Executive summary:"During the period 1974-1977, I know it was almost impossible to leave the Organization and the only way to leave was to escape. All kinds of threats would be made and an individual would be subject to 'Sec Checks' (Security Checks). I myself was subject to two horrible such 'Sec Checks' where I was deprived of sleep, food, water, and toilet facilities. I was punched, spat upon, threatened, intimidated and completely humiliated as a human being."
[Handwritten notes are initialed "HS" in a circle. -ed.K]
AFFIDAVIT OF HOWARD SCHOMERI, Howard Schomer, hereby state under the pains and penalties of perjury that I have personal knowledge of the following:
1. I first became aware of Scientology in April or May, 1968 while I was living in Los Angeles, California. Shortly thereafter I participated in a "franchise" in Tarzana, California.
2. In late August or September 1970, I joined the Sea Organization (Sea Org), an elite group of Scientologists. In order to join the Sea Org, you had to pledge your support by signing a billion year contract. I joined the Sea org in Los Angeles and was sent to the "American [S]aint Hill Org" (ASHO). I was at ASHO until June of 1971 when I was sent to the Flag Ship for training.
3. I did not, in fact, proceed directly to the Flag Ship "Apollo". I was sent to land base in Tangiers, Morocco, known as the Tours Reception Area (TRC). I remained there for one and one-half months and was then sent to the Apollo, a ship
Dfts Vowned [handwritten: the Operation and Transport Company (OTC)] and operated by L. Ron Hubbard. I remained on board the Apollo from July 1971 through October 1975, when the ship was sold — and we moved to a land base. I was on board the Apollo throughout that period except for the period July 1972 – February 1973 when I was sent to ASHO on a mission. [handwritten: the ship was later sold.]
May 14 1986
"Lea E. Kroil, NP?"
May 14 1986
"Lea E. Kroil, NP?"
4. In October 1975, I left the Apollo for land base in Daytona Beach, California and in December 1975 we moved to Clearwater, Florida where the headquarters for Flag were re-established.
5. "Flag" or headquarters for the Church of Scientology were originally located aboard the Apollo and later transferred to Clearwater when the Apollo was abandoned.
6. I was a member of the Scientology organization from 1968 until December 1982, when I managed to escape. As a member, I held many positions in the Organization. Many of my positions aboard the Apollo were in the upper echelons of the Scientology administration and when I later moved to Clearwater I worked in the FSO Treasury Division which handled all disbursements of funds for operational expenses for the Clearwater base.
7. My tenure on board the Apollo and later in Clearwater overlapped the period that Tonja Burden was in Scientology. I
-2-was familiar with Tonja because I had a young daughter, Valerie, who was also a Commodore Messenger and who was very good friends with Tonja throughout this period.
8. When I first joined Scientology many representations were made to me which I later learned were untrue and outright lies. They included the fact that the Church of Scientology was a law-abiding, non-profit and benevolent organization. The Church was founded by LRH who claimed he was a highly accomplished individual; I was later told that LRH was a war hero, had several degrees from institutions of higher learning, had cured himself of crippling wounds and blindness with his technology. I later learned these were all falsehoods. LRH had developed an elaborate technology and, in order to learn this "technology" or "tech", one had to go through a process known as "auditing" [handwritten: , and "training."]
9. During auditing, a person is told to reveal to his "auditor" all of his innermost personal secrets. The "preclear" (or person undergoing auditing) is connected to an "E Meter" or a galvanic skin response meter which is similar to a primitive lie detector. Through the use of this machine, the veracity of the "preclear's" responses are tested. The "preclear" pays for these sessions, which I did, as well as paying for the sessions of my daughter, Valerie, prior to joining the Sea Org. Each "preclear" is told that the auditing
-3-sessions are strictly confidential and similar to a priest/penitent relationship. The trust in one's auditor and the confidentiality of the sessions was a critical element for me and one which I believe in. I later learned that auditing is not confidential and that frequently members auditing files [handwritten: folders] are culled for sensitive information to be used to blackmail or intimidate a person who threatens the Organization in any way. This includes attempting to leave the Organization. I personally was present when members of the Guardian's Office would "cull" files and look for sensitive information. Many of my B-1 friends related stories of culling auditing files to me.
10. When I first joined the Sea org I was told that we were an elite group or the "creme de la creme". We were the most important members of Scientology, the most dedicated on the planet and, as such, were treated with the "red carpet". I soon learned very differently once I boarded the Apollo. This was the period of time that Tonja Burden was also aboard the Apollo or Flag.
11. It was clear on Flag that everything was controlled and run by LRH, known as the Commodore. His wife, Mary Sue Hubbard (hereinafter referred to as "MSH"), was the Deputy Commodore and, as second in command, her word and orders had the same potency and importance as LRH. MSH also controlled the branch of Scientology known as the Guardian's Office. They were
-4-responsible for most of the criminal activity, intimidation and harassive tactics perpetrated by the Scientology Organization.
12. I quickly learned that the life aboard the ship was run in a very military-like fashion with none of the ceremonies of benevolence that one would expect from a church. At the top of the hierarchy was LRH and every member of the Sea Org worked for his benefit and at his command.
13. The conditions aboard the Apollo were generally deplorable. The [handwritten: most] quarters were cramped and damp. They were roach infested. [handwritten: some] Married couples were assigned to cabins in the aft end of the ship. There was little privacy, the walls were paper thin, and the food was both inadequate and atrocious. By contrast, the berthing areas for LRH and MSH were plush, immaculately clean and stately. Both LRH and MSH were aware of the apparent filthy conditions on board the remainder of the ship. Everyone worked extremely long hours, including the children, and there was little time for sleep and virtually no time for recreation. Conditions for those in the Rehabilitation Projects Force (hereinafter referred to as "RPF") were even worse.
14. When I first boarded the Apollo, I was told that children had to be at least 12 years of age to come on board. My daughter, Valerie, was only 10 and, therefore, I placed her
-5-in the care of another Scientology family. The rule later changed and at age 10 1/2 years, Valerie came aboard the ship in November 1972 when the Cadet Org was formed. At almost the same time, I was transferred to ASHO and, thus, we were further separated until I re-boarded the Apollo in March 1973.
15. When I first joined the Sea Org and later aboard the Apollo, I was told that Valerie would receive an education and that we would remain a close family unit. Valerie received no formal education aboard the Apollo and when we later moved to land base in Clearwater, she was allowed to attend school only because it was mandatory under the laws of the State of Florida.
16. On board the Apollo, Valerie became a Messenger, first for MSH and later a Commodore Messenger for LRH. She became good friends with Tonja Burden since they were both Commodore Messengers. The Messengers served as personal servants for both LRH and MSH. They were all [handwritten: ("all" replaced with "mostly")] young girls who worked very hard and saw to every whim and fancy of LRH and MSH. They would be responsible for every detail in the lives of LRH, including grooming, the running of messages and developing plans to be carried out worldwide. Later at land base, I heard they were involved in the coding and decoding of telexes to the Scientology Organizations and LRH worldwide.
17. While on board the Apollo, we often worked for 12-14 hours a day and longer, if necessary, if our "stats" were
-6-down. The pay for this work was approximately $12 per week. When I later worked for ASI (Author Services, Inc.), I received approximately $160 gross or $125 net a week. From this pay was [handwritten: I had to pay] subtracted money for room, board and medical expenses.
18. We received very little medical or dental care. On board the Apollo, there was never any doctor or dentist.
19. As I previously explained, life in Scientology was military-like and for any infraction of a rule, one could be sent to the EPF or RPF. I spent a large amount of time [handwritten: 3 months] in the RPF and my daughter, Valerie, was in both the EPF and RPF when she was a mere 11 years old. Both the EPF and RPF were like prison. While in the EPF, Valerie was forced to work long hours washing clothes [handwritten: and cleaning cabins]. We barely had a chance to see each other because of the long hours and in order to get any liberty to see Valerie I had to petition MSH.
20. The RPF was even worse than the EPF. The slightest infraction or decrease in productivity could result in a messenger appearing and ordering you to the RPF. The RPF came into existence in January 1974 and all crew aboard the Apollo lived in constant fear of being sent there. While in the RPF I had virtually no time [handwritten: not allowed] to see Valerie since I was working the whole time. [handwritten: , and the rules of the RPF.]
-7-21. Life in the RPF was despicable and degrading. You lost all sense of self-esteem, freedom and human dignity. It was a world unto itself and you felt like a leper or a member of the caste "The Untouchables". You could not speak to other crew members unless you were spoken to and you had to "run" everywhere. The conditions were even worse than on board the regular quarters, damp, cold and, again, roach infested. The food was substandard and members of the RPF only ate after others had eaten. Often there was little leftover food. Members of the RPF were forced to wear black boiler suits. We slept very little everyday and awoke each morning to swab the decks. We were allowed 30 seconds to shower and had to be up and ready in the morning within 15 minutes. There was supposed to be time for study and auditing, but this rarely occurred, [handwritten: except in the RPF where it was the only way to get out, was to complete a training & auditing program given to you.]
22. While on board the Apollo and later in Clearwater, we were trained to lie to customs and government officials. I had first-hand knowledge of this because one of my positions aboard the Apollo from March 1974 to November 1975 was as the equipment, road manager and advance man for the "Apollo Troupe Org" which was an entertainment group, [handwritten: and I dealt first hand with them.]
23. When the Apollo docked in a foreign port, members of the entertainment troupe would perform in the various ports. As advance man, I was specifically told not to disclose that we
-8-were a Scientology ship, but rather told to tell "shore stories". We stated that we were a part of an international management corporation and if confronted with any connection to Scientology, we stated they were merely a client of ours.
24. This deception continued when we moved to land base and first brought property in Clearwater. We moved there under the guise of being "The United Churches of Florida". We never stated we were the Church of Scientology. The land in Florida was bought by a sham corporation, the Southern Land Development Corporation and leased to United Churches of Florida. Later the lies we had perpetrated leaked out and they learned that we were, in fact, the Church of Scientology and had moved there under false pretenses.
25. Once we moved to the land base, I became the head of RAM (Records, Assets and Materiel) at Flag in December of 1975 which was a part of FSO (Flag Service Org). As head of RAM, I was responsible for all insurance [for] buildings [handwritten: + auto, etc.] and banking for the entire Flag Land Base [handwritten: except the FBO & SOR (item?)]. I handled [handwritten: the accounting for] all money disbursements and remained at Flag in Florida from December 1975 to march 1982, when I was sent to ASI (Author Services, Inc.) in Los Angeles, California.
26. As head of treasury and later at ASI, it became readily apparent to me who was controlling all assets for the Church.
-9-All Scientology monies worldwide were controlled by LRH and then second in command MSH while she remained Deputy Commodore. While at ASI, LRH remained in control with Pat and Anne Broeker and then David Miscavige in the chain of command.
27. When I first arrived at Flag in 1975, FSO was an internal part of the Church of Scientology of California (CSC), as were every other Scientology group which were all controlled by LRH. In early 1981, the sham "corporate sort out" occurred to protect the Scientology assets and LRH from investigations by the IRS, FBI or other governmental agencies. This "sort out" was deliberately perpetrated to shield LRH and the enormous assets.
28. New organizations like FSO, CSI, CS Estates Org and CSC [handwritten: existing corp.] were incorporated to hold assets. They were merely sham corporations and were exclusively controlled by LRH through a chain of command. Any management and corporate officers were mere figureheads and each person still reported through the same channels and had no independent decision-making as to the Church's assets.
29. The purpose of the corporate "sort out" was to prevent the government from getting any of the assets. I had many conversations with other top level scientologists, including Mike Rinder, Sam Licciardi, Wendell and Ellen Reynolds and
-10-Jeannie Williamson that we were to hide LRH's assets and we were primarily to shield LRH from "inurement", in other words, from liability for taxes or tax fraud.
30. During my years in Scientology, I became aware of the criminal operations that were going on through the Guardians Office (G.O.) I knew from friends in the G.O., and first-hand, that they had been gathering data and harassing people pursuant to the "Fair Game Doctrine". I knew of specific individuals who had been attacked, including Mayor Cazares of Clearwater.
31. After I escaped from Scientology in December of 1982, I learned about G.O. harassment after a person left the group. I know that anyone could be declared a "suppressive person" and, in fact, even though the Church denies it, I have been called a "suppressive person" by scientologists to my face. I know this makes me subject to the "Fair Game Doctrine" and it is very frightening.
32. During the period 1974-1977, [handwritten: as well as the rest of my tenure in the Sea Org] I know it was almost impossible to leave the Organization and the only [handwritten: sure] way to leave was to escape. All kinds of threats would be made and an individual would be subject to "Sec Checks" (Security Checks). I myself was subject to two horrible such "Sec Checks" where I was deprived of sleep, food, water, and toilet facilities. I was punched, spat upon, threatened, intimidated and completely
-11-humiliated as a human being. In order to leave, people were forced to sign releases against their will as I was. There was no choice in signing the releases because you were [handwritten: threatened to be] imprisoned and threatened with criminal "frame ups" and possible kidnapping.
33. The organization also threatened individuals with massive bills and debts which were all fraudulent. At the time, I did not know that the debts were unenforceable and I was frightened that I could be [handwritten: responsible for these debts] imprisoned if I left Scientology without paying these debts. I, myself, had sent bills to individuals for debts incurred, including a $200,000 bill to Jim Isaacson when I worked at ASI. It was ironic that the Organization could control us through fear by alleging debts which they claimed we had incurred when, in fact, we had worked endless days with little pay and inadequate housing and food. Such was the intimidation and fear they wielded over everyone.
34. All of the policies of harassment, fear, intimidation, threats were all created by LRH who directed the enforcement through MSH and the entire chain of command. Both LRH and MSH were aware of the policies and their perpetration because they, in fact, ordered them into operation and oversaw their completion. These policies were all in operation during Tonja Burden's tenure in Scientology and permeated every aspect of the Organization.