Scientology Critical Information Directory

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Are you a victim of Scientology's policy of disconnection? If so, share your story at Scientology - Disconnection hurts.
«No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.» — Article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
«Despite all the pressure - the letters from lawyers, the letters from MPs, the strangers knocking up my family and neighbours - if people from "disconnected" families tell me that Scientology is a cult, that will be reported.» — John Sweeney, BBC reporter in Panorama's "Scientology and me"
«Any PTS who fails to either handle or disconnect from the SP who is making him or her a PTS is, by failing to do so, guilty of a Suppressive Act.» — L. Ron Hubbard, HCOPL of 23 December 1965, "SUPPRESSIVE ACTS"
«For this person may only be audited further if he or she disconnects or handles the Suppressive Person or group to which he or she is connected and can't be sent t the HGC or back to the course either until the status is cleared up.» — L. Ron Hubbard, HCOPL of 5 April 1965, "Handling the Suppressive Person"

Radar (March 17, 2008): "Cult Friction" by John Cook
[...] Finally, after Dallas broke down and told Hill about the secret interrogations, the couple agreed to leave. "We went and stayed at a Travelodge," Hill says. "They showed up the next day with a U-Haul full of our stuff. The guy delivering it told Dallas, 'I'm going to do everything in my power to make sure your family disconnects from you.'" [...]
New Haven Register (February 2008): "Activists decry attempt to quash Cruise video"
[...] A man with a scraggily white beard and wearing a dark hood and sunglasses held a sign that read, “One son, two girls.” Unwilling to give his name, the man said his three children are members of Scientology and cut off relations with him when he left the organization many years ago. [...]
South Coast Today (June 2007): "Saying goodbye to the father he never knew"
[...] Frank, still struggling with life back home, had become involved in Scientology and was planning to move to Los Angeles to be closer to that scene and to explore his art.

Mom wished him luck, and he walked out the door.

And that was a wrap.

No more chance encounters with my mother on city streets, no late-night calls of regret, no tear-stained letters of regret. No surprise appearances at my junior high plays or Little League games. No slow approaches from behind an oak tree at my high school graduation.

Just gone. My father was officially out of my life. [...]

St. Petersburg Times (June 2006): "The unperson" by Robert Farley
Another Scientology policy - called "disconnection" - forbids Scientologists from interacting with a suppressive person. No calls, no letters, no contact.

An SP is a pariah. Anyone who communicates with an SP risks being branded an SP himself.

Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard wrote the policies four decades ago, church leaders say, not as a tool to oust members but to provide those going astray with a mechanism to return to the church's good graces. That aligns with Scientology's tenets of improving communication, strengthening relationships.

But SPs who have felt the sting and other church critics say the suppressive person policy is a sledgehammer to keep marginal members in line - and in the flock.

Whatever Scientology's motivation, its suppressive person policy results in wrenching pain, say a dozen SPs interviewed by the St. Petersburg Times.

Rolling Stone (Feb. 2006): "Inside Scientology" by Janet Reitman

Now twenty-three, Jeffrey lives in a small mountain town more than four hours from Los Angeles. Since his "escape," as he calls it, from the Sea Org, he has not returned to the church. He has never spoken out about his experiences, which he still insists "weren't all that bad." But because he left the Sea Org without permission, he has been declared suppressive. Soon, he believes, his family still in the church will have nothing more to do with him.
"I'm about two seconds away from losing my whole family, and if that story comes out with my stuff in it, I will," wrote a third. "I'm terrified. Please, please, please . . . if it's not too late . . . help me keep my family."

Scientology disconnect policy destroying families

This is one of the worst policies of Scientology that their deceased founder L. Ron Hubbard made up. To "disconnect" means cutting off all communication. Between parents and children, or husband and wife. Regardless what bond one had previously. Scientology does this under a pretext of helping them. In fact it is more a means to keep members ignorant of outside interference/information, which could result in revenue loss for the organization when members would leave because of gaining new perspectives with information previously withheld to them.

Jon Atack: "The Total Freedom Trap: Scientology, Dianetics And L. Ron Hubbard - Ethics"

Scientologists who associate with anyone deemed an SP are termed "Potential Trouble Sources", and forbidden further auditing or training. Indeed, Scientologists can be ordered to cease communication with, or "disconnect" from, anyone considered unfriendly by the Church of Scientology.

"Disconnection" is virtually identical to the "shunning" practised by certain extreme fundamentalist groups.

Wikipedia: Disconnection

Disconnection is the Scientologist practice of severing ties between a Church of Scientology member and the friends, colleagues, and family members who disapprove of, or criticize Scientology practices; that is, "sources of disinformation (entheta)", or Potential Trouble Sources (PTS), or Suppressive Persons (SP), that interfere with their progress in the organization. The practice was said to have ended in 1969 and then reinstated in 1983.

Affidavit of Caroline Letkeman (27 April 2001)

5. As any Scientologist in good standing, Ann believes that her spiritual eternity depends upon strict adherence to the policies of Scientology. Those policies include the purging from their relationships anyone who is openly critical of their beliefs. Scientology labels their members "Potential Trouble Source" (PTS) when they have such connections. The PTS persons are dealt with in Scientology's Ethics department and are coercively forced to change their relationship and associations in accordance with Hubbard's policies, before they can continue with their Scientology training and counseling. No "Potential Trouble Source" can receive auditing or training in Scientology, except for that which is designed strictly to alter their PTS situation. In the event that the member is connected with a critic, the only solution for the member is to disconnect from them. If the member fails to disconnect, they are refused Scientology training or auditing. They also run the risk of being labeled a "suppressive person" themselves by reason of non-compliance with Scientology 's disconnection policy regarding critics. L. Ron Hubbard covers many of these policies in his book called Introduction to Scientology Ethics.

Affidavit of Jesse Prince (27 July 1998)

16. Once they had us again behind the barbwire and watched by security, my wife was threatened that if we did not sign certain papers, she would no longer be able to see her father and her sister, who were both in the Sea Organization.

17. This is another coercive power that the organization wields. Like a police state, it can order and enforce family members to alter their relations, and even get them to turn against each other. Monika and I knew that if the organization said she would be kept from her father and sister (by control over them), that she would not again be able to talk to them or see them, let alone visit. This is called "disconnection" in Scientology. We agreed to sign the papers and were able to leave.

Creed J. Pearson: Discovering Scientology’s Greatest Secrets & Why I Was Silenced

I have lost three children that I have loved and nurtured for two decades, as a result of the church’s policy of "disconnection". I am hopeful that this report is passed along and one day reaches them, so that they will learn the truth of why I have been silenced.

The Commission Of Inquiry Into The Hubbard Scientology Organisation In New Zealand

In the O'Donnell case it could almost be said that Scientology "caused" the estrangement between Noel and his parents; it certainly contributed to it in a substantial manner. It also contributed substantially to the estrangement between Erin and her parents. This contribution was made not only in the production of anti-parental attitudes but also by the official act of the organisation in declaring the parents to be suppressive persons. This declaration was followed by the sending 6 disconnecting letters to Mr and Mrs O'Donnell by a large number of Scientologists, of most of whom they had no previous knowledge. It was also followed by the particularly vicious disconnecting letter written by Linklater and already quoted. There were also a suppressive person declaration and disconnecting letters in the Morris case.
The Anderson Report - Chapter 26: Family Discord
The Board heard evidence of broken marriages in which one partner was a scientologist and in which scientology was at least a contributing factor. This was not because scientology has as a goal the breaking up of marriages where one party is not a scientologist, but rather because, as one witness put it, if a person who was scientology-orientated had a spouse who was not scientology-orientated and was anti-scientology, and on that account there was no chance of reconciliation and no prospect of getting the non-conforming spouse into scientology, then the scientology spouse would be advised to consider giving up the marriage.

Daily Express (September 1996): "Can we ever truly trust Scientology?"

[...] Jeremy Stevenson, 35, has lost his 30-year-old brother Paul and sister Melissa, 39, to the Scientologists.

His work to warn other families has been rewarded with intimidation and threats of legal action.

"All three of us were deeply affected by my father's death from a heart attack 10 years ago," says Jeremy.

"Its suddenness made it all the more traumatic.

"Two years later, Melissa got mixed up with the Scientologists. She was recruited by the boss of the company she works for, while on a business trip in France.

"When I tried to warn her, she just got angry.

"Melissa has handed over at least UKP40,000 in supposed course fees.

"Her flat is being used by Scientologists and she has had to remortgage her house.

"They use powerful and abusive therapy.

"People are hypnotised by being stared at for hours on end.

"They manipulate every aspect of family relationships. They have told her to stop contacting me." [...]

Declaration of Jonathan Caven-Atack (9 April 1995)

63. Hubbard's "Policy Letter" "Suppressive Acts...", [JCA-115], lists over 100 actions considered "High Crimes" or "Suppressive Acts" by Scientology. The list begins with "murder", making it clear how severely Scientology views the other listed actions. These include: "Public statements against Scientology"; "Testifying hostilely before state or public inquiries"; "Continued membership in a divergent group"; "Continued adherence to a person or group pronounced a suppressive person or group"; "Delivering up the person of a Scientologist without justifiable defense or lawful protest to the demands of civil or criminal law"; "Permitting students to talk to each other ... during course hours"; "to publicly depart Scientology". For committing any of these "high crimes", a Scientologist can be expelled and "declared Suppressive" and his Scientologist friends and family forbidden further communication with him [JCA-2].

Affidavit of Astra Woodcraft (24 January 2001)

28.  I was also in charge of investigating and finding the "Suppressive Person" if a department wasn't producing enough.  I had to make people write up their "overts & withholds" (things they had done that were bad), receive confessionals, do amends, etc.  I had to write a "Suppressive Person" declare on a lady who had already left with permission but then was ordered to receive more confessionals and was having trouble getting a ride to come over and receive them. She was then made to disconnect from family and friends who were in the Sea Org and her husband was ordered to split up from her, but he refused. [...]

38.  We were also made to fill out interrogatories listing out any gifts we received from family members, who we spoke to and anyone we knew who had left the Sea Organization.  Anyone we were talking to, family or friends, who had either left Scientology, gave us gifts or money or tried to get us to take time off, were called  'External Influences" and we were ordered to either handle them or disconnect from them entirely.

Willamette Week (1985): "Scientology on trial"

The threat of "disconnection" from loved ones and friends in the group also makes leaving difficult, said former members who testified at the trial. All had found it necessary to completely sever their ties to active Scientologists, who were forbidden to communicate with the defectors by organization policy.

Jon Atack: "A Piece of Blue Sky - Chapter 2: The Scientology War"

The Suppressive declare was published, and Samuels' wife left him, taking the children with her. She "disconnected" and started divorce proceedings. His children were told he was a "criminal and would probably be going to jail in the near future." Scientologist business associates and friends were ordered to disconnect from him or be declared Suppressive themselves. Even Samuels' stockbroker, who was a Scientologist, was ordered to disconnect, and refused to take instructions to sell stock. As he had been declared, Samuels was told he must leave his sister's house, where he was staying, or she too would be declared Suppressive.

Lawrence Woodcraft (Mar. 2001): "'Los Desaparecidos' of Scientology"

So Scientology, I ask you this: respect people's 1st amendment rights and listen to them. Realize that other large organizations are criticised and that they are able to reform and may end up better for it. Other organization that have split up families have been harsh and cruel military dictatorships. They have enjoyed a reign of terror for a few years and have invariably perished. And finally, let my daughters speak to their mother.

Sueddeutsche Zeitung: "Scientology: a young sect ex-member reports for the first time" by Michaela Haas

Starting in August, Tanya will be going back to school again, two years behind her class. She is on her own, aided by a welfare grant. She only has contact with her grandmother, from whom she has learned that her father does not want anything more to do with her. Tanya wrote him a letter, really only one line, "Since I love him, it's all the same to me what happens." She just does not want to be one of those people who do not say when they love others. She says, "I do not think that he will ever speak with me again."
James McGuigan (January 2008): "An inside view of the Scientology reality tunnel"
My own mother was even ex-communicated recently, her crime was to take her divorce settlement through the legal courts, rather than submit to adjudication by the church's internal chaplain service. I choose not to disconnect from my own mother, but had to leave the church and my own father and sister have "chosen" to disconnect from me (as I am still in contact with my mother).
Jenna Miscavige Hill (January 2008): "Letter to Karin Pouw"
I will suggest however that maybe you should spend the manpower and time of drafting your masterpiece rebuttal — why don't you take the high road for once and put that time towards repairing the families you have destroyed, starting with the family of David Miscavige himself — hell, if Scientology can't keep his family together — then why on earth should anyone believe the Church helps bring families together!
ABC News (1992): "A conversation with David Miscavige" (Excerpt)
Lermanet: "Ida Camburn"
In a few days Henri called me and she was crying. She said, "oh Ida I just got a booklet that the cult printed on you, and it has a pitiful affidavit from your son which I know is a Notice of Disconnection."

Good Times (Oct. 2006): "Scientology" by Christa Martin

Janet remarried again, and in 1994, she received a telephone call from Lisa, who was still in Scientology. Lisa told Janet, using Scientology terminology, that Janet needed to “handle” her freeloader debt and/or return to Scientology, or Lisa would have to “disconnect” (disassociate) from Janet. Janet explained that she would not be returning to Scientology, and Lisa then told her that she was disconnecting forever, and from 1994 to 2004, Janet never heard from her sister.

Gerry Armstrong (Feb. 2004): "Complaint Report"

16. Hubbard and Scientology taught that anyone connected to a Suppressive Person is a “Potential Trouble Source” (“PTS”), so called because he is going to make trouble for the organization. They taught that connection to an SP is the cause of all illness, and that a PTS will get better then get worse because of that connection. A person determined to be PTS was denied auditing and training and removed from certain organization positions until he had “handled” the SP he was connected to or “disconnected” from the SP. Scientology has claimed throughout the past thirty-five years that “disconnection” is not a practice of the organization, but it definitely was and continues to be. [...]

45. In the spring of 1979, on the same day that I was reprieved from the RPF, my wife Terri announced to me that she had been ordered that either she divorce me or she could not continue to be a Messenger for Hubbard. She said that she had chosen Hubbard and that was the end of our relationship. I continued to work on renovating Hubbard’s home, posted as the LRH Renovations In-Charge. In the summer of 1979, I was posted as the D/CO HU SU, the head of Hubbard's “Household Unit” at Gilman. My “juniors” included the LRH Steward, the LRH Carpenter, the LRH Groundsman, the LRH Electrician and the LRH Gear In-Charge, who was responsible for his personal belongings stored on the Gilman property.

Grace Aaron: "Have any of you seen or talked to Zack?"

My name is Grace Aaron.  My husband, Ken, and I were both declared suppressive by the Church of Scientology in the spring of 2000.  Our son, Zachary, was pressured to disconnect from me, his mother, Ken, his father, and Johnny, his brother.  We have had only minimal communication with him since that time.

Xenu TV: "Mary Ford"

On Vickki Ford's birthday, her mother (Mary Ford) sat down to talk about her experiences in Scientology and how the disconnection policy has disrupted their family's lives.

Statement of Vickki Ford Cook: My son George Cook Ford (George Ford)'s Affidavit dated October 18, 2002

We miss you George and love you very much. I do thank you for calling your aunt. She died one week after you talked to her. You made her very happy as she loved you very much.

You will always be the love of my life. Your Mom.

Your conscience or your family

Richard Kipperman, a Class 8 auditor who was the Mission Holder of the Beverly Hills Mission before he was declared suppressive in the early 1980s for no good reason -- probably because he was a good person, tried to get back in good standing because his teenage daughter got into Scientology and she was told to disconnect and she didn't want to so she talked Richard into trying to get into good standing. Well, he went through all the hoops and Richard Valle, the Continental Justice Chief West US just tormented him, caused a tremendous amount of stress for the family and when Richard had completed all the steps he was still denied re-admittance to the group.

Xenu TV: "Vickki Ford"

Vickki has lost her son as a result of Scientology's practice of Disconnection, a policy which has torn apart many families. She will continue to speak out about this heartbreaking practice until she and her son are reunited.

Gary Weber

I was encouraged by the "Ethics Officer" to disconnect from my mother and girlfriend, as they were "antagonistic" to my being in Scientology. I was told that I can't achieve these states of awareness if I remained connected to people who are "suppressive." So of course I did.

Disconnection Letters from Gary Weber's Daughters

Dan Garvin's Brother Disconnects from him

For those new to the scene, that last paragraph is a "disconnection," meaning my brother will not speak to me or have anything more to do with me until I am back in good standing with the Church of Scientology -- which means forever, for the rest of our lives.

"Dear Dad...": Scientology disconnect policy at work

Scientology is the most important thing in my life.  I know without any doubts or reservations that it works.  And I care about my Eternity.  I also care about yours, which is why I urge you to handle this situation before it is too late.

But until you do, I cannot and will not risk my own future. Therefore, until you have been given a clean bill of health from the MAA--are in good standing with the Church, have disconnected from Mayo and his group, and handled whatever Ethics program assigned by the MAA, I cannot continue to be in communication with you in any way.

"Dear Amanda..." by Steve Keller (her dad)

I had known for a long time that our relationship could not survive my custody suit and the criticism of Scientology that entailed, but I had truly expected you to wait until your eighteenth birthday to disconnect from me. In that, I was obviously mistaken.

Fred Lennox Scientology Timeline [of a disconnection]

 Mar. 1, 2002 Jeff Carlson writes to Fred, telling him he must "handle" his sister, Tanya Durni, to stop her from "attacking" the Church of Scientology. This is the cover letter to the PTS Type A declare.
 Mar. 1, 2002 Fred is declared PTS (Potential Trouble Source) Type A because his sister Tanya Durni has made Internet postings critical of Scientology. Fred is ordered to "handle or disconnect".
 Aug. 27, 2002 Fred sends his sister Tanya a disconnection letter.

Affidavit of Mary Tabayoyon (5 March 1994)

5. In July of 73, our son Casavius was born.  He has been in Scientology and he was ever since birth.  He now has disconnected from us due to the fact that we left the Sea Org and are no longer in agreement with several of the tenets of the Sea Org.

Affidavit of Greg Marlowe (12 September 1989)

I was told repeatedly that I must handle or disconnect from my father because he was critical of the group. My association with scientology caused untold strain in my relationship with my family.

Affidavit of Scott Yeager (date unknown)

In 1981 my wife Susan Yeager got acute lymphocytic leukemia. After her 3rd relapse in 1982 she was told by Bruce McKenzie, the Portland mission's ethics officer that I was the cause of her cancer. He told her that I was an SP (Suppressive Person) and she got cancer because she was married to me. Note — I have never been declared an SP by the C.O.S. (Church of Scientology). Bruce told her that the only way she could live was by divorcing me. Several weeks later after getting auditing and being disconnected from me she was very sick and I was able to get her admitted to the City of Hope Hospital where she died in December, 1982.

MacLean's: "Is this the happiest man in the world?" by Wendy Michener

The next day, Mrs. Farrell told her what was wrong with her. Jean, she explained, was a "potential trouble source" who suffered from associating with "suppressive people." To free herself, Mrs. Farrell said, Jean would have to sit down and write a letter to one of her "suppressive" friends, in which she "disconnected" herself. ...

... One clause in it requires you to disconnect from associates, friends or family if the Hubbard Guidance Centre decides such people are "enturbulative." Whatever else that may mean, it certainly includes anyone who is critical of Scientology.

Baden-Wurttemberg State Office for the Protection of the Constitution

7.4.1 "Handling" or Disconnection

The method of dealing with family members demanded by the SO in cases of conflict is in crass contradiction to the values set in Basic Law. Scientologist are supposed to "handle" "antagonistic" family members, meaning those who refuse to accept Scientology. Thus, family members have to be drawn into the SO or left alone. Conflicts and occasional mental stress tests are commented upon with cynicism:

<A Scientologist who through family or other ties is connected to a person who is guilty of suppressive actions is generally a potential source of trouble or a source of trouble. The history of Dianetics and Scientology is full of these.> [102]

If the "antagonistic" family members will not be "handled," the organization requires, as a rule, that connections to the person be cut. The directives permit "ethics officers," <particularly in connection with husbands and wives>, to issue a "Separation Order"). If one of these is issued, the husband and wife, at least for a certain amount of time, are not permitted to have contact with each. [103]

The SO justifies the break this way:

<It is quite similar to how one deals with a criminal. If he does not handle the situation, then society reaches for the only other solution: it 'breaks' the connection of the criminal with society. In other words, it removes him from society and puts him in a prison, (...)> [104]

In case of conflict the values of marriage and family founded in the basic law have no meaningful role for the SO. On the contrary, "failure to handle <or dissociate or disconnect from> a person demonstrably guilty of Suppressive Acts" [105] is listed as a "high crime" in Scientology.

Lawrence Woodcraft (Jun. 2002): "Disconnection, Lies and Video Tape"

Anyway, on mother's day my two daughter's were in a funk. They know that they will never talk to their Mother, Grandmother or Brother again, they don't even know how to contact them. They haven't seen them in nearly two years, since the proverbial hit the fan. When they tried to call them at the Sea Organizations where they work, their calls were not forwarded. They have long since given up any attempt at getting through, as a waste of time.

City of Clearwater Commission Hearing (1982): The Church of Scientology - Day 4, Janie Peterson

He was expelled and declared a Suppressive Person, and a list of people, including his wife and his stepchildren, was issued, stating that these people were called what's called Potential Trouble Sources; in other words, they were connected to Mr. Walters and either they — either had to disconnect from him or they would be also expelled from Scientology. There was a list of about thirteen or fourteen people.

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