Thursday, 7 March 2013

Cult Awareness and Education Must be Taught

On this day...

Cult awareness and education must be taught
Date: Sunday, 7 March 1993
Publisher: Daily News
Author: Cynthia Kisser

THE drama of David Koresh that has been played on the front pages of newspapers and on the televisions in living rooms across America has stirred many troublesome questions about cults.

Groups such as Koresh's Branch Davidians are certainly not a new phenomenon. And the real story is not that this violence has occurred, but that there are many other groups in society that could turn to such dangerous behavior.

It is true, however, that there are some groups that are on the surface odd or different but are not really abusive to its members. These groups reflect the diversity of thought and religious freedoms that make America great.

But the dangerous cults are the ones that must be addressed. Despite its continuing presence, the cult problem is little understood, little studied and troublesome to contemplate. For us to acknowledge the problem, we must acknowledge our vulnerabilities and come to grips with constitutional and human rights issues.

Many cults were formed by leaders with a lust for power, a willingness to cross the bounds of ethical and moral behavior to satisfy that lust, and a knowledge of how to use influence techniques (some call them mind-control techniques) to control others in a bid to satisfy that lust.

Lacking an awareness of how mind-control techniques work, millions of Americans tragically are swept into cults that these ruthless leaders build. Some victims are financially exploited. Other times there is physical control that is the cornerstone around which true destructive cults create their deceptive paradise.

Many people may be unaware of the impact these destructive cults have on American society. The cost to taxpayers of dealing with the problem is high. The state of Oregon spent close to a million dollars on medical care, special education and counseling for the 51 children removed from the Ecclesia commune in 1988, which saw the beating death of a 7-year-old child. Taxpayer dollars underwrote the criminal trial against the group's leaders — the largest mass slavery trial ever brought in the history of the United States.

Cults also hurt society when their members undermine the democratic process by voting in solid blocks or by providing free volunteer labor to campaigns in return for favors from candidates. The larger, wealthier cults influence the media's ability to provide news and information to its audience, sometimes even purchasing newspapers, radio stations, magazines, and cable networks themselves and subtly injecting propaganda into their news coverage and features.

Cults compete unfairly against legitimate businesses, having members work long hours at low wages and avoiding payment of their fair share in Social Security and federal withholding taxes. In 1985, Tony Alamo of the Alamo Christian Foundation was assessed $7.9 million in taxes for operating businesses as religious enterprises where his followers worked in sweatshop conditions for as little as $20 a week.

Ultimately, though, the cost to American society of refusing to come to grips with the cult problem is far greater than the millions in dollars that can be calculated on paper. For every child that suffered and endured physical and emotional in the Jonestown, Guyana, massacre in 1978 — where 913 people died under the orders of cult leader Jim Jones — dozens more have suffered in other groups.

We owe it to these children to start educating the public on what the phenomenon is truly about. It can be identified, and it can be addressed. If we can educate about the dangers of drugs, AIDS and gangs, we can provide important information about cults.

We can teach individuals how to think critically and how to ask the right questions so that they know what they're truly joining. We can teach our young people not to let any organization gain control of their time or convince them to make any major changes in life without first discussing their decision with someone they trust and respect.

We can encourage them to research the background of the leadership and the history of any group that promises them attractive-sounding opportunities.

Families that have a loved one caught up in a destructive cult can gain support and insight from learning about the experiences of other former cult members. These families also can benefit from understanding the dynamics of mind control so they can learn how to maintain contact with and express their love for their relatives in ways that may eventually convince these cult members that there is a worthwhile life to be had outside of the cult.

One can measure the cost of the cult problem in America by the loss of bright and curious minds of individuals who could benefit society. For those caught up directly in destructive groups and for their relatives, cults violate constitutional rights, destroy the family and exploit the weak. Cults are, ultimately, a human rights problem.

Cynthia Kisser is executive director of the Cult Awareness Network, a Chicago-based national nonprofit educational organization, which was incorporated after the Jonestown tragedy. The group provides help to former cult members and families victimized by such groups.

This is what deceiving Scientologists do in the name of religion...

On this same day...

I was introduced to Scientology in October, 1977, when I went to the New York Church to take a "Communications Course".

The "registrar" (a euphemism for salesman) was Jerry Indursky. He told me that my problem was a lack of assertiveness, that I did not speak up for myself. Indursky promised me Scientology would remedy that problem and I would emerge from the Communications Course a happier, more successful person because I could stand up for myself. I also learned that every person who expresses an interest in the Communications Course or takes the "Personality Test" is told that he or she suffers from some major problem. Scientologists call it a "ruin". Every person, whether he has a problem or not is led to believe his "ruin" can be solved after successfully completing the Communications Course.

This standard procedure is ordered and authorized by Hubbard and routinely practiced by Scientologists in the "Dissemination Drill". The Dissemination Drill designed by Hubbard is the procedure or process where the "registrar" "finds the public person's ruin" and tells him Scientology can handle this "ruin". Once the person registers for the Communications Course, Scientology convinces the person that additional courses of auditing are necessary. This is emphasized as being initially important. Scientologists are directed to sell courses, books or materials to the person, convince the person he needs auditing to solve his problems and if he can't afford auditing or has no money for courses or books, convince the person to join staff and work for Scientology. Scientology promises the person he will earn a substantial salary but that is false. The person works 50-60 hours a week and earns only pennies per hour. This practice is universally applied to every Scientology Church.

My "registrar" introduced me to the Communications Course supervisor. He interviewed me for some time and asked what my intentions were concerning Scientology. When I told him that I doubted the course would benefit me in any manner, he became annoyed. Scientology promised that the Communications Course would: improve my career, improve my relationship with people, provide the self-confidence and assertiveness I lacked and a host of other benefits.

During the Communications Course, Scientologists from the New York Church began recruiting me for a position as a staff member. My "registrar", Jerry, made a point of training me to do the "Dissemination Drill" so I could sell the Communications Course to others and entice them to join the Church. My course supervisor, Bart Dobin, then approached me and told me I should join staff. I had no intention of becoming a staff member. My career as a fashion designer required a full-time commitment. At that time, I was an assistant designer and shop manager for a hat manufacturer. I had practically completed my training at the Fashion Institute of Technology, and in the evenings I studied and practiced ballet. Ballet had been a therapeutic release from such demanding schedule and served as a means of self expression. After I joined Scientology I never had the time money or effort to pursue my ballet lessons. Considering all my activities, I told the New York Scientologists that I could not work 50-60 hours per week (a staff member is required to work at least 50 hours per week).

The Scientologists would not accept that as an answer. My course supervisor, the woman in charge of personnel the Executive Director Deputy Executive Director and one or two other people tried to convince me to join staff. Next, they introduced me to a notorious flirt. He walked me around the block a few times and attempted to convince me to join staff. I think the eventual goal was the "no-clothes-close" whore you convince the customer in bed. (That is a well-known tactic for Scientology registrars.)

During this period I visited my two brothers at the Boston Church. They recruited me for staff in Boston and I agreed to join after I graduated from school. They considered this materialistic and middle class and the various personnel officers and registrars attempted to convince me to drop school and come to Boston immediately.

I eventually completed the Communications Course and was brought to the registrar. Scientologists told me that the "registrar was "clear". (Supposedly a state that one reaches after many hours of auditing.) She explained the various levels of awareness attainable through Scientology (known as the Grade Chart). There was a large "map" of this journey on the wall behind her and she explained she had gone all the way to the top. She said once reaching the top an individual would receive many benefits and be free of all problems. 

An individual who reached the top, such as herself, would control events, such as trains arriving late when she was late; her mother sending her things she wanted without having to ask for them; and other examples of control. These promises sounded very attractive so I signed up for the "Hubbard Qualified Scientologist Course". I paid $200.00 for it.

Several weeks later I met a Sea Org member who invited me to her office to "talk". One half hour into the interview she told me she was recruiting me for the Sea Org in New York. Through the use of several Sea Org members and the "Big League Sales Closing Technique" (the bible of Scientology registrars and recruiters), the Sea Org members explained the world would come to an end if I didn't join. Surrounded by Sea Org members, while at a restaurant in New York, I signed a "billion year" contract.

At this point I quit my job, subleased my apartment, quit school and moved into the Church. Scientologists assigned me a bunk in a small room, the women's dorm which housed twenty metal army bunks stacked throughout the room. Scientologists placed me in the "E.P.F." (Estates Project Force). E.P.F. served as a "forced labor camp" and E.P.F.ers served as part of a manual labor force.

In the E.P.F. I worked from 7:00 A.M. through 1:00 - 2:00 A.M. without a break. I cooked, washed dishes pots and pans and served as a steward. In the evening hours I cared for the children of other Sea Org Members, which required watching 12-15 small children that were confined to a very small room. The quarters, kitchens, bathrooms and especially the nursery were filthy. Three married couples and two children lived in one of the bedrooms of the house, with blankets and fiberboard used as partial dividers.

The week I arrived at the Sea Org, a flu epidemic crippled the entire crew. Someone determined the kitchen area was contaminated and an order was issued requiring the entire kitchen to be disinfected. Myself and three individuals worked around the clock cleaning and scrubbing the floors. The kitchen was roach infested and filthy. I continued my work serving as a kitchen "hand", cleaning and caring for the children and shopping and serving the meals for about six months I usually received about $150.00 to $200.00 per week to shop for 60 people.

Scientology transferred me from the Sea Org to the SO 1 Unit. This is the unit that handles Hubbard's personal mail. According to his "Standing Order No 1" he receives all mail and answers it personally. This is a blatant lie. I was one of the people who answered his mail, others forged his signature. We received mail approximately 300 pieces per week from all over the world. No one outside this Unit, except the Commodores Messenger Org, (C.M.O. is Hubbard's corp of personal servants), is aware of this practice. Everyone believes Hubbard's representation, that he answers his mail personally.

After six months in the SO 1 Unit, Scientology transferred me to the Executive Training Department. I began training in November, 1978 studying the "Organization Executive Course" and their high level Scientology Training Courses. This lasted approximately two months when Hubbard decided we had enough training (although we had not completed half of the curriculum) and orderd that we all be sent to his location. As it turned out, I was the only person qualified for security clearance. I was asked to write a "Life History". This required recording every intimate or personal experience in explicit detail and Scientologists directed me to include the most personal and confidential facts. Later, I learned that these files were used to blackmail opponents to Scientology.

Around Christmas of 1978 I decided to visit my family in New Jersey. Scientologists programmed the responses I was permitted to give if a public person should inquire about Scientology. In fact, Scientologists carefully drilled me for about two weeks, before I left for New Jersey, on what I should say and how I should behave with my parents. This occurred, because my parents had threatened to "deprogram me". (Incidentally, The Flag Guardian's Office (Flag G.O.) is in possession of a great deal of data concerning brainwashing and deprogramming and I was thoroughly briefed on methods used and what to expect from my parents).

When I returned from my Christmas vacation I was informed that I would be going where Hubbard was, the "Special Unit" (S.U.), a code name for wherever Hubbard is residing. After Hubbard left Clearwater in 1976, a base was established in La Quinta, near Indio, California. Gradually more properties were purchased as the various activities expanded.

I was sent to S.U. towards the end of January, 1979. I had been on staff at Flag (Clearwater, Florida) and after extensive security checking, clearances, bonds and oaths of silence, I was put on the plane to Los Angeles. Actually the route from Flag to S.U. is very complicated and circuitous to avoid being followed. It involves changing planes, code names drops and passwords. The procedure changes every so often.

When I first arrived at S.U., it was still located in Indio. I was told that we owned another property about 100 miles south of Indio but I wasn't told the actual location until much later. At that time, Indio was known as "Winter Headquarters" and Gilman was known as "Summer Headquarters".

In January of 1979, Scientology transferred me to the S.U. in La Quinta, California. I was assigned to the position of Marketing Secretary. My position required extensive familiarity with all the internal networks and avenues of communication that control the enterprise denoted Scientology. After approximately two months in La Quinta, we received adverse publicity which forced us to move to Gilman Hot Springs. Apparently, a married couple, the Hartwells, became dissatisfied with Scientology and reported their experiences to the media and press. Until this time Hubbard had successfully concealed the Scientology operation at La Quinta. Once exposed by the Hartwells, he feared local animosity and fled to Gilman Hot Springs.

Hubbard perpetrated another fraud. Scientology purchased golf course and surrounding buildings. Hubbard disguised his operation at Gilman Hot Springs as the "Hoag Scholarship Foundation". The idea was to convince local businessmen that lawyer, Hoag, owned the place and that he conducted a program designed to help young people learn trades and skills. Hubbard's purpose was to conceal from public scrutiny the management level of Scientology.

In Gilman Hot Springs, it was my job to read every proposed policy, program or project involving every phase of Scientology management and operation. This included the basic operating procedure of every Scientology Organization in the world. I read telexes received from Scientology Churches located throughout the United States and the world. Although Hubbard resigned as figurehead of Scientology, he actively controls the operation from Gilman Hot Springs, California. He was doing so when I left in December of 1979.

In California, I served Hubbard and Scientology in the following capacities: Marketing Secretary - my duty was to ascertain what the public wanted and then wrap the public's needs in the Scientology wrapper and disseminate programs and courses that purported to offer what the public wanted; International Issue Authority - all proposed policies, executive personnel transfers and new programs were reviewed by me. As International Issue Authority, Hubbard then gave final approval or vetoed the program or policy. To effectively execute these duties, I read many telexes and confidential papers and files. I communicated regulary with Hubbard, and as a result learned the following: Hubbard was concerned solely with making money! He received telexes every Thursday evening across the world. These telexes reported the weekly statistics (money collected from book sales, course sales, collection of freeloader debts, etc. and other facts) from every Org in the world. If the sales figures dropped below a certain level Hubbard became furious. On one occasion, when sales fell below $500,000 per week in Clearwater, Florida, he ordered a rice and beans diet three times daily for the entire staff. No one was permitted to break this order. Finally, sales jumped to $1,000,000 per week and Hubbard permitted the staff to return to another meal plan.
Hubbard initiated every sales gimmick imaginable. He ordered to develop sales gimmicks to market Scientology more effectively. Hubbard ordered the following sales gimmicks:
Survey the public and discover what the public needs. When you know what they want, tell them Scientology will fulfill that need. Hammer that in. Never sell them anything unless you find out what they want.

Take a current Scientology course and break it into several parts. Then sell each part for more than the cost of the original course. If we expand a course without adding any substance, we will rake more money. We will triple the revenue without offering anything more.

It is the "oldest trick" in the book to cut a course in two, make each more expensive than the original. That way we charge more without giving more.

Hubbard never talked about Scientology as a religion. I was informed that Scientology had to be represented as a religion to meet certain legal requirements. Hubbard made many derogatory comments about people who believed they had been to other planets and this belief was an integral aspect of what he publicly preached. All Hubbard ever talked about was making money. I can attest to the fact that Scientology was run as a money making enterprise. There was no other governing policy and no other motive for our actions at the international level. "Make Money" was the only order we actually received from Hubbard.

As a result of my two years in Scientology, serving as an Executive on the International Management level, I learned th following facts:

Approximately twenty years ago, the Church began incorporation of the various smaller units (Orgs) and other Scientologists. The G.O. serves a broader function gathering data on all opponents of Scientology and conducting covert operations designed to intimidate, harass and destroy critics. Hubbard controls the G.O. at the International Management Level.


A third Hubbard representative present in every Org is the Flag Representative. This person serves Flag Headquarters in Florida and oversees the day to day operation of all the orgs in every city and country throughout the world. The Flag Rep ensures that the local orgs implement and execute Hubbard's policies and programs as disseminated through the various networks. The Flag Rep may assume direct control over the Commanding Officer (C.O.) who actually serves as a figurehead.

All policies and orders within Scientology are disseminated from the "International Board". The "International Board" is fictitious title. It does not exist. Orders and policy are initiated by Hubbard or by his Executive personnel and approved by him. Hubbard created the "Watch Dog Committee" to approve all policy and programs. This Committee, composed of individuals from his personal messenger corps, ostensibly approve and initiate policy. However, Hubbard must review and approve or veto all policy and programs designed by any branches or divisions. The Church of Scientology of California is supposed to be the parent organization. Scientology itself is structured around several networks. All orders and communications are filtered down from the international level through the various executives of the networks to local churches and staff members. All policy, bulletins and procedure are disseminated in this manner without exception. There is an absolute order issued by Hubbard that under no circumstances may an individual Church create or initiate policy or programs. Hubbard through the complex network he designed controls the operation of the entire enterprise.


Hubbard created the Commodores Messenger Org (C.M.O.) which essentially serves as his corps of personal servants and messengers. They execute his orders. Every Church throughout the world contains a unit designated the office of L.R.H. Hubbard's representative in this office can exercise absolute control of the Org and execute any command Hubbard issues. This representative can control the Commanding Officer (C.O.) who serves as the head of an Org.


A second Hubbard representative present in local orgs is the Guardian's Office. The Guardian's Office operates as the internal police force and investigates and disciplines errant executive personnel. This Committee is another layer in the complex structure that further isolates Hubbard from public scrutiny. Hubbard, through the Watch Dog Committee and the Commodore Messenger Org, initiates and disseminates all Scientology policy and programs.

All churches, organizations and franchises (missions) are subject to the orders of Hubbard disseminated through the Commodore Messenger Org (C.M.O.) and the Watch Dog Committee. These Churches and missions must abide by the Policy Letters written or approved by Hubbard. Any church or mission that fails to follow the policy is labeled "off policy" and can lose its license or be subjected to severe discipline. This command line is absolute and any deviations from current policy are severely penalized. No one is permitted to set arbitrary rules or policies locally. Every single phase of Scientology's activity is very closely monitored and controlled by Hubbard through the various covers. This includes the Guardian's Office, World Institute of Scientology Enterprises (WISE), and the Mission Office World Wide. Any statements to the contrary are false. During the period from July 1, 1979 to December 10, 1979, I saw every single order, policy and program that had to do with Scientology management ranging from the international level (Mission offices at World Wide and in the United States) to every local Church across the the world. Not one program or order could be effected without approval at my level. Hubbard requires a uniform structural arrangement within each Church which facilitates control.

I learned about the operation of the typical org by working at the Sea Org in New York and then by initiating, approving and disseminating policies and programs that are implemented at the local level. Every Scientology group across the world must attract the public and sell products to survive. The marketing of Scientology is uniformly and religiously pursued as follows:

There are specific policies that discuss the "Personality Test", which is designed to attract the public, offering a free personality evaluation. The public person takes the personality test. A Scientologist then reviews the results and points out certain character deficiencies. The results are plotted on a graph which illustrates and highlights the persons deficiencies. The person is then told he is in trouble and desperately needs the "Communications Course" or "Auditing" to become more communicative, honest, appreciative, or the standard benefits that one purportedly receives. The idea is to get the person so "caved in" that he will do anything to solve his seemingly worthless personality. He is told his faults are ruining his life ("ruin") and Scientology can "handle" these problems. High pressure closing techniques are implemented to force the person to sign up for his first "Communications Course".

During the Communication Course, Scientologists assess the financial status of the recruit. If the person can afford additional courses, Scientology promotes various courses. If the person appears fairly affluent, Scientology sells auditing and entices the person with many outrageously false promises.
Scientology "registrars" are highly trained in removing the public's "considerations" about "donating" money to the Church in return for auditing or training. Scientologists are very adept at swinging loans and mortgages, and in fact many of them are well acquainted with other Scientologists who run loan-sharking businesses (loans offered for the purpose of helping Scientologists buy auditing and training).
Scientology's growth and performance is measured by "statistics". An individual's performance within Scientology is noted on a system of points. If a person within Scientology does not meet his or her assigned quota he faces punishment. The pressure to make money and recruit additional staff is so enormous that many recruiters and registrars go to unbelievable extremes to achieve their quotas and keep their "statistics" up.

Scientology churches run on two main statistics: Gross Income and Paid Completions. The executive director of any church is ultimately responsible for these two statistics pushes his staff to raise them each week. The emphasis is to make money. The first policy disseminated by Hubbard, through the Commodore Messenger Org, continually reiterated and reinforced, stated "make money, money and more money".

Hubbard imposed a safeguard which enabled him to take immediate control of an Org or mission if their revenues fell below a certain level. Two networks, the G.O. and the Finance Banking Offices assumed command of the Org and provided Hubbard with a direct line of communication and control until the Org revenues increased. This safeguard was called a "financial dictatorship".

Each has a "Reserve Account". Orgs deposit money weekly but are prohibited from using these funds. These "Reserve Accounts" are controlled by Hubbard through International Management in California. Hubbard has appointed key personnel as signatories and only they can withdraw the funds from reserve accounts. Every Org deposits 10% of their gross income in the "reserve account".

Distribution of the remaining gross income is as follows: Flag management receives 10%; Guardian's Office World Wide defense fund receives 15% and the remaining funds are used to run the local orgs. I once read a manuscript where Hubbard said the orgs would never be permitted to use the money in the "reserve accounts".

A prevalent practice of Scientologists is denoted "Crime Culling". Crime culling is the systematic perusal of "auditing files" and the extraction of confidential disclosures made during auditing sessions. The purpose is to glean embarassing, humiliating or criminal disclosures. Then the person who revealed these facts is threatened if he or she attempts to criticize Scientology. In California, I participated in this practice. Max Goodman, Director of Inspections and Reports, handed me a file and told me "to cull it" for any potentially embarassing information. I was told to look for "homosexual tendencies, child abuse, crimes, any strange relationship with his family or anything the guy would not want known." I reviewed the file and elicited many embarassing and humiliating facts. My supervisor told me this information to keep John Doe silent and prevent him from revealing anything about Scientology. Generally, this practice is conducted by the G.O., however, my supervisor assigned me to "crime culling" as a punishment for some transgression committed against Scientology

The foregoing serves only as a summary of some facts and practices known to me concerning the operations of Scientology. It does not contain a detailed history of abuses I suffered or promises made to me by Scientology.

This affidavit is signed under the pains and penalties of perjury. Those facts of which I have personal knowledge are true. Those facts of which I do not have personal knowledge, I believe to be true. Since this affidavit covers approximately two (2) years, many of the dates set forth herein may not be precisely accurate but I have stated my best memory as to said dates.

Dated: March 7th, 1980

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