Wednesday, 11 September 2013

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Pastor slain before eyes of horrified followers

Seattle Post Intelligencer
11 September 1963


The Rev. William J. Fisk, 33, Seattle head of a religious mystical church, was shot to death last night before several horrified members of his congregation.

The Rev. Mr. Fisk died almost instantly from a bullet fired by a man who interrupted the churchman as he stood conducting a special class in the downtown headquarters of the Church of Scientology of Washington State, 1112½-Fourth Avenue.

A SINGLE SHOT, fired from a .380 automatic, cut short the Rev. Mr. Fisk's pleas to summon a police officer.

"This man is going to shoot me . . . go get a cop." Fisk, who is known in his religion as an auditor, said, as soon as the man appeared in the building, "Please, someone get a cop," he urged again.

BEFORE the startled congregation members could obey, the man casually pulled a gun from his pocket, loaded it with a clip from another pocket and then fired.

The Rev. Mr. Fisk turned as the gunman pulled the trigger, the bullet entering the chest just below the right armpit. He fell without a word. The gunman calmly walked out the front door.

The Rev. Mr. Fisk was pronounced dead on arrival at King County Hospital a few minutes after the shooting, which occurred just before 9:30 p.m.

LITTLE MORE than an hour later, a man identified as Russell Edward Johnson, 36, of 3832 NE 91st Street, a carpenter and building contractor, surrendered at police headquarters with an attorney. He was booked without charge in City Jail. Detectives said they has been looking for Johnson since a few minutes after the slaying.

On the advice of counsel, Johnson declined to give officers a statement. However, as he entered headquarters, he asked:

"Is the guy dead?"

POLICE, delving into the shooting, said the Rev. Mr. Fisk was described as an ordained minister in the Church of Scientology, which is a little know but worldwide organization. It has extensive offices in Los Angeles, Washington D.C. as well as Seattle. The home church is thought to be in England.

The Rev, Mr. Fisk's wife, Donna, is believed to be in England. The couple lived at an apartment at 1022 Union Street but neighbors there said they had not lived there for the past two or three months.

A PAMPHLET, found by police at the scene of the slaying, described the religion as: "Scientology is the study of the Human Spirit in its relationship to the Physical Universe and its Living Forms."

It was not ascertained immediately if the Rev. Mr. Fisk was an ordained minister in the usual sense or if he was a graduate of a recognized school of theology.

ACCORDING to witnesses, four of whom identified Johnson as The Rev. Fisk's assailant, the Scientologist was conducting a class in dianetics, one phase of the religion, at the group's headquarters. The Rev. Fisk apparently had no notion that Johnson would be at the meeting.

Johnson was described by other church members as either a follower or former follower of the Rev. Mr. Fisk. One witness said Johnson at one time was one of Fisk's leading pupils.

Joseph G. Terabasso, 26, of 5011-2nd Ave. NW, attending the church for the first time, said he and three others were with the Rev. Mr. Fisk when Johnson entered.

"We were all dumbfounded when Fisk said, "Please someone get a cop." Terabasso recounted. The shot was fired as Terabasso and others attempted to flee the room.

POLICE were at a loss to learn the motive for the fatal shooting but detectives said they were investigating several possibilities. None of the witnesses could give any reason for the slaying.

Pastor slain before eyes of horrified followers

Cult tells members to mutiny

Victorian Report On Scientology

'Largest Mental Health Institution' Becomes Storm Center in Britain

By David Lancashire
Associated Press
Iowa City Press-Citizen
11 September 1968

EAST GRINSTEAD, England (AP) — "They say we have orgies here," said the young Englishman, pointing at the swimming pool. "We're too busy to have orgies — we don't even have time to go swimming."

This was at the country mansion once owned by the Maharajah of Jaipur. It is now headquarters of the Scientology movement, a semireligious organization from the United States. This "largest mental health organization in the world," as it calls itself, has become a storm center in Britain.

Villagers in East Grinstead, a centuries-old market center 30 miles from London, seek a ban on the Scientologists, claiming they spread their influence in the town.

London's press has campaigned against the movement.

Health Minister Kenneth Robinson last month denounced Scientology as "socially harmful ... a potential menace," and moved to keep foreigners from coming to Britain as students enrolled at the College of Scientology here.

"We used to get about 100 letters a day, most of them abusive," said David Gaiman, spokesman for the College of Scientology. "Now we get from 300 to 1,000 a day and none of them are abusive — they ask for information.

"We are in very nice shape despite the campaign," said Gaiman, surveying the swimming pool, the 200-year-old manor house, a newly built stone castle filled with classrooms, all surrounded by 40 acres of rolling grounds.

The health minister has refused to disclose what he called government evidence against Scientology. The Scientologists say no government representative, has ever come to East Grinstead to hold an investigation.

In Parliament Robinson said Scientology "alienates members of families from each other and attributes squalid and disgraceful motives to all who oppose it. Its authoritarian principles and practices are a potential menace to the personality and well-being of those so deluded as to become its followers."

Scientology's founder, American science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, 57, is barred from returning to England. He moved his headquarters here 11 years ago but now reportedly lives aboard a yacht in the Mediterranean.

Scientology calls itself "a practical religious philosophy interested in ability and increasing it ... the most vital philosophic movement on the planet ... the freeing of the soul by wisdom." Its publications contend it makes people "more aware, more alert, more successful." It has groups in the United States and around the world and claims millions of members.

The East Grinstead college has 200 to 300 students and a staff of about 150. Roughly half the students and staff come from outside Britain. The government restrictions ruled foreign students or staff members would no longer be admitted to Britain or allowed to prolong their stay.

Gaiman said Scientology has more than 100,000 members in Britain.

  I Escaped Scientology
Date: Tuesday, 11 September 2007
Publisher: Orato
Author: John Duignan
Main source:

There are moments in life, coincidences, which have the potential to utterly change the direction and meaning of your existence. Of these I have had several; they have all marked me in various ways, but none more so than that fateful late afternoon in Stuttgart, Germany, when an attractive and rather aggressive young woman blocked my path and accosted me with the interrogative; "Do you have a good memory"?

This story aims to serve a dual function: Enlighten those who may be susceptible to seduction by mind and life control cults and to provide a sense of hope for those who may be so entrapped. A tertiary purpose is to encourage the reader to seek wisdom and direction from the vast array of knowledge available at our finger tips - thanks in part to Google and ultra-fast broadband, you can read incisive works on psychoanalytical and sociological thought by Fromm and Jung, Russell's seminal 'Analysis of mind' lectures to the philosophic revolutionary ideas of the enlightenment.

It is among these that you will find true wisdom and real answers to the questions and uncertainties that have driven so many into the gaping maw of deceptive pseudo religion.

To the informed, Scientology evokes a visceral revulsion, and with good reason. Cruise, the empty headed fanatic, stirring up collective nausea on national TV, personifies the true core value of Scientology to the man in the street. Lisa McPherson's emaciated corpse, the true facts of her agonizing demise hidden under a cloud of Church generated obfuscation. 'The exhibition of death', a C-grade horror movie set, toured around the world by the Church in a vain attempt to obliterate two hundred years worth of neuropsychiatric and psychological research and insight.

To the yellow coated Scientology Volunteer Ministers, guaranteed to appear at the site of any national disaster, like the proverbial vulture, in a hopeless endeavor to pass off recruitment and the conceited effort to gain positive media response as 'help'; in actuality, they tend to get in the way of qualified professional rescue and emergency personnel, while wasting valuable resources that could otherwise be passed onto the victims of disaster.

Professor Erich Fromm would have diagnosed the cults' founder, L Ron Hubbard, as suffering from an extreme form of Narcissistic Personality Disorder. So warped was his condition that he not only founded a religious body to honor him and his thought, but further, formed a virtual military unit to protect him and his 'works', execute his orders and pretty much pander to his every whim.

There is no doubt that he was a powerful individual and, at least before his increasing mental instability got the better of him, had bucket loads of charm and great intelligence. But these virtues were contorted, perverted, by his illness. In an all too brief moment of clarity in the early 1950s, he asked for psychiatric help, but ran away before he could be adequately assessed and treated.

A thread that runs right through all of Hubbard's lectures and writings from the early years of the cult to his last incoherent broadcast in 1979 is that of impending doom. He paints a bleak picture of our everyday lives. 

Our minds are subject to our barely contained, violently irrational subconscious, and the civil cohesion we see around us is a mere shallow pretense. Hubbard gives us to believe that our social order is run by a small clique of Machiavellian, fascistic bankers, politicos and media moguls plotting to subvert our liberty and freedom.

One could be forgiven for objectively viewing his world view as an expression of severe paranoia. It would be laughable except for the fact that all cult members were gradually inculcated into this exact outlook; we viewed the world around us with mistrust and apprehension.

It was just one of many mechanisms employed to keep us obedient and fearful of leaving.

The organization operating under the brand name 'Scientology' and later on Hubbard's own militant 'praetorian guard' The Sea Organization, where I spent twenty years of my life, were born out of Hubbard's pathological desire to take fiction out of its context as entertainment, and place it into the realm of actuality. In this fashion he hoped to rewrite the miserable reality of his life.

This deeply flawed individual failed at everything he attempted to put his hand to. His only modicum of success was his much touted brilliance as a science fiction writer. The reality was that he wrote rather garish and poorly constructed short stories for about eight years during the nineteen thirties for a cheap throwaway medium, the pulp fiction magazine. He also wrote pornographic texts; this was an aspect of his literary career his church publicity officers kept under wraps.

Hubbard signed up for the Navy in 1940. Here he found himself in vast organization, a complex bureaucracy that he could play to suit his own ends. He never saw action, most of his war being spent in training institutions, hospitals and on leave. The brief period where he was actually allowed command of a small submarine chaser ended in disaster when he ordered his crew to fire live rounds at America's ally, Mexico. 

He was relieved of command and put under close supervision as a navigator on a Liberty ship; he signed himself into hospital complaining of ulcers and conjunctivitis the day before the ship left for combat in the Pacific theatre.

World War II was over, the troops had come home.

The youngsters that had previously devoured pulp fiction during the mid 30s had grown up and were focused now on building lives in a newly prosperous America. There was now little or no market the fiction magazine.
Hubbard was out of a job. Working off his 1939 premise that the way to make a million dollars was to start a religion, Hubbard dug up his unpublished manuscript, the science fiction novel 'Excalibur'. This novel concerned a galactic overlord called Xenu, who banished millions of his subjects to the 'prison planet' Earth. It was around this 1930s era manuscript that Hubbard created what we know today as Scientology.

He was enough of a pragmatist to realize that the story of Xenu and the fate of the banished aliens would not entice the masses to part with hard earned cash; he needed a hook, and thanks to Freud and a few party tricks, found one. He called it Dianetics and its brief popularity rode on the back of a wave of a renewed interest the mind, mysticism and self exploration.

Dianetics was concocted from a mixture of vicious mind-control techniques and scrambled versions of both Freudian and Jungian psychoanalysis. It was developed and expanded upon over the years, and eventually became part of an apparently vast body of 'research' that Hubbard called 'The Tech' (as in Technology) which he made available to his followers; for a price. Trained in this lethal 'therapy', these unqualified mental practitioners were brainwashed into believing they were the vanguard of a new civilization, one that would eventually overwhelm the institutions of state, learning and religion with Hubbard's brand of social obedience, and thus avert the coming apocalypse. Driven by their leaders incessant haranguing, they formed what we know today as 'The Church' of Scientology.

Hubbard had been practically kicked out of Washington University's School of Engineering, where he was a sporadic attendee between 1930 and 1932. As he developed the 'philosophy' of Scientology, he thought it would be helpful if he acquired a Ph.D, and he did, for about $250 US. I will cite a passage from Dr. Christopher Evan's pithy volume on the religion, 'The Cult of Unreason' - The Cult of Reason: "As for Hubbard's doctorate, it was awarded, one learns, from the magnificently styled `Sequoia University of California' - an establishment which you will search for endlessly the standard list of American universities, but which used to be well known to quacks on the West Coast as a degree mill where `qualifications' could be bought for suitable sums.

There is some evidence, as it happens, that L. Ron has had occasion to regret his involvement with the diminutive faculty of the Sequoia University, for his bogus Ph.D. has been frequently brought up by unkind critics as a stick to beat him with - and one for which he can find no ready defence.
On 8 March 1966, possibly tiring of suffering on behalf of this valueless embarrassment, but with a typically flamboyant gesture, he took an advertisement in the personal column of The Times, `resigning' his degree in the following words:

"I, L Ron Hubbard of Saint Hill Manor, East Grinstead, having reviewed the damage being done in our society with nuclear physics and psychiatry by persons calling themselves `Doctor', do hereby resign in protest my university degree as a doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.), anticipating an early public outcry against anyone called `Doctor'; and although not in any way connected with bombs or `psychiatric treatment' or treatment of the sick, and interested only and always in philosophy and the total freedom of the human spirit, I wish no association of any kind with these persons and do so publicly declare, and request my friends and the public not to refer to me in any way with this title."

With this characteristic piece, which it is impossible not to admire, he partly sealed a crack in his armor, at the same time cleverly taking the opportunity to pound psychiatrists, his perpetual antagonists.

Having considered the Founder of Scientology's scanty academic background, we now pass on to inspect other interesting claims which have helped to bolster his image as a man of wild and far-reaching talents. The claims are many and apart from the obvious, and quite unchallengeable, one that he is a writer, he is also often referred to as an explorer, a naval war hero, a philosopher, a master mariner and, most extraordinary of all, `one of the prime movers in the US effort of getting man into space'.

What of Lord Xenu and the 1939 manuscript?

This became part of the mysterious Scientology 'holy of holies', the secret knowledge that would only be revealed to the follower after years of extensive conditioning and parting with large sums of money. Hubbard built various myths around this 'level': One would attain superhuman abilities, read minds, operate as a conscious unit outside the confines of the body, become aware of 'past lives' and so on. It was a hook that Hubbard used, and indeed, the 'Church' today, uses to keep the sycophant paying money, donating time or, in the case of Hubbard's military, their whole lives, to the cause.

I escaped the cult just over a year ago, having been an ultra orthodox member of its militant inner circle for twenty years. Contrary to their rather shallow propaganda claims, it was neither a healthy nor life enhancing experience.

During my last year in the cult, I was involved in wide ranging plan that involved among other things, the infiltration of a relatively important local government institution. I was already sitting on several influential committees and it was really only a matter of time before I would be able to manipulate this democratic institution to the advantage of my own, very undemocratic, hierarchical and quite frankly, criminal operation.
It is ironic that my subversive mission provided the key to my waking up, seeing Scientology for what it is, and escaping.

I had been more or less cut off from the real world since 1986: Access to TV, Internet and other media has always been discouraged, but since 1990, Internet use for the Sea Organization member, with the exception of those in the intelligence and policing branch, has been strictly verboten.

My work granted me considerable latitude with regard to typical organizational rules and restrictions, and the fact that I was in a rather senior position a long distance from the cult HQ in Sussex, gave me unprecedented freedom. Because I was involved in the educational and social field, I had to read up on the various theories I was being exposed to: Fromm, Jung, Freud and Dr. Perry. Additionally, I had to do considerable internet searches to trace key targets for the purposes of my mission.

Exposure to such material had the effect of developing my critical thinking faculties, and I began to spot huge holes in Hubbard's 'philosophy'. One evening I 'Googled' the word 'Scientology', I began reading. I stopped at five the next morning due to exhaustion, but I was exhilarated, I had hit a gold mine of information. I came across posts, essays and exposes of the cult, very often from colleagues I had known over the years and who had disappeared into that murky realm outside of Scientology.

It was a terrifying experience to walk out into the real world, with nothing to show for my slavish devotion to the cult. Twenty years of sixteen-hour days and seven-day weeks takes its toll. I had nothing to show for myself, just the clothes on my back, I was unknown to any social services and was in a country that was not my own, this and facing up to the lies and distortions that had been drummed into me over the years was difficult.

The Scientologist describes the world outside as 'the wog world'; the unenlightened humanoid is a 'wog'.
The cult member who 'falls from grace' and leaves the church is described as a 'degraded being', destined for a short pain-filled life and reincarnation as a lunatic, handicap, street kid or some other form of degraded creature. This is not very encouraging to say the least.

As is typical of many ex-cult members, I suffered a period of acute suicidal depression, which I survived thanks to Hubbard's and Scientology's bête noir; Psychiatrists and psychologists.

In my new life outside of that psychotic cult, I have found love, encouragement, compassion, real peace and a sense of contentment that I did not think possible while moving up Hubbard's torturous 'Road to total freedom.'



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