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Hearings 'an audit' of sect's founder

Title: Hearings 'an audit' of sect's founder
Date: Saturday, 8 May 1982
Publisher: Clearwater Sun (Florida)
Author: Bill Prescott
Main source: link (97 KiB)

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This week's public hearings on the Church of Scientology is just a case of sect founder L. Ron Hubbard getting a dose of his own medicine, according to one interested spectator.

"This is an auditing session," said George Kelly, who has attended all three days of the hearings. "This is L. Ron Hubbard's auditing session and Michael Flynn is the auditor."

Kelly, a 34-year-old Canadian and ex-Scientologist, based his analysis on his 14-year study of the Church of Scientology and his personal knowledge of the reclusive Hubbard.

Throughout the week, Boston attorney Flynn has presented witnesses and documents he contends prove most of the sect's alleged abuses stem from Hubbard's own personality.

Hubbard's son Ronald Edward DeWolf testified Wednesday and Thursday his father fabricated church versions of his past and most of the supposedly researched material the sect is based on. Other ex-Scientologists expressed disillusionment and outrage about their treatment while in the church.

The process, Kelly said, has been essentially like auditing, the Scientology method of counseling.

"The whole idea of auditing is to bring to light the unknowns that cause aberrant behavior," he said. "This is it."

Kelly said the basic philosophy of most religions foretold the troubles of Hubbard, who has been in hiding at least 10 years.

"As you sow, so shall ye reap," said Kelly. "The cards are on the table now.

"Now it's up to Hubbard to pick'em up."

And in a three-page essay he has given to city commissioners, the press and hearing witnesses, Kelly has asked the question, "L. Ron Hubbard where are you?"

The tall, thin, quick-talking man has been something of a thorn in the side of Clearwater Scientologists since he arrived here two years ago from Ottawa.

Kelly said he was a member of the church in the early 1970s—serving two years on Hubbard's yacht—and was booted out for attempting to convince Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau to join the sect.

After working in Canada for several years and studying Scientology, he said, he came to Clearwater in late 1979 in an attempt to rejoin. But his radical views about what the church should be resulted in another expulsion, he said.

He felt that the escalating prices of church coursework was pricing the organization out of existence and that most of the sect's high-level officials lacked a basic understanding of Scientology.

He sought to reform the church and attempted to communicate his ideas to Hubbard. At the time, church spokesmen said he was a confirmed outcast and wished he would just go away.

"Their level of understanding is so bad they can't explain (church philosophy)," Kelly said. Friday. "If you don't know the notes, you can't play the tune."

Much of Scientology's technology is valuable, he contends, but has been lost by the "insanity" of the leadership.

Since his second expulsion, he said, he has stayed in the Clearwater area working in various business ventures and living with friends.

Kelly said he has watched with interest the developing battle between Scientology and the city. He offered his services to Flynn to act as a witness in the
public hearings but was turned down.

Kelly said he agrees with Flynn the fundamental problem with Scientology is Hubbard, whom he sees as a "pathetic" figure.

The man, he said, is hiding from himself and his responsibility for the alleged abuses of the organization he founded. Hubbard's disappearing act, Kelly said, puts the master at the bottom of the personality rating scale he invented for his followers.

He contended that much of the alleged criminal conduct of the church's Guardian Office, an enforcement arm, was designed "to protect L. Ron Hubbard from his own lies."

That time is over, Kelly said. "LRH has no other options but to confront it," he said. "He can't run away from it any more."