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DECLARATION OF VICKI J. AZNARAN

 

I, Vicki J. Aznaran declare as follows:

1. I am one of the plaintiffs in the within action.

2. I was a member of the Scientology Cult from

November of 1973 until April, 1987.

3. From 1975 until April 1987, I was a staff member of

various organizations controlled by the Scientology Cult. Among

those staff positions was the presidency of Religious Technology

Center, a California corporation. In my capacity as president, I

became familiar with the interlocking corporate structures of the

various organizations controlled by the Scientology cult.

4. I also became familiar with the policy known as

"fair game." "Fair game" is a policy whereby those who are

declared to be "suppressive" persons are subject to any form of

intimidation, harassment, or oppression by any Scientologist.

5. I have seen a policy letter written by

L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology, which ordered that the

words "fair game" no longer be used because of negative public

relations implications, but the policy letter continues to

indicate that "suppressive" persons are to be treated in the same

way as previously. I have witnessed the application of "fair

game" over the years of my membership in the cult and in positions

of responsibility within the Scientology Cult, and I know that it

was still applied to "enemies" of the cult even after its public

disavowal.

6. Even after leaving the Scientology Cult in April of

1987, my husband Richard and I tried very hard to avoid becoming

 

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"fair game." We were told that we had to maintain contact with

the Scientology organizations and that Mark Rathbun would be

contacting us regularly. Mr. Rathbun did contact us on a regular

basis and we contacted him according to his instructions.

7. Even as late as November or December of 1987, my

husband and I were contacted by Mr. Rathbun and told not to talk

to reporters from the Los Angeles Times. Mr. Rathbun made it

clear that we would be declared "suppressives" if we did not

continue to cooperate.

8. It was not until early 1988, that I became

determined to resist the efforts of the Scientology Cult to have

me lie about matters which had occurred during my tenure as a

member of the staff of Religious Technology Center.

9. In February 1987, I was working for the Scientology

Cult at Gilman Hot Springs. In the latter part of that month, I

was forced to go to the Rehabilitation Project Force at "Happy

Valley." I was rousted out of bed early in the morning after

having worked late into the night before, and I was ordered to go

to my office. David Miscavige was there along with Norman

Starkey, Greg Wilhere, Ray Mithoff, and several other uniformed

men. Mr. Miscavige ordered me to write an order assigning myself

to the Rehabilitation Project Force. Mr. Miscavige told me that

if I didn't he would write it and would fill it full of libelous

statements about me. He said that because of his high position

within the cult, his statements would be believed, and my standing

and reputation within Scientology would be destroyed.

10. I was kept up all day and late into the night,

being interrogated by one person after another. Because of the

 

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presence of several persons, I felt that any attempt to escape

would be futile. I was watched at all times during the

interrogation. There is an eight-foot fence topped by barbed wire

surrounding the compound where I was being held, with guards

posted at the gates.

11. After my interrogation, I was taken into a car with

three other people who were to guard me, and I was transported to

"Happy Valley." "Happy Valley" is a piece of property owned by

Scientology. It is about 10 miles from the Gilman Hot Springs

Cult Headquarters. It is located just past the Soboba Indian

Reservation about three miles down a dirt road into the rocky

foothills. It is rocky semi-desert country and is very isolated.

I felt that any attempt to escape from "Happy Valley" would be

futile.

12. During my stay at the Rehabilitation Project Force

at "Happy Valley," I slept in a tin shed which had no air

conditioning or heating. The shed had a bare wood floor and it

was terribly cold at night and miserably hot during the day. The

first night that I was there, I was forced to sleep on the floor,

as there was no bunk for me. It was a small room with 12 to 14

women who slept in it.

13. During my stay at the Rehabilitation Project Force,

I was required to do hard physical labor from 6:30 a.m. until

5:30 p.m. The meals consisted of either beans and rice or

leftovers from the food served to other staff working at the

Rehabilitation Project Force. I was not allowed to walk, but

rather required to run everywhere I went in the compound.

14. I was guarded the whole time I was in the

 

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Rehabilitation Project Force. I was not allowed to go to the

restroom alone. I was not allowed to shower alone. At night I

was locked in a room that had heavy bunk beds with people sleeping

in them and which were pulled in front of the doors. I repeatedly

requested to be able to contact my husband by phone and letter,

and this was denied. During March, 1987 I asked David Miscavige

that I be put in touch with my husband. Mr. Miscavige tried to

make me believe that my husband did not want to communicate with

me and had "written me off." As a result of these statements, I

felt isolated from my husband and a sense of despair about ever

seeing him again or continuing with our relationship.

15. On March 31, 1987 two of the men in the

Rehabilitation Project Force whom I knew, Jesse Prince and

David Bush, escaped from the Rehabilitation Project Force. They

ran out of the front gate and were pursued down the road toward

the Indian reservation by guards and two others. I was later told

that two men in a pickup truck drove by and slowed down. They

asked Mr. Prince and Mr. Bush if they would like a ride. They

climbed in the back. They were transported in the pickup truck

into town to a rental car place where Mr. Prince rented a car.

They then drove back to Happy Valley to get me.

16. At that time I was lying under a tree on a hill, as

I was sick with a fever and had been told that I could not see a

doctor until Mr. Miscavige gave his permission. I had been sick

for a week. The tin building where we slept was too hot during

the day to sleep in and that was why I was sent to lie down under

a tree.

17. Mr. Prince and Mr. Bush opened the front gate and

 

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drove up close to where I was under the tree. Another person at

the Rehabilitation Project Force named Chris Byrnes was with me to

keep me from going with them. There were at least four security

guards equipped with radios and motorcycles, attempting to

maneuver into a position where they could prevent us from leaving

the compound. As I got up to leave, Mr. Byrnes grabbed my arm in

an attempt to keep me from leaving. I pulled loose and ran to the

car and got in the back seat. We then drove out the front gate,

which Mr. Prince had left open when he drove into the compound.

18. When I left "Happy Valley," I did not know where my

husband was located. When one spouse leaves Scientology, it is

the practice to get the other spouse to divorce them. I knew that

Mr. Miscavige had been telling me that my husband "probably didn't

care about me or want to hear from me." I knew that Mr. Miscavige

would try to get Richard to leave me and would tell Richard that I

was insane and that Richard needed to divorce me. Richard had

been working in various Scientology locations since December,

1985. Sometimes I would know what locations he was in and

sometimes I would not.

19. After leaving "Happy Valley," Mr. Bush, Mr. Prince,

and I drove around for a half hour or so and then had dinner in

San Jacinto. The three of us were all concerned about our

spouses, as we knew they would be told that we had "turned, and

that they should make us come back or "disconnect" (a Scientology

term which means to sever all relationships with a person). After

we ate, Mr. Prince took me to a store to buy some clothing, as all

I had was the worn out and ragged clothes that I was wearing.

20. I then got a motel room in Hemet, California. Mr.

 

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Bush and Mr. Prince got a room in another motel down the street.

Mr. Prince informed me that he was going to call Mr. Miscavige to

demand that his and Mr. Bush's wife be brought to them. I told

Mr. Prince not to tell them where I was and to tell them that I

would not discuss anything until I heard from my husband and that

Mr. Miscavige was to let Mr. Prince know how and when I could talk

to him.

21. Mr. Prince returned in a few hours relating that he

had called the Scientologists and they had brought his and

Mr. Bush's wife out to see them. He told me that their wives told

them they would divorce Mr. Prince and Mr. Bush if they did not

return to the Rehabilitation Project Force. He said the wives

then returned to Gilman Hot Springs and left Mr. Prince and Mr.

Bush at the motel.

22. Mr. Prince told me the Scientologists had told him

they would have my husband get in touch with me right away if I

would come to the motel where Mr. Prince and Mr. Bush were

staying. I moved to that motel to a room which they had reserved

for me. I slept there that night and waited for my husband to

arrive.

23. My husband did not arrive. So the next morning I

called the two ranches where I thought he might be (San Luis

Obispo and Newberry Springs). Both places informed me that

Richard was not there and they did not know where he was.

24. Shortly after making that call, I looked out the

window of the motel room and saw persons whom I recognized as

Scientology security guards wearing civilian clothes. They were

posted at various spots around the motel. Seeing this, I felt

 

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that it was impossible for me to escape. Besides, I did not want

to leave until I had made contact with my husband.

25. A little before noon on April 1, my husband

arrived. He informed me that he had been up most of the night

with Mr. Miscavige and others, telling him that I had gone insane

and he should divorce me if he could not force me to return. We

discussed our situation and agreed that we would cooperate with

all their security checking and signing of documents so that we

could get away without being declared fair game. From my

experience as a staff member with the Scientology organizations, I

knew that they would not let us leave until such time as we

complied with their various requirements.

26. At this time, the Scientologists had all of our

worldly possessions, including a pickup truck, a horse, and two

dogs, as well as clothing and other personal effects.

27. On approximately April 2nd or 3rd, my husband took

me to see Dr. Megan Shields (a doctor whom I knew to be associated

with Scientology) in Los Angeles. Dr. Shields prescribed some

antibiotics for my illness. We were followed by someone from

Scientology when we traveled to Los Angeles and when we returned.

At this time, Scientology still held our personal possessions,

including the dogs and horse.

28. The process of "security checking" continued daily.

It went on for several hours a day. During this time, we were

submitted to intensive interrogation and required to be connected

to the "E-Meter," a device which purportedly measures a person's

truthfulness. The interrogation continued until April 8, 1987.

29. At the completion of the interrogation,

 

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Mr. Miscavige came to the motel where we were being interrogated,

along with Mr. Mithoff and Mr. Rathbun. Mr. Miscavige asked us

regarding our plans and how much money we had. My husband told

Mr. Miscavige that we had a couple of thousand dollars.

Mr. Miscavige stated that he was concerned we might stay in

California where we would be easily available to subpoenas in

litigation in which Scientology was involved, or where we would be

susceptible to contact by "enemies" of Scientology. Mr. Miscavige

asked how much money it would take for us to move back to Texas

and get started in some type of business. My husband stated he

wasn't sure since it had been 15 years since he had lived as a

"normal" person, but he thought it would take about $5,000. He

stated that we would manage somehow on the money we had (our main

concern was getting away). Mr. Miscavige offered to loan us

$20,000 if we would go back to Texas.

30. On April 9, 1987 Mr. Rathbun and Mr. Mithoff

returned with a notary public and two attorneys, Mr. Larry Heller

and Mr. John Peterson. We were required to sign a stack of

documents. From my previous experience with Scientology, I knew

they were all the usual "standard" waivers, as no one is allowed

to leave the cult without signing them. Mr. Peterson and

Mr. Heller informed us that we could "consult" with him if we

wished to do so concerning the documents we were signing. I knew

that these attorneys had represented Scientology organizations and

that there was no way they would advise us regarding our best

interests.

31. The last document to be signed was a loan agreement

for $20,000. Once we signed that, we were given a check for

 

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$20,000. We were then allowed to go downstairs to the parking lot

where a security guard had transported our belongings. Mr.

Miscavige had informed us the night before that since we had no

money, he would have Scientology buy our horse for $1,500.00 so

that we would be able to leave the state "right away" rather than

wait around and try to sell the horse. We did not have the money

to move the horse to Texas. At this point, we got our two dogs

back and our belongings, and we left for Texas.

32. In 1981, when I was in the "U.S. Guardian's Office"

and had become familiar with the documents that had been seized by

the F.B.I. from the Scientology Cult in 1977, I became aware that

Scientology was capable of physical violence. I had heard stories

of it before, but had no first-hand knowledge. Once I saw these

documents (containing, among other things, evidence of operations

done on Paulette Cooper, Gabe Cazares, and others), I knew that

the end of "protecting Scientology" would justify any means.

33. In 1982, I witnessed David Miscavige (with a large

male security guard staff member there to back him up) physically attack three

people who were incarcerated at Gilman Hot Springs. Mr. Miscavige

made them stand there while he hit them in the face.

Mr. Miscavige told me on more than one occasion how he had

physically attacked a female who was a fellow "Commodore's

Messenger" in 1981. He said he beat her up and threw her off

post. On another occasion, Mr. Miscavige called me out of his

office. He had a revolver in his hand, and stated he was very

angry with the "Golden Era Musicians," as they had not handled

some of the music on an album properly. He had a copy of the

album cover in his hand. He spread open the album cover to show

 

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the pictures of the musicians. He said he would like to be able

to shoot the musicians, but could not. So instead he was going to

put a bullet in their heads in the picture. He then proceeded to

shoot the picture, of each of them in the head. On another

occasion, Mr. Miscavige expressed fantasies about shooting Michael

Flynn, an attorney who had claims against Scientology, with his

rifle.

34. The first time Mr. Miscavige told me he was going

to "blow my head off," I had walked into his office by mistake.

This was at Gilman Hot Springs, where I had just arrived to become

part of the staff of Religious Technology Center. I was very

shocked and did not know how to take it. The second time he told

me he was going to blow my head off was when he thought I had sent

up an unfavorable report on his wife and upset her. The last time

he made such a statement was when he sent me to the rehabilitation

Project Force. Even though he was not aiming the gun at my head

when he said it, from the prior incidents that I had witnessed and

the prior statements that he had made, I felt he was capable of,

and indeed obsessed with, committing acts of physical violence

against others.

35. In late 1981, L. Ron Hubbard sent down an order

that was several pages long, setting forth how he wanted the

corporate structure of Scientology re-arranged due to legal

threats from criminal, civil, and IRS litigation. Prior to this

time, the mother church and the corporation that held the majority

of the Scientology assets was Church of Scientology of California

(CSC). CSC also held the Guardian's Office. CSC was at that time

named in many civil lawsuits as the defendant. Hubbard's strategy

 

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was to reorganize this corporate set-up and create a new

corporation to be the mother church. This corporation was

created, and it was named Church of Scientology International.

CSC was stripped of all assets and moved to a small office across

the street from the Cedars of Lebanon complex. The majority of

the cash was placed in overseas trusts in order to avoid the IRS.

The people who controlled these trusts were Mr. Miscavige and Mr.

Spurlock. The money was set up to flow from the various churches

in the U.S. and elsewhere to these trusts. The theory for this,

as I understood it from Mr. Spurlock, was that the money was being

held in trust for Scientology parishioners. While I did not

personally work on setting up the corporate structures or money

flows, I was privy to the overall picture of the corporate

reorganization of Scientology organizations in my capacity as

President of Religious Technology Center and Guardian Office

Missionaire.

36. In 1982, my husband Richard was sent to the

Rehabilitation Project Force in Los Angeles. At that time I was

working in Gilman Hot Springs. These are about 70 miles apart.

During this period of time I had no time off and had to work every

day, all day, and many times, all day and all night.

Mr. Miscavige was my senior. He told me he did not want me going

to see Richard, as he was supposed to be isolated. At that time

there was another person at Gilman Hot Springs whose wife was in

the Rehabilitation Project Force in Los Angeles. He was told not

to see her either. He secretly went to see her one night and was

caught. Because of this, he was stripped of his status as a

"Commodores Messenger." His wife was then assigned to an even

 

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more intense level of rehabilitation until she agreed to divorce

him, and he was then declared a "suppressive person."

37. During this period I would drive to Los Angeles

during the middle of the night once a week when Mr. Miscavige

would be away from Gilman Hot Springs. I would return to Gilman

Hot Springs in time to go to work the next morning so no one knew

that I was leaving. I knew from seeing what had happened to the

other person, that a similar fate awaited me if I was caught.

38. During the period from December, 1985 to

April, 1987, I had only limited contact with my husband. In

December, 1985 he was sent away. From that time through the

middle of January, 1986 I had no contact whatsoever with him and

did not know where he was.

39. For the period from mid-January, 1986 through

April, 1987 I had occasional contact with my husband. Even during

that time, the contact was not as frequent as we wanted. In

addition to the lack of frequency, I was never sure of his

location and had limited opportunities to have both physical

contact with him and opportunities for intimate conversational

exchanges where we could renew and sustain our relationship

as husband and wife.

40. Even after we were physically reunited, on or about

April 1, 1987, we were subjected to long periods of interrogation

by members of the Scientology Cult. In the confined circumstances

of this interrogation, I felt that we could not have the kind of

closeness and intimacy that would give me the support and comfort

that I needed and wanted from my husband.

41. During the period from October, 1981 to April, 1987

 

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I worked for the cult in California. Although I may have traveled

outside of California on occasion, California was my residence and

the place to which I would return. During this period, I was a

staff member of the Scientology Cult. I worked many hours a day,

and far in excess of 40 hours per week. Although I did receive

some services in exchange for my work, I was never paid a minimum

wage for the work and overtime work that I performed for the cult

while in California.

42. In late 1982 the "Team Member System" was created

by L. Ron Hubbard in an effort to control staff of the Scientology

Cult. This was a system whereby a staff member was given five

laminated cards, and as the member committed various offenses,

cards were arbitrarily taken away. These cards represented

privileges like a place to sleep and food to eat and monetary pay.

As these are taken away, a person could end up sleeping out on the

ground with no food. This happened to several people while I was

at Gilman Hot Springs. I personally did not end up sleeping on

the ground as a result of this system.

43. If sworn as a witness, I could competently testify

to the matters stated in this Declaration.

I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is

true and correct.

Executed this 23rd day of September, 1988 at Dallas,

Texas.

 

[signed]
VICKI J. AZNARAN
Declarant

 

 

 

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