mandatory, even over the patient's objects.
In a prior court certified declaration. Clarke testified as to CCHR's position: "ECT 'works' by causing brain damage, and the resultant memory loss as well as loss of cognitive ability is both random and permanent."
L. Ron Hubbard, founder of Scientology, began expounding his theories about the source and cure of all mental illness in his earliest science fiction articles as well as his first book — Dianetics: 'The Modern Science of Mental Health — still considered Scientology's "bible," according to Louis Jolyon (Jolly) West, M.D., professor and former chair of the psychiatry and biobehavioral department at UCLA. "I think it was related to his own recurrent psychiatric illness, which it appears he first suffered while in the Navy during World War II, although the Navy, quite correctly, never released information on his medical record."
There are, however, public records that support that theory — letters Hubbard wrote to the Veterans Administration in 1947 asking for psychiatric treatment. "Towards the end of my [military] service." Hubbard wrote, "I avoided out of pride any mental examinations, hoping that time would balance a mind which I had even reason to suppose was seriously affected. I cannot account for nor rise above long periods of moroseness and suicidal inclinations, and have newly come to realize that I must first triumph above this before I can hope to rehabilitate myself at all." This and bizarre notations found among his writings, such as "All men are your slaves," and "You can be merciless whenever your will is crossed and you have the right to be merciless," were revealed 40 years later in Los Angeles Superior Court, according to the June 24, 1990, Los Angeles Times.
But somewhere along the line, Hubbard changed his position about psychiatry. In a 1968 executive directive obtained by The Psychiatric Times, Hubbard wrote: "You may not realize it staff member but there is only one small group that has hammered Dianetics and Scientology for 18 years. The press attacks, the public upsets you receive and all those you have received for all your time in Scientology were generated by this one group.
"For 18 years it has poured lies and slander into the press and government agencies. Last year we isolated a dozen men at the top. This year we found the organization these used and all its connections over the world. They are as red as paint. Their former president was a card-carrying Communist and they have four on their Board of Directors. yet they reach into International Finance, Health Ministries, Schools, the press, they even control immigration in many lands".
"Psychiatry and 'Mental Health' was chosen as a vehicle to undermine and destroy the West!"
Hubbard goes on to compare psychiatrists to Russian infiltrators who "select out anyone they wish to kill, get him behind closed doors in an institution and depersonalize or kill him." The "Russians" show up in other Hubbard writings depicting "enemy." West said Hubbard wrote the FBI in the 1950s and asked for protection claiming that the Russians were coming into his room at night to steal information from his sleeping brain to use in the cold war.
Hubbard reportedly died in 1986, but this recent release from CCHR shows how his writings and beliefs have carried on in the new leadership: "Psychiatrists are incapable of curing anyone, and instead do an incredible amount of damage to the people they treat. Often the people who have been harmed by psychiatric drugs and treatments go out and kill or injure other people. This is a very real threat and is a danger to the safety and lives of the children and families in our communities." And another CCHR "study," sent to those who ask for information on the group, lists notorious criminals including Charles Manson and John Hinckley Jr., who shot President Reagan, as only having problems because they had been treated by psychiatrists. "These men were all, at some time prior to the commission of the crimes for which they are infamous, locked up by and treated by psychiatrists. Manson was taking several psychiatric drugs including LSD, as were Hinckley and Chapman (John Lennon's murderer)."
While it may be difficult to accept that people believe such wild accusations. Kisser said it was easy for the charismatic Hubbard to convince the thousands of people in the Scientology cult to believe psychiatry is evil. "It was important for Hubbard to teach people to fear psychiatry," she continued, "because with the kinds of abuses in that group, if you make them afraid of psychiatry, even if they escape the abuser, they won't go to a psychiatrist for help because they believe they are worse abusers. I think that's crucial to Scientologists — that people who leave not go for help and not get well."
West has followed the group's activities since 1950 and has openly spoken and written about its dangerousness. He said of Scientology's current leadership: "Since Hubbard died, I think they have become more dangerous. Hubbard was eccentric, although some of his ideas were brilliant. Now the group listens more to its many lawyers and its PR firms. They try to engage the best law firms so they are not available for the opposition to hire. They have many front organizations. ...Clarke talks convincingly about Ritalin or Prozac. It's baloney."
The new power behind Scientology is believed to be a 31-year-old second-generation Scientologist named David Miscavige. Described as "cunning and ruthless" by those who knew him before they left the organization, Miscavige reportedly was earning commissions toward becoming an auditor by recruiting "raw meat" (new members, in Scientology terms) when he was 12 according to Time magazine. At the same time, Kisser said, he probably knows no other "philosophy" so, in a sense, he is a victim as well as a victimizer.
There are, in fact, many victims of Scientology. The May 6 Time article leads with the suicide of a 24-year-old Russian-studies scholar who jumped from a 10th-floor window clutching $171 "virtually the only money he hadn't yet turned over to the Church of Scientology... ." In the article, his parents blame the church and say Noah Lottick became paranoid after seven months of auditing (Scientology's term for counseling). Five days before his death, he accused his parents of spreading false rumors about him, the article said. His father called a psychiatrist for help, but it was too late for Noah.
Scientologists refused to talk with Time reporter Richard Behar, but Earl Cooley, attorney for the group, interviewed on a local Los Angeles television station on April 29 said, "Mr. Behar is a liar." He also suggested that Behar represented the IRS and was practicing "yellow journalism." Cooley dismissed situations related in interviews by Behar as having never happened, such as that of an elderly woman promised a cure for grief after her husband died and a couple told they had personal problems that auditing could cure, who subsequently spent thousands of dollars for help only to be hounded by Scientologists for more money. Cooley announced on the program that Scientologists planned to file suit against the reporter and Time.
When asked whether people are charged $1,000 for counseling, Church of Scientology president the Rev. Heber Jentzsch, who also appeared on the show, said: "... people contribute to the church. That's how we make an existence, you know? "The "contributions" are required, however, although the language is vague. For example, a price list for its Celebrity Centre services describes the costs as "donations from parishioners," listing "minimum requested donations" along with discounts for members and for advance payment.
In the article, Behar quotes Hubbard's 1967 policy letter that all perceived enemies are "fair game" and should be "tricked, sued, or lied to or destroyed." He describes harassment Scientologist challengers have experienced including being "stalked by private eyes, framed for fictional crimes, beaten up, or threatened with death."
This doctrine has been translated into a calculated and often cunning use of public relations and information gathering techniques. Time journalist Behar described his harassment by Scientology in his article, reporting that the Scientologists hired a private eye to do an illegal credit check on him and for five months private investigators contacted family, friends, and neighbors. Behar called Cooley and demanded that the harassment be stopped. Cooley told him he would "look into it."
The Scientologists use public relations and legal systems to try to polish their image or hurt their enemies. Not long after Hubbard died. Scientology hired Hill and Knowlton, a large PR firm, to promote its image as a healthy, family-minded organization. After the Los Angeles Times published a series of investigative articles in 1990, the Scientologists purchased billboards on major freeways and in the city of Los Angeles that carried quotes taken out of context to make it appear that the articles praised the cult. It cost Scientologists $1 million, according to the Time article.
The Cult Awareness Network has also been the subject of hate campaigns, Kisser said. The CCHR recently sent a letter to all readers of its magazine Freedom, urging them to buy a pamphlet that accuses CAN of being antireligious. Kisser said this is only the most recent in a series of smear campaigns in which CCHR has called CAN antiminority, atheist, fundamentalist, and "run by Jews."
The roots of what would become Scientology derive from articles printed in the late 1940s in Astounding Science Fiction, a pulp magazine that paid writer L. Ron Hubbard a penny a word. The origins of Dianetics came out of that first, rather innocent-appearing science fiction article. Jolyon West was a resident at Payne-Whitney in New York with an interest in hypnotism when he read the first edition of Dianetics. He met a physician named J. A. Winter at a talk he attended about hypnotism. In discussing their shared interest, Winter told West that he had written the introduction to Dianetics and that Hubbard knew all about hypnosis. It was clear to West that the counseling or "auditing" described in Hubbard's book used hypnosis. Winter subsequently wrote an article outlining the principles of Dianetics, but it was turned down by both JAMA and the American Journal of Psychiatry.
Winter introduced West to Hubbard on one occasion but West said: "I guess I didn't find the man very memorable. I was more interested in the book which described the auditing technique in which they had preclears — or prereleases if just beginners — count backwards from seven to zero repeatedly until they went into a trance. Although Hubbard denied it was hypnosis, Auditors would do an age regression thing and the subjects would go along with the idea that there was a file clerk in their minds pulling out bad engrams [memories] that needed to be cleared."
In 1952, West completed his residency and became a major at Lackland Air Force base in San Antonio, Texas. Later he examined pilots and other Air Force personnel returning from Korea who had been brainwashed and forced to give false confessions. He continued to do follow-up studies for the Air Force after his discharge in 1956 and never lost interest in the process of brainwashing. Later, West began speaking and writing about cults, but he said Scientologists did not view him as an enemy until he chaired a department of psychiatry — first in Oklahoma for 15 years and then at UCLA for 20 — and became active in the American Psychiatric Association. He served on one APA panel on cults in which every speaker received a three-page letter from Scientologists threatening a major lawsuit if Scientology was mentioned. West was the last to speak and no one had named the group. "I read parts of the letter to the 1,000-plus psychiatrists them and then told any Scientologists in the crowd to pay attention. I said I would like to advise my colleagues that I consider Scientology a cult and L. Ron Hubbard a quack and a fake. I wasn't about to let them intimidate me."
He has since been the brunt of a number of "dirty tricks" and several smear campaigns including one that twisted his antiapartheid trips to South Africa as being pro-apartheid. He even made the cover of Scientology's Freedom magazine as a not very flattering cartoon character. "I was lucky that I was a full-time professor in a big university like UCLA," he reflected. "Others, like Harvard's Jack Clark, who was primarily in private practice, nearly had their lives ruined by the Scientologists."
Scientology sued John G. Clark, M.D., an assistant clinical professor at Harvard Medical School, after he said in testimony before the Vermont legislature that the group was a dangerous and harmful cult. Clark said Scientology's claims against him were groundless and he filed a countersuit. In 1988, Scientologists paid Clark an undisclosed amount to withdraw the suit. Clark also agreed not to criticize the group again.
"No single person or organization can stop the Scientologists," Kisser said, but she added that the recent national media coverage might have offered clue to what will work. "Using the national media to educate and networking among professional groups they go after — mental health, law enforcement, education, social service agencies — that would. If these groups share information, expert witnesses, former Scientology members' testimonies about criminal activity in that organization, I think the group could not stand up to a united legal, ethical stand by organizations."
West also emphasized the importance of educating the public as well as mental health and legal professionals. He called for more judges who, understanding how people's judgment is affected by auditing, would be willing to grant short-term conservatorships for concerned families. He also said lawyers need to file more cases for those who invested and lost their money to Scientologists claiming they could cure them of mental problems.
Scientology must begin to lose legal cases such as these, he said. That would stop them.
The Church of Scientology has long been at war with the mental health field, its biggest financial competitor. Its Citizens Commission on Human Rights, which refers to itself as the "Psych Busters," has focused its most vociferous attacks on some of the most efficacious psychiatric treatments.
Calling psychiatrists "baby druggers" and methylphenidate "a chemical straightjacket," CCHR directly and indirectly contributed to at least 13 lawsuits filed by parents of children taking Ritalin. It also blanketed the country with press releases and interviews in which the group made inaccurate claims and misinterpreted legitimate research on the drug.
Following up on L. Ron Hubbard's particular dislike of electroconvulsive therapy, CCHR has claimed ECT causes permanent brain damage and is forced on patients by "ambitious" psychiatrists. CCHR has picketed conferences, spread inaccurate information about its use and effects, and rallied government officials to support a ban on the treatment. Most recently, CCHR has promoted a campaign in San Francisco to severely limit its use and has lobbied a sympathetic state lawmaker (who introduced legislation a few years ago on Ritalin) to introduce a bill to put further controls on ECT.
Claiming that psychiatrists and Eli Lily are "accomplices to murder" and fluoxetine is a "killer drug", CCHR has encouraged people to submit adverse drug reaction claims to the FDA and bring lawsuits against Eli Lilly and psychiatrists. It has also picketed the stock exchange in an effort to hurt drug companies' profits, started the national "Prozac Survivors Support Group" in an attempt to show popular support for its claims about fluoxetine, and lobbied government officials to take the drug off the market.
A number of organizations holding health care management conferences, operating alcohol and substance abuse detoxification programs, offering school tutorials and essay contests, and organizing a coalition of religions to defend religious freedom in the courts have been found to be affiliated with the Church of Scientology. While the affiliation of some groups such as the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) — whose logo proclaims it has been "investigating and exposing psychiatric violations of human rights since 1969" — have been made public, others have not. When you see the names of these organizations in the future, read "Scientology":
Either the Religious Technology Center (RTC), a nonprofit group, or Author Services, Inc. (ASI), a for-profit group, control every organization in the Scientology network. Administrators in these groups are members of Sea Org who wear navy-like uniforms and take billion-year loyalty oaths.
Celebrity Centre is an organization whose aim is to draw well-known, influential people into Scientology. Several movie stars including Tom Cruise, John Travolta, and Kirstie Alley allow their names to be used as supporters of Scientology programs.
Foundation for the Advancement of Science and Education, Los Angeles, is a nonprofit foundation that attempts to link with scientists across the country in an attempt to legitimize Hubbard's drug and chemical detoxification program and to attract influential leaders from science and education to Scientology. The foundation holds stock in HealthMed, a chain of clinics run by Scientologists with offices in Los Angeles and Sacramento, which administers a detoxification or purification program using a regimen of exercise, excessive sweating, and vitamins, according to an article in the Los Angeles Times.
National Toxics Campaign draws public attention to pollution problems in an effort to draw clients to the purification program. The program is also used in Scientology's 33 Narconon centers in 12 countries for drug and alcohol rehabilitation, and there is a prison version of the program called Criminon. A flyer on Narconon claims that: "in mistreating drug addiction... psychiatry makes billions, destroying millions of lives in the process. ...[Millions] urgently need an upstat place, free of psychiatry's destructive treatments, where they can be fully rehabilitated with 100% Standard Tech and then go on up from there." (The term "upstat," one of many invented by Hubbard, refers to being ethical and productive: down-stat means not producing adequately for the group. The phrase "100% Standard Tech" refers to Hubbard's repeated insistence that everything in Scientology be "done according to the "technology" he devised, otherwise it was "out-tech." "Go on up from there" presumably means going up "The Bridge," or series of auditing sessions, in order to become "clear" of "engrams.") Kirstie Alley is a spokesperson for this organization.
The Concerned Businessmen's Association of America is run by Scientologists, though not otherwise connected to the church of Scientology. This group and The Way to Happiness Foundation distribute to schools a moralistic pamphlet written by Hubbard. They run a national essay contest called "Set a Good Example" and offer $5,000 awards to the top elementary, junior high, and high school winners. School officials contacted said they were not aware of the Scientology affiliation, according to a June 27, 1990, Los Angeles Times article. The program's critics claim it is aimed at initiating children into Scientology.
Applied Scholastics has announced plans to build a 1,000 acre campus to train educators to teach a tutorial program designed by Hubbard and aimed primarily at public schools with high minority enrollment and low standardized testing scores, according to the Los Angeles Times. The program is expensive — $27,000 to train 125 students in one 1990 proposal — and simplistic. A primary solution to test score problems offered in the course is to use a dictionary. Narconon and Criminon as well as Applied Scholastics and Way to Happiness Foundation are administered by ABLE (The Association for Better Living and Education).
WISE (World Institute of Scientology Enterprises) licenses management consulting firm, to teach Hubbard's management technique in seminars to health care workers. Among these companies are:
Sterling Management Systems of Glendale, Calif., which markets primarily to dentists and has been listed for several years by Inc. magazine as one of the fastest growing private companies in the United States.
Singer Consulting of Clearwater, Fla., founded by Scientologist David Singer. He later split the company and claims the current David Singer Enterprises does not use Hubbard philosophy, according to an article in the March 1990 issue of Podiatry. Those who attended earlier courses said they signed up at Flag Service Organization, Scientology's spiritual center in Clearwater. Singer sold part of the original corporation to three Scientologists, who named their consulting firm after themselves — Irons, Marcus, and Valko (IMV), and who do base their seminars on Hubbard's teachings.
Hollander Consultants in Oregon has expanded its market from the Northwest to include Canada and all of the United States.
Uptrends, located in Concord, N.H., targets computer professionals rather than health care providers.
Other groups believed to be connected to Scientology through WISE include investment brokers Southgate Partners, Stockbridge Partners, and Junkyard Partners, as well as Executive Software, Stryker Systems, and several companies owned by the Feshbach Brothers.
The Religions Freedom Crusade has attempted to attract representatives of various mainline religions, convincing them that lawsuits brought against the Church of Scientology constitute a threat to all churches. It advises Scientologists to attend churches and, after the service, compliment the ministers on their sermons and invite them to speak at their church. The strategy also includes making friends with the minister's wife and other members of the congregation and, once in, "to get the ministers to write a notarized affidavit or letter stating that 'Scientology is a bona fide religion.'" It uses Scientology publications Freedom and Crusader to promote its causes.
NCLE (National Commission on Law Enforcement) organizes opposition to INTERPOL which has been investigating Scientology.
The National Coalition of IRS Whistle-Blowers is aimed at uncovering abuses by the IRS, which also has been investigating Scientology and has issued charges that the group owes back taxes. The Citizens for an Alternative Tam System (CATS) campaigns to do away with income tax and the IRS entirely.
Bridge Publications Inc. of Los Angeles, does not publicize that it is founded and controlled by Scientologists. The company has offered "gifts" to book distributors, and a former salesman said he was given a list of booksellers believed to be among those whose sales are used to set The New York Times best seller list and told to promise them that Hubbard's books would "sell well" if they would stock them, according to an article in the June 28, 1990, Los Angeles Times. One major book chain reported receiving books from distributors that already had its sticker an them. It appeared that Hubbard's books were being purchased to run up the number of books sold, then turned over to distributors to be sold again, a spokesman for the book stores said.
New Era Publications of Ann Arbor, Mich., was first listed by Publishers Weekly as having no ties with the Church of Scientology in 1988 when it filed the first of two suits charging copyright violations against two authors quoting unpublished L. Ron Hubbard works. But, in a February 1990 article, the company is listed as affiliated with Scientology.
The Office of Special Affairs at Los Angeles was formerly the Guardian Office, Scientology's investigative and harassment center. Several members of this group, including Hubbard's third wife, Mary Sue, planned retaliation measures including smear campaigns and dirty tricks for individuals and groups, within or outside of Scientology, who were considered "enemies". They eventually were convicted of breaking into and burglarizing an IRS center and Justice Department offices, and 11 scientologists, including Mary Sue, were sentenced to five years in prison. When 134 FBI agents stormed the Los Angeles Guardian offices, they carted off 48,000 documents detailing operations against public and private "enemies" as well as eavesdropping and burglary equipment. It was then that the office was renamed and the group began to hire private detectives to do their investigations, according to an article in the June 24, 1990, Los Angeles Times.
Educational Funding Services, a sham company in Los Angeles, illegally acquired credit reports on a reporter from Time who was doing a story about Scientology. The owner of the mail drop receiving the reports was a private detective hired by a former police officer now working for Scientology, according to an article in the May 6 issue of Time.