The Scientology War
Over the years the Mission Holders had learned to be
wary of the Sea Org. They had watched the pageant of faces alternately screaming and
smiling; seen the little tyrants rise and fall. In the past, Hubbard had stepped in and
put a few "heads on pikes." The Mission Holders also knew that expulsion from
the Church of Scientology would effectively ruin their Missions, so all they could do was
knuckle under and wait. Lambasted by the leaders of the new order, surrounded by scowling
members of the International Finance Police, the Mission Holders tried to stay cool. This
time, however, waiting it out would not work. The situation did not blow over, and the
usual horrified Hubbard edict denying all knowledge did not appear either.
Martin Samuels was a legend among Scientologists. He
ran a chain of five Missions. The Church's magazine Center, devoted to the
Mission network, was always heavy with praise for Samuels. A 1975 issue says that in a
single year 3,000 new people started the Communication Course in Samuels' Missions. His
Missions usually came out at the top in the quarterly Mission statistics, even taken
individually. In Center 23, Martin Samuels was "Particularly COMMENDED"
for his "brilliant application." Out of the fifty listed, his Sacramento,
Portland and Davis Missions were the top three in the Center "Award of
Merit" contest for that quarter.
In early 1970s, Samuels started the Delphian Project.
It began as a center for research into Alternative Energy, but a school, the Delphian
Foundation, was established for the children of Project staff. The school used Hubbard's
"Study Technology." It soon generated interest from other Scientologists, so the
school became Delphi's main activity. By the time of the Mission Holders' Conference
Samuels had twelve schools, with over 600 pupils.
Scientology Missions report various performance
statistics to the Church every week. The Mission income figures are listed and distributed
to Mission Holders to show which are most successful. For the first week of September
1982, just before the Conference, the total income of the eighty or so Missions throughout
the world was $808,435. For the U.S. Missions it was $643,737, and Samuels' Missions made
up $172,825 of that. Which is to say they represented over a quarter of the U.S. Missions
income, and over a fifth of the worldwide income. Incidentally, Kingsley Wimbush's major
Mission made $154,101 that week. So between them Samuels and Wimbush accounted for more
than half of the U.S. Missions income. Ten percent of this was paid straight to the
But at the end of the Mission Holders' Conference
Samuels spoke out. On top of their normal ten percent tithe to the Scientology Church, the
Mission Holders had been ordered to pay five percent for a promotional campaign to Bridge
Publications. Samuels explained that he could not pay the additional tithe. His Missions
were non-profit, tax-exempt corporations, and Bridge had been separated from the Church
and made into a for-profit corporation, and such donations would be illegal. Samuels was
taken into a side room by eight members of the International Finance Police, and given a
"Gang Sec Check." He was threatened with a "Suppressive declare" if he
did not make "personal payments to L. Ron Hubbard." So he handed over $20,000
and a $10,000 wrist watch to a Finance Policeman.
Samuels' access to his Missions' bank accounts was
frozen. His wife was warned that she would have to "disconnect" from him if he
was declared Suppressive. He was ordered to Flag, in Florida, to undergo more Security
Checks, for which he had to pay $300 an hour.
Within a month Martin Samuels had paid $40,000 to the
Scientology Church. This still was not enough, and he was ordered to the International
Finance Police Ethics Officer at Flag. At the meeting, Samuels was told he had been
declared Suppressive, and shown the confession of a Scientology executive who had admitted
to being a transvestite with homosexual tendencies. Samuels claims that he was ordered to publicly
confess to "acts that were similarly degrading." Otherwise the Church would file
both civil and criminal prosecutions against him that would keep him "tied up in
court forever." He was also warned that he would be watched and the Church would
"keep tabs on him forever."
Samuels refused to demean himself by signing a
fictitious confession, even though his Missions were now in the hands of the Church, and
he had surrendered control of his personal accounts. The Scientologists now launched their
campaign in earnest. Samuels' wife, family, business associates and friends were told he
had stolen funds from his Missions, and that he was "insane" and an enemy of the
Church of Scientology.
The Suppressive declare was published, and Samuels'
wife left him, taking the children with her. She "disconnected" and started
divorce proceedings. His children were told he was a "criminal and would probably be
going to jail in the near future." Scientologist business associates and friends were
ordered to disconnect from him or be declared Suppressive themselves. Even Samuels'
stockbroker, who was a Scientologist, was ordered to disconnect, and refused to take
instructions to sell stock. As he had been declared, Samuels was told he must leave his
sister's house, where he was staying, or she too would be declared Suppressive.
In a few weeks, Samuels had lost the business he had
built up over thirteen years, with an annual turnover of millions of dollars. His
seventeen year marriage was destroyed, and he was deprived of his possessions. Samuels
felt like a college kid again, rolling up penniless on his parents' doorstep. He responded
by filing a lawsuit against Hubbard in 1983, claiming damages of $72 million. A jury
awarded $30 million, and the Scientologists appealed the decision. The case was finally
settled in 1986 with an out of court payment of $500,000 to Samuels.
There were very few of the big Mission Holders left.
Among them was Bent Corydon, who held the franchise for Riverside, in southern California.
Soon after the Conference, in October 1982, the Finance Police arrived. They demanded, and
were paid, $15,000 for their first day. They demanded, and were paid, $15,000 for their
second day. At this point Corydon ran out of ready money. Corydon wanted to stay in the
Church. He had built the Mission up from nothing, lost it in the 1970s, and finally fought
his way back, only to discover that the reserves of nearly a million dollars that he had
built up were gone. He could not face losing the Riverside Mission again. In desperation
he took his attorney's advice to put the valuable Mission building into a trust before it
was seized in lieu of some trumped up "fine."
Corydon's wife was a Class 8 Auditor. The retaliation
to the "can't pay" claim was rapid. Mary Corydon's Auditor certificates were
cancelled. Corydon wrote:
Without Mary's certificates, we were no longer
in a position to operate at all, according to laid-down policy. The Church would have to
come to our "rescue." I soon got the call to come down to Los Angeles to the
Scientology Missions International Ethics Officer. This could mean only one thing. They
would propose that we be turned into an Organization. Orgs are under total domination of
management, and they own no property .... This in other words would be the final and total
takeover of our Mission.
Corydon had heard that both the Kansas City Org and
the Omaha Mission had splintered from the Church. He talked to these
"squirrels," and decided that to continue delivering Scientology he too would
have to splinter. At the end of 1982 he did just that.
The International Finance Dictator fulfilled a part of
his promise, and all of the wealthier Missions were "verified," handing over an
undoubtedly enormous sum for the privilege. A year after the Mission Holders' Conference,
the Scientology Missions International statistic sheet for the week ending September 29,
1983, shows a sad decline. From $808,435 worldwide in a week, in September 1982, down to
$171,356; a seventy-nine percent reduction, and actually less than the earlier combined
income of Samuels' five Missions.
After the Mission Holders' Conference another
corporate instrument of the new management appeared: The International Hubbard
Ecclesiastical League of Pastors (or "I HELP"). Rather than working for Orgs or
Missions, some Scientologists simply give individual counselling. They are known as
"Field Auditors." The more successful Field Auditors made very good money. In
December 1982, I HELP called a meeting in Los Angeles. Several hundred field Auditors
attended and were ordered to join this new body. Membership would cost $100 a year, and
ten percent of their gross income. The Field Auditors would also have to fill in weekly
reports. None of this was too worrying; however, to join they had to waive all previous
agreements with the Church, and sign a contract binding them to the decisions of I HELP.
Many shied away from signing. The tone of the meeting reflected that of the earlier
Mission Holders' Conference, news of which had inevitably travelled to the Scientology
"field." Of the hundreds who attended, perhaps a dozen signed contracts that
night. Then the bullying began. 1
For many years, Valerie Stansfield ran her own
auditing practice. She had been in Scientology for twenty years, and as a Class 9 Auditor
was very highly trained. In March 1983, she was telephoned by a Finance Policeman and
given half an hour to come to his office. She politely refused, and after a harangue
agreed to an appointment that evening. When she and her husband Manfred arrived, she was
told that her nutritional counselling was "squirrel." Then the Finance Policeman
read a list of accusations, and demanded that she hand over the counselling folders of all
her clients immediately. Valerie reluctantly agreed to give the Finance Police the
folders, but urged that they wait for a more opportune time to pick them up, as there were
clients at her house. 2
Then International Finance Police Ethics Officer Don
Larson walked in and started berating Valerie. He screamed abuse at her, and ordered his
underlings to remove Manfred Stansfield, who refused to leave. Larson accused them both of
"squirreling," and told Manfred he was Suppressive. Manfred returned the insult,
to which Larson replied "You're a fucking SP [Suppressive]. Get out."
Shocked by this aggressive treatment, the Stanfields
wrote to their friends. The letter was one of the first public statements about the
tactics of the new management; it was recopied and distributed to an increasingly
bewildered Scientology field. Outlandish fines were imposed on some of the new members of
I HELP. One Field Auditor was fined for introducing two of his Preclears who subsequently
did business together. This was somehow construed as a breach of ethics. 3
In the 1970s, the "World Institute of Scientology
Enterprises" (WISE) came into being to cash in on successful businessmen who were
also Scientologists. Ostensibly it existed to offer consultancy services, provide the most
up-to-date Hubbard Policy Letters on administration, and train the staff of Scientology
businesses in the immense Hubbard Administrative Technology. Practically, WISE gave very
little to its members for their tithes. Now the Scientology business community in Los
Angeles was invaded by the Finance Dictator's henchmen, and fines were levied for alleged
abuses of privilege. Intransigent businessmen were threatened with Suppressive declare.
Those who depended upon other Scientologists for the bulk of their business had no choice
but to pay up. At least one sizeable business had to send its entire staff to Flag, in
Clearwater, to do the Keeping Scientology Working Course, at a cost of tens of thousands
of dollars. Employees who complained were given Security Checks, at their own expense. The
man who had created the business was ostracized for his "squirrel Tech." 4
WISE also altered its contracts with businesses
managed by public Scientologists, which now had to pay a $250 annual membership, in
addition to a percentage of their income.
The Religious Technology Center, and its International
Finance Police, had effectively wrecked the network which had provided Scientology's
interface with the public at large. They had also started a massive schism, especially in
California where most of these events took place. Whether Hubbard's $85 million Christmas
present was delivered we do not know, but Miscavige and company did their damnedest.
The purge of the so-called Executive Strata of the Sea
Org had continued. David Mayo and his staff had been removed in August 1982. By the time
of the San Francisco Mission Holders' Conference in October, there were seventeen key
executives at Gilman awaiting a Committee of Evidence. Among them were the former
Executive Director International and his Deputy; the Commanding Officer Canada; the
Commanding Officer of Scientology Missions International and his superior, the Church
Management Executive over Missions; the Commanding Officer Eastern U.S.; four members of
the International Management Organization; the Commanding Officer of the CMO film unit;
the two senior Field Executives (whose boss, Hubbard's daughter Diana, had left shortly
before); and former Chairman of the Watchdog Committee and Commanding Officer CMO
International, John Nelson. 5
Hubbard had organized Scientology in a series of
compartments, and with the detention of these executives the CMO had removed all potential
major opposition from each compartment of the Organization.
The detainees were moved to a place dubbed "Happy
Valley," a remote camp inside an Indian reservation not far from Gilman. Although
they were not prevented from leaving, the former Sea Org executives were watched by
security guards. They were, however, told that if they left they would be declared
Suppressive for all eternity, and never readmitted to the Scientology congregation. It was
a dreadful threat to committed Scientologists who had devoted most of their adult lives to
The group were subjected to a Committee of Evidence: a
Scientology trial, where the Committee act as prosecutors, judges and jury rolled into
one. They were charged with thirty-six offences, ranging from somehow employing
Scientology to receive sexual favors to being in the pay of the enemies of Scientology.
David Mayo was found guilty of "committing" a problem. The Findings and
Recommendations of the Committee came to a total of over ninety pages. The major thread of
the Findings was the purported plot to overthrow the CMO. It was asserted that Deputy
Executive Director International Allen Buchanan, one of the defendants, had been
"brainwashed" by former ED Int, Bill Franks. Franks had brought Buchanan to
believe that he must protect the Church from senior management. There were very few
specifics amongst the bombast.
Although the Findings would usually remain an internal
document,. there are translations of the Scientologese throughout. This suggests that it
was composed in part for the benefit of attorneys, should litigation ensue.
The Committee recommended that earlier threats of
perpetual excommunication be carried out. Most of the recommended sentences include the
assertion that the defendant will never in any lifetime be allowed Scientology services.
It also included a perpetual writ of disconnection, forbidding all Scientologists to
assist or communicate with the defendants. It further recommended that the Church should
look into the possibility of filing criminal charges against the defendants. The
investigation was to take into account a list of charges including sabotage and industrial
The Inspector General of the Religious Technology
Center approved the recommendations for seven of the defendants, one of whom was the only
party to be exonerated (she had been seized by mistake); the other six had already left
Happy Valley in disgust. The ten who remained were informed that the Committee's
recommendations would not be carried out if the defendants recanted. Nonetheless, all of
their Scientology certificates were cancelled. David Mayo and his wife Merrill were both
Class 12s, the highest Auditor class, attained by only a handful of Scientologists. It
would have taken at least four years of full-time training for them to regain this status.
Each of the defendants would have to publish a
witnessed statement confessing their evil motives. The Inspector General ended his
statement by speaking about the benevolence of his decisions.
The Happy Valley story was not over. During the summer
of 1982, Hubbard had tested out a new idea with Mayo's help. Executives were becoming
exhausted, so rather than shortening their eighteen-hour day, Hubbard had issued the
Running Program. Executives were to run around a fixed point for about an hour a day, and
take huge quantities of mineral supplements. For the Happy Valley detainees the time was
extended. They were to run, in desert heat, for five hours a day, round and round a tree.
Perhaps because of his especially potent contaminating
effect, Mayo was separated from the rest of the group, given a pole to run around (and
even ordered to paint it red). The runners took the affair as lightly as possible. Only
one guard was assigned to them, so Mayo and those at the tree would take turns to sit
down, and the guard would have to trek between them to goad them back into action. 6
The Running Program took its toll. Mayo, a slight man,
lost Twenty-five pounds. Whether through the program, or the general lack of medical care
within the Sea Org, Mayo's teeth and gums also suffered badly. In February 1983, convinced
that he could do nothing to change the attitude of management, he accepted his Suppressive
Person declare and left.
Sources: Complaint in
Martin Samuels vs. Hubbard, Circuit Court, Oregon State, Multnomah County, case no. A8311
07227, November 1983; Bent Corydon, taped talk, July 1983, and interview in Copenhagen
Corner, 11; Religious Technology Center Conditions Order 1-3.
1. Jon Zegel taped
talk, June 1983
"Knowledge Report," 14 March 1983
3. Zegel talk, June 1983
4. Interview, former employee
5. RTC Conditions Order 1-3
6. Interview with David Mayo