Scientology Critical Information Directory

This site is best viewed using a highly standards-compliant browser

Mary Florence (Flo) Barnett

Flo Barnett was the mother-in-law of David Miscavige.

Declaration of Joyce Stephenson

Flo, in my opinion, took her life because her physical state and impaired memory were intolerable. She believed she would never fully recover and therefore would not be able to regain the OT state because of possible brain damage. Also she could not work or travel or keep her blood pressure under control. Her Sea Org daughters, she felt, hated her because she had left the fold. Her church had deserted her by not handling her case as they constantly assured her they could. She regretted working so much in the past and spending a lot of this hard-earned money on unnecessary auditing.

Fishman's press release on his legal battle

David Miscavige's mother-in-law, Mary Florence "Flo" Barnett, died from four rifle shots, three to the chest and one to the head. Originally classified as a "suicide," upon closer inspection it was determined from the ballistics and the height of Ms. Barnett that the wounds could not have been self-inflicted. Evidence was collected that just one week prior to her death, Ms. Barnett had threatened to sue the Church, and was in contact with David Mayo, a former member who was an avowed enemy of David Miscavige.
 Furthermore, one of David Miscavige's sisters had committed suicide after completing OT VII. Another sister left the church and became a prostitute after starting the OT levels. David Miscavige's own father was once arrested for rape.

Affidavit of Vicki Aznaran (7 March 1994)

11. Flo Barnett's suicide was a scandal within the inner circles of Scientology. This was not due to the fact that she supposedly committed suicide, but due to the fact that she had become a member of a declared. enemy group, David Mayo's Advanced Ability Center. She was receiving auditing and assistance from this group and at the time of her death, possessed a pack of the NED for OTS (secret upper level auditing procedures) which were believed to have come from David Mayo's group. Flo Barnett's membership in this group made her a suppressive person as she was actively "squirreling" and a member of a suppressive group. The fact that David Miscavige was linked to her by familial ties was extremely repugnant to him and to his wife, Michelle Miscavige. David Miscavige's comment upon her death was that "the bitch got what she deserved." His wife Shelly, did not appear to feel any different about it than David. I asked Shelly if she was doing alright since receiving this bad news. She said that personally she was doing just fine and that this was an excellent opportunity to find out where the NED for OTs materials had come from and to use it as leverage against Mayo. She also stated that it was not surprising that this happened to her mother since she had been "squirelling". The circumstances of the deaths of both Flo Barnett and Yvonne Jentzsch are very relevant to the issues in this case, as I understand them to be.

Affidavit of Hana Eltringham Whitfield (8 March 1994)

165. Flo was very depressed after her daughter Shelley, Miscavige's wife, came to visit and ended up screaming at Flo. Flo said, in several of our phone talks, that neither Shelley or Miscavige cared a damn about her, and she was horrified into what monsters Scientology had turned her children. However, she promised to call Shelley again and ask for help.

Flo Barnett Coroner's Report

The decedent is a 52-year-old female who suffered gunshot wounds (3) to the left upper quadrant and one to the head, either as a result of a homicide or a suicide on September 8, 1985.  She was transported from the scene (her residence) to the hospital by Goodhew Ambulance #18 where death was pronounced by Dr. Webb at 2015 hours. There were two suicide notes found in the decedent's bedroom.  The weapon was recovered by LASO. The decedent's husband, at the time of this report, was a suspect due to the number of times the decedent was shot.

Some background on Flo Barnett's death

Here is a repost of some materials I have on the death of Flo Barnett.