From: armstr...@ntonline.com (gerry armstrong)
Subject: Letter to CSCE re Scientology's Religious Persecution
Organization: Rapidnet Technologies Internet
I mailed this letter a while ago. Thought everyone should know:
Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe
Sen. Alfonse D'Amato, Chairman,
Rep. Christopher H. Smith, Co-Chairman,
and all Commissioners
Ford House Office Building, Room 234
Washington, D.C. 20515
Re: Religious Intolerance in Europe: the Scientology connection
I have learned that the CSCE is holding hearings on this
subject, and I wish to add to your discussion some of my
experiences, knowledge and opinions.
I know that some Scientology celebrities and perhaps some
apologists for the organization have spoken to the Commission. I
also understand that Scientology's claim of religious persecution
in Europe, particularly Germany, is the basis for these
celebrities' appearance at the hearing and one of the bases for
the hearing itself.
In my opinion it is Scientology's own persecution of its
members, ex-members and critics which is the source of most of
its problems in Europe. I believe that Scientology's use of the
shield of religion to carry out its abuses and persecutions is a
real threat to freedom for legitimate, non-abusive religions. I
believe that the US has turned its back on the victims of
Scientology's abuses and persecutions, the very individuals who
should be protected by the Constitutional guarantee of religious
freedom. Finally, I believe that until it is willing to examine
and act to curtail its own brand of religious persecution the US
will lack the probity to preach about other countries' religious
It is my prayer for this Commission that it urge the US to
take the lead in eliminating religious persecution by examining
and dealing with the religious persecution within its own borders
and exported by its own organizations.
I am writing to you from Canada. Earlier this year it was
necessary for me to leave the US, where I had been a resident
since 1975, because I am the target of the Scientology
organization's religious persecution in your country. This
persecution, using the power and authority of the US legal
system, resulted in a court order which prohibits me, on penalty
of being jailed and fined, from mentioning Scientology or
Scientologists or discussing my Scientology experiences.
I believe that this court order is illegal and that
Scientology procured it by illegal means. It impermissibly denies
me freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of association
and due process. In effect it results in a form of legal and
psychological slavery. I am in Canada where I am free to discuss
Scientology and my experiences, and where I may freely express my
religious thoughts about this "religion."
The Scientology organization is well known for its policy of
"using the law to harass." It spends many millions of dollars
every year on lawyers and private investigators to harass
individuals it designates as "enemy" targets. It overwhelms these
targeted individuals with aggressive litigation, financial
ruination, and extralegal operations and threats. Very few people
have the money, strength or courage to stand up to this
organization and its antisocial tactics. Even the US government,
while it has stood up to military aggression of tyrannical
foreign national regimes, has succumbed to the "religious"
aggression of this US-based "church" of Scientology.
I was in Scientology from 1969 through 1981, spending most
of those years with its founder L. Ron Hubbard in the Sea
Organization, Scientology's "elite" pseudo-military corps. I was
on the Sea Org ship "Apollo" with Hubbard, where I was posted as,
inter alia, the ship's legal officer and intelligence officer.
Hubbard patterned his intelligence apparatus on the system of
Nazi spy master Reinhard Gehlen. Scientology operates as a global
intelligence organization collecting overt and covert information
on individuals, other organizations and governments and running
covert operations against its "enemies."
During my Sea Org years I was twice assigned by Hubbard
personally to Scientology's Rehabilitation Project Force ("RPF"),
first in Florida, then in California, for a total of 25 months.
The RPF is a penal camp created by Hubbard to punish anyone he
felt crossed his will, or he even just disliked. People were
assigned arbitrarily, for something as slight as a needle
movement on the E-meter, the electro-psychometer Scientology
calls for "legal" reasons a "religious artifact," but which
reality is a lie detector. I was assigned by Hubbard the first
time for "insubordination," and the second time because he
considered I was "joking." During much of my RPF sentence I was
the "Bosun," the highest RPF member and in charge of the group. I
became intimately familiar with RPF policies and practices.
The RPF is, and is intended to be, a degrading experience to
break the will of the person assigned. RPF members were
segregated, did physical or menial labor for little or no pay,
were required to run everywhere, and ate whatever was left after
the regular Scientology staff members finished eating. Telephone
calls from RPF members to their family were only by specific
permission and were monitored. All mail from RPF members was
first read by security personnel. Anyone who took the punishment
of RPF assignment lightly was assigned to the RPF's RPF, an even
more degrading experience. People assigned were not free to
leave, and anyone who did wish to leave was guarded and held
until he had, among other things, signed a list of his "crimes"
extracted from his "auditing" files.
Auditing is Scientology's psychotherapeutic processing,
which it claims produces increased abilities and awareness.
Statements made by a person being audited are recorded by an
"auditor." These statements, which include the person's innermost
thoughts, embarrassing incidents from his past, his sexual
history, acts which might be legally prosecutable, etc. are
available to and used by the intelligence personnel and leaders
of the organization for non-therapeutic purposes, such as
domination, intel operations or blackmail. Scientology promotes
to the public that statements made in auditing are confidential.
They are not.
My last position inside Scientology involved assembling an
archive of Hubbard's personal documents and providing research
assistance to non-Scientologist author Omar Garrison who had been
contracted to write Hubbard's biography. In the course of my
research I uncovered and documented pervasive fraud concerning
representations made by Hubbard and Scientology about his past,
credentials, accomplishments, intentions and the claims and
efficacy of his psychotherapeutic "mental technology." I
attempted to get Scientology's leaders to correct the fraud, and
as a result I was ordered to a "security check," an interrogation
employing the E-meter.
I saw that the trust I had placed in Hubbard and Scientology
had been betrayed from the very beginning, that the
organization's leaders were ill-intentioned, and that the fraud I
sought to correct would continue. My wife and I were fortunate in
being able to escape from the organization, because if we had
announced our intention to leave we would have been separated and
locked up. I had seen many people locked up and guarded inside,
and I had been locked up and kept under guard myself.
Shortly after I left, Scientology published "Suppressive
Person Declares" on me, falsely accusing me of crimes and high
crimes including promulgating false information about Hubbard and
Scientology. The organization's declaring someone a "suppressive
person," or "SP," subjects him to its infamous and judicially
condemned "Fair Game Doctrine," which permits SPs to be "deprived
of property, injured by any means by any Scientologist...
tricked, sued, or lied to or destroyed." Being "declared" by
Scientology can be a terrifying experience.
During the first few months after I left the organization I
learned of an intelligence operation being conducted against me
and picked up surveillance. Scientology personnel also stole
photographs I possessed. Knowing that my wife's and my life were
in danger, I obtained from Garrison, with his permission, certain
documents I believed I would need to defend us. I sent these to
attorneys who had agreed to represent me, one of whom was Michael
Flynn, then Scientology's most prominent lawyer enemy.
From the time I left the organization until the present I
have been the target of fair game. Acts against me by Scientology
agents pursuant to this basic Scientology policy include:
- filing five lawsuits against me;
- following, surveilling and harassing me and my wife;
- spying in our windows and upsetting our neighbors;
- attempting to involve us in a freeway "accident;"
- assaulting me;
- striking me bodily with a car;
- threatening to put a bullet between my eyes;
- attempting on more than 12 occasions to have me prosecuted
on false criminal charges, including by the FBI;
- stealing a manuscript and artwork from my car;
- filing false sworn statements about me in various
- extracting and disseminating information from my
supposedly confidential auditing files;
- illegally videotaping me;
- attempting to entrap me in the commission of a crime;
- threatening me on several occasions if I testified about
my knowledge of Scientology;
- threatening my friends;
- subjecting me to a massive international "black
Black propaganda or "black PR" is the term Hubbard gave to
Scientology's policy and practice of destroying a target's
reputation and credibility or public belief in him by the
manufacture and spreading of falsehoods about him. Over the years
Scientology has published and disseminated a small mountain of
black PR on me, falsely accusing me of perversities and crimes,
including crimes against humanity, in an ongoing effort to
assassinate my character.
The first case Scientology filed against me went to trial
before Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Paul G. Breckenridge, Jr.
in 1984, resulting in a decision in my favor. Judge Breckenridge
"In addition to violating and abusing its own members
civil rights, the organization over the years with its
"Fair Game" doctrine has harassed and abused those
persons not in the Church whom it perceives as enemies.
The organization clearly is schizophrenic and paranoid,
and this bizarre combination seems to be a reflection
of its founder LRH[ubbard]. The evidence portrays a man
who has been virtually a pathological liar when it
comes to his history, background and achievements. The
writings and documents in evidence additionally reflect
his egoism, greed, avarice, lust for power, and
vindictiveness and aggressiveness against persons
perceived by him to be disloyal or hostile."
Judge Breckenridge condemned as well Scientology's abuse of
its participants' auditing or psychotherapy records:
"culling supposedly confidential "P.C. folders or
files" to obtain information for purposes of
intimidation and/or harassment is repugnant and
outrageous." (LASC No. C 420153)
This decision was affirmed on appeal, Scientology v. Armstrong
(1991), 232 Cal.App.3d 1060, 283 Cal. Rptr. 917.
Scientology also subjected my attorney Michael Flynn to fair
game attacks, which included infiltrating his office, threatening
his family, paying known criminals to testify falsely against
him, suing him and his office some fifteen times, framing him
with the forgery of a $2,000,000 check, and targeting him with an
international black PR campaign. (See, e.g., U.S. v. Kattar, 840
F.2d. 118). Flynn became desperate to have the attacks and
threats end, and ultimately, due to that desperation, compromised
his ethical responsibilities to his clients.
In December, 1986 Scientology and Flynn entered into an
agreement to settle all his some twenty clients' claims against
the organization, plus Flynn's own lawsuit seeking damages for
the years of fair game. I was to settle my cross complaint for
the years of abuse inside Scientology and the years of fair game
after I left. Scientology and Flynn positioned me as a deal
breaker, only showing me the "settlement agreement" they wanted
me to sign after my arrival in Los Angeles from Boston, where I
had been working in Flynn's office.
I protested that I could not sign the document, which
required that I be absolutely silent about my then 17 years of
experiences with Scientology, and which contained a $50,000.00
liquidated damages penalty for any utterance I might make to
anyone. In response Flynn stated that the conditions were "not
worth the paper they're printed on." He told me, "You can't
contract away your Constitutional rights; "the conditions are
unenforceable." When I argued that the settlement document opened
me up to future problems with Scientology Flynn said, "I'll be
there for you."
Flynn said that he was sick of the litigation, the threats
to him and his family and wanted out, that Scientology had ruined
his marriage, his wife's health and his life. He said that as a
part of the settlement he and all co-counsels had agreed to not
become involved in organization-related litigation in the future.
He expressed a deep concern that the courts in this country
cannot deal with Scientology and its lawyers and their
contemptuous abuse of the justice system. He told me that if I
didn't sign I could look forward to more years of fair game
harassment and misery.
Flynn told me that the settlement's global form was to give
Scientology the opportunity it sought to change its combative
attitude and behavior by removing the threat he and his clients
represented to it. He said Scientology had promised to cease fair
game and that he and all his clients depended on my signing to
have fair game against them cease. Because of Flynn's
representations that the offensive conditions were not worth the
paper they were printed on, and to have fair game end for Flynn,
his family, his other clients and myself, I did sign
Although I sought peace and did nothing to irritate
Scientology, the organization had no intention of ending fair
game attacks on me or anyone else. Immediately following the
settlement Scientology delivered black PR documents about me to
the Los Angeles Times. Over the next three years, and before I
responded in any way, Scientology's attacks included:
- delivering black PR to various media representatives;
- publishing its own false and defamatory descriptions of my
- disseminating to the media an edited and defamatory
version of the illegal videotape it had made of me;
- disseminating my own documents which had been sealed in my
- filing affidavits about me in a civil lawsuit in England
which falsely charged that I had violated court orders and was an
admitted agent provocateur of the US Government;
- threatening to sue me if I even talked to attorneys in
the case in which the false charges were being made;
- threatening to expose a private writing if I did not
assist Scientology's effort to prevent a third party litigant
from accessing my LA Superior Court file;
- threatening to sue me if I testified even after being
served with a deposition subpoena.
In the fall of 1989, after service of the deposition
subpoena in the case of Bent Corydon v. Scientology, I received a
series of telephone calls from Scientology attorney Lawrence
Heller which were threatening and troubling. Heller threatened
that I could be sued if I testified about my experiences, even
though I had been subpoenaed, and that I should refuse to answer
the deposition questions.
As a result of Heller's threats and Scientology's other
post-settlement fair game I concluded that the settlement
agreement and the organization's efforts to enforce it were
acting to obstruct justice, and that if I allowed myself to be
intimidated by the threats I would be abetting that obstruction.
I concluded that I could not avoid a confrontation with
Scientology, and subsequently responded to defend myself and to
try to correct the injustices created by the settlement agreement
and its misuse.
From that time until the present many people who consider
themselves victims of Scientology's abuse have contacted me to
request my assistance in their efforts to obtain redress or
defend themselves. I have come to believe that all people have a
God-given right to assist their fellows, which cannot be taken
away by human "contract." I have also come to see that a person's
right to participate in a public controversy, certainly a
controversy involving himself, should not and cannot be taken
away by "contract."
In the case of Scientology v. Armstrong, Marin County
Superior Court Case No. 157680, the organization was awarded by
summary judgment $300,000 in liquidated damages, $320,000 in
costs and a permanent injunction prohibiting me from discussing
Scientology or Scientologists, or assisting in any way
Scientology's victims or fair game targets. This judgment is
suspect because, among other things, the judge completely ignored
and refused to address the First Amendment religious issues and
The judge ruled that Scientology may say whatever it wants
about me, no matter how false, obnoxious or defamatory, and that
I may not respond in any way to defend myself. To arrive at this
conclusion he also ignored and refused to address a sworn
declaration by Scientology attorney Heller that the organization,
which had published false statements about me after the
"settlement," was also bound by its non-disclosure conditions.
Heller had filed this declaration in the Corydon litigation in an
effort to prevent my deposition from going forward.
I had never agreed to be Scientology's defenseless punching
bag. I believe that a judgment in a US court which orders that
someone submit to being a punching bag, especially to a known
abusive and dangerous organization like Scientology, is itself
abusive and dangerous, and illegal. That Scientology should use
the US courts to obtain such an order and unfair advantage is
indicative of its antisocial goals and disregard for civil rights
and basic equity.
Scientology's policy and practice of attacking and
compromising judges presiding over its legal proceedings is well
known. (See, e.g., The American Lawyer article, December 1980,
"Scientology's War Against Judges.") This article, which focused
on the criminal trial of 11 Scientology intelligence personnel in
connection with their burglarizing of US Federal offices and
theft of government documents, stated that Scientology's
"strategy amounts to an all-out war against the D.C.
district court judges, a war much more sophisticated,
better financed and more successful than the bizarre
tactics used by some other groups against their
courtroom adversaries, such as Synanon's attempt to
murder an opposing counsel by putting a rattlesnake in
This all-out war continues to this day, and renders suspect every
legal decision obtained by Scientology, including the tax
exemption it obtained from the IRS in 1993.
After Scientology sued me following the "settlement" I
learned from Michael Flynn that he had signed a "contract" with
Scientology which prevents him from assisting me in my defense.
His promise to be there for me was merely an inducement to get me
to sign so that fair game toward him would end. Throughout the
post-settlement litigation, Flynn, while admitting that his
contract with Scientology is illegal and unenforceable, has
refused my requests to come forward, stating that he fears again
having his life ruined by more fair game. This too is indicative
of the organization's continuing antisocial goals and rights
Early this year I was served with a subpoena for production
of documents by Grady Ward in the case of Scientology v. Ward,
USDC Northern District of California. Ward is accused of posting
some of Scientology's "secret scriptures" to the internet. After
receipt of the subpoena I received a letter from a Scientology
attorney threatening me if I produced the requested documents. I
therefore advised the presiding judge in the Ward case of the
threat. Scientology was able to then obtain an order of contempt
against me for communicating to the federal judge, sending me to
jail and fining me.
Also early this year I discovered that in its 1991 IRS Form
1023 submission, pursuant to which it obtained its tax exemption,
Scientology included a four page section about me containing the
same black PR the organization spreads to the media and public.
What Scientology wrote about me, in response to the IRS's
questions concerning my Scientology-related litigation is
factually and in conclusion false. Scientology submitted these
false statements to the IRS during a time when it believed it had
me silenced by its gag contract, and thefeore unable to respond
to correct the lies. I have asked Scientology to correct the lies
submitted to the IRS and it has refused.
Scientology's IRS tax exemption is based on lies, not just
about me, but about other individuals, and about the
organization's practices and intentions. The IRS was derelict in
its duty to investigate the truth or falsity of Scientology's
submissions. The US was derelict in its duty in granting
Scientology's tax exempt status, protecting it, and supporting it
in its global goals. By aligning itself with Scientology the US
turned its back on its citizens who have been victimized by the
organization, and who are really the people the US should protect
and support. When I realized that Scientology's leaders consider
that their tax exempt billions depend on silencing me, and that
the US courts and government had formed an unholy alliance with
the organization, I left for Canada.
Scientology claims to be a religion, and claims all the
extraordinary benefits conferred by the Constitution on
religions. It claims that it is organized solely for religious
purposes and that its policies and bulletins, even its
intelligence training instructions and its "fair game" policy,
are "scriptures." It claims that people and countries opposing
its antisocial goals and practices and civil rights abuses are
engaging in "religious persecution."
It is axiomatic that there is no freedom of religion where
there is no freedom to criticize, oppose or reform religion. The
US was founded in great part by people fleeing "religious
persecution" for opposing, criticizing or seeking to reform a
religion, which had the power, often provided by the State, to
persecute them. The US recognized the need for its citizens to be
free from religious persecution in the Religious Expression and
Religious Establishment Clauses of the First Amendment.
The prohibition against the State's establishment of a
religion has traditionally been interpreted to mean that no
religion will be favored or given more support by government than
any other religion. Christianity and Christians, Buddhism and
Buddhists, and Scientology and Scientologists will be treated by
government and all its branches in every way equally. Also anti-
christians, anti-buddhists and anti-scientologists will be
treated in every way equally.
Scientology, with its fair game attacks, black PR, gag
contracts, and aggressive litigation, is attempting to suppress
and eliminate criticism, as well as opposition and reformation
efforts. The US courts' enforcement of its gag contracts
necessarily involves the State in this one "religion's"
suppression and elimination of criticism. Judicial enforcement
also results in the promotion and establishment of Scientology by
the removal of opposition to its promotion and establishment.
Unless the State is also willing to become involved in and
support every other religion's suppression or elimination of
criticism, its judicial assistance to Scientology in its campaign
is favoritism, and impermissible. It is a tragedy for all that
the US favors the most abusive and irreligious of its
It is inconceivable that any US Court would prosecute
someone who under any circumstances signed a contract which
required that he not discuss God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Bible,
or his experiences in the Christian religion; or for that matter
Allah, Islam, Mohammed, the Koran, the Vedas or Krishna. It
therefore must not do so at the insistence of Scientology. It is
inconceivable that a Christian church in the US would do what
Scientology has done to silence its critics. But even
Christianity, although it would never silence anyone about
itself, must not be given the opportunity. Therefore
Scientology's efforts to silence its critics and prevent
discussion of itself must not be given judicial support.
My case is not unique. There are hundreds, if not thousands,
of Scientologists and ex-Scientologists in the US who are bound
by this organization's contracts of silence. For this reason
alone the statements of Scientology's spokespeople cannot and
should not be believed. Those who would speak the truth have been
shuddered by "contract" and threat into silence. I just happen to
be one of the few who have chosen, despite the threats and
attacks using the power of the US courts, to speak up. Mine is a
test case for all the people Scientology binds in silence. What
the US does in my case will spell either freedom or continued
persecution for those many fearful silent people.
In the US, Constitutionally guaranteed Freedom of Religion
has come to mean freedom for the religious corporation and its
leaders to persecute the practitioners, as well as the critics,
of the religion. This is a perversion of Freedom, worked by
clever lawyers being paid by the persecutors. It must be changed,
and true Freedom of Religion reinstituted. The US is the only
western country in which people can be jailed for mentioning a
religion - Scientology. Certainly Germany does not jail people
for mentioning any religion, or even Scientology.
Regarding Scientology, and any religion, at least these
things must be ordered and implemented before it should be
granted the benefits of religious status, and before the US
champions its cause:
1. Any member of any religion must be free to leave at any
time without persecution for choosing to leave, and may not be
detained for any amount of time;
2. Any member of any religion must be free to speak or
write freely his or her experiences within that religion, and may
not be persecuted for doing do;
3. Scientology must take steps to demonstrably insure that
the practice of using information divulged by people during their
association with the organization against those people in any way
not for their welfare is forever stopped;
4. Scientology must reform pursuant to civil rights
statutes, or abolish, its RPFs.
Thank you for this opportunity. I pray that we do the right
C/O George W. Abbott, Esquire
2245-B Meridian Boulevard
P.O. Box 98
Minden, Nevada 89423-0098