Saturday, August 04, 2012

Scientology: Contempt Contempt Contempt

Contempt for any such organisation as sinister as the Church of Scientology, not to mention contempt for short arsed megalomaniacs who by comparison make the term Napoleon Complex seem almost benign.

Contempt for the United States of America, the FBI and the IRS, who not only allow such a cult to flourish unhindered, but recognise Scientology as a religion and bestow on it tax free status.

Contempt for anyone dumb enough, shallow enough or pathetic enough, to walk through the portals of, and embrace any organisation, that were it not so sinister, should be laughed and ridiculed out of existence, the brain-child of a third rate science fiction writer, L Ron Hubbard and his Church of Scientology.

Only in America! Only in America!! You better fucking believe it.

The only thing more I have to say is, after you have read the first account, an account the plot of which, wouldn't do justice to a bad B movie, simply because it's too unbelievable, please read part two, which has all the basics required for a half decent novel thriller.

For myself right now, I'm going to open a few more links and continue reading what at best can be described as bizarre, and at worst, a good deal more than sinister.

Scientology's Concentration Camp for Its Executives: The Prisoners, Past and Present
By Tony Ortega
Aug. 2 2012

This weekend, we published a two-part story about the rather amazing 32-year Scientology career of John Brousseau, whose adventures included driving for L. Ron Hubbard, spending time in the Sea Org's prison program the RPF, and working in the Cruise household with Tom and Katie Holmes.

What seemed to generate the most comments, however, was Brousseau's involvement in the creation of Scientology's notorious office-prison for its top executives, variably known as "CMO Int," the "A to E Room," the "SP Hole," and simply "The Hole."

It was Brousseau who was ordered to put bars on the doors and locks on the windows to turn a set of offices at Scientology's International Base east of Los Angeles into a prison that housed out-of-favor church executives from 2004 to the present day.

But over that time, Brousseau tells us, the conditions of The Hole changed, and so did the roster of people kept inside. After the jump, what we know about the place, and a list of people who spent at least some time there.

As Brousseau explained, it was after Scientology finally got out from under the Lisa McPherson wrongful death lawsuit with a settlement in 2004 that church leader David Miscavige's attention seemed to turn inward.

Suddenly, he says, Miscavige directed an unending fury at his own top executives, some of his most loyal and longest-serving officials in international management. And in 2004, he rounded up about 50 of these Sea Org members, locked them in a room, and then confined them to another building for three days. He then asked Brousseau to secure the CMO Int offices, and then the next day moved the executives down to it.

The Hole was born.

Harrowing accounts of what occurred in The Hole turned up in a 2009 investigation by Joe Childs and Tom Tobin of the Tampa Bay Times, in Marc Headley's 2009 book Blown for Good, and in Janet Reitman's 2011 history of the church, Inside Scientology.

Then, this year, we heard from two additional sources about conditions in The Hole -- Debbie Cook's dramatic court testimony this February in San Antonio, and Mike Rinder's Voice video interview in March. (At Cook's hearing in February, the church put out a statement denying that The Hole exists. But the attorney who uttered that denial was not, as Cook, under oath in a court of law. He's also outnumbered by numerous former Scientologists who have spoken about the church's concentration camp with utter consistency.)

Rinder estimates that he spent a total of about two years in the Hole -- first in 2004 as it was beginning, and then later in 2006-2007.

Debbie Cook was in for only 7 weeks in 2007, but her experience was brutal. She testified that Miscavige had two hulking guards climb into her office through a window as she was talking to him on the phone. "Goodbye" he told her as she was hauled off to the gulag. Like Rinder, she described a place where dozens of men and women were confined to what had been a set of offices. Cook testified that the place was ant-infested, and during one two-week stretch in the summer with temperatures over 100 degrees, Miscavige had the air conditioning turned off as punishment. Food was brought up in a vat riding on a golf cart. Cook described it as a barely edible "slop" that was fed to them morning, noon, and night. Longtime residents of the Hole began to look gaunt.

They had to find places on the floor or on desks to sleep at night. Rinder said there were so many of them they slept only inches from each other, and having to get up in the middle of the night was a nightmare of stepping over sleeping figures in the dark.

In the morning, they were marched out of the offices and through a tunnel under Gilman Springs Road to a large building with communal showers. They were then marched back to the Hole, and during the day would be compelled to take part in mass confessions.

During these, Rinder says people he had considered friends would put on a show for the officials overseeing them, trying to outdo each other with vile accusations against each other. Cook testified that Miscavige wanted Marc Yager and Guillaume Lesevre, two of his longest-serving and highest-ranking officials, to confess to having a homosexual affair. The men were beaten until they made some forced admissions. When Cook objected to what was happening, she herself was made to stand in a trash can for twelve hours while insults were hurled at her, she was called a lesbian, and water was dumped on her head.

She testified that she saw one man, Mark Ginge Nelson, beaten and then made to lick a bathroom floor for half an hour. [Note: Cook testified that she witnessed this punishment at a Scientology location in Los Angeles, not in the Hole. Nelson, she testified, received this punishment for daring to object to the way executives were being locked up in the Hole.]

Rinder and Cook both eventually got out of the Hole in 2007 when Miscavige needed them on projects elsewhere. But others have reportedly spent five to seven years locked up in the Hole.

In more recent years, however, conditions have improved, Brousseau tells me.

"'The Truth Rundown' caused conditions to get better," Brousseau says. The landmark 2009 Tampa Bay Times series featured several former executives accusing Miscavige of assaulting them and creating an environment of violence and incarceration. (The church vehemently denied the accusations.)

Brousseau says the publicity had an immediate effect.

"The mandate was to change the Hole's appearance," he says.

Over a two-week period, changes were made that were still in place when Brousseau left the base in 2010. (Through an intermediary, we've heard from Roanne Horwich, who left the base just a few months ago, that the changes are still in place.)

At night, the prisoners of the Hole were now allowed to sleep in actual beds, in one of several buildings on the south side of Gilman Springs Road which are collectively known as "Berthing."

Brousseau was never held in the Hole, but he observed the prisoners often and describes their day:

"They slept in Berthing. They got up, showered, then went to the dining hall at 9:30. They had 30 minutes for breakfast," he says. (No more bringing them a vat of slop on the back of a golf cart.)

"Then they walked up to the Hole. They sat down at desks. I have no clue what work they did," he says. "They worked until 12:30 or 1 pm. Then they were marched back to the dining hall and had 30 minutes for lunch. Then they were marched back to the Hole and were there until 6 pm."

The executives were then marched to the dining hall for a 30-minute dinner.

"Then they went up to the study hall. In the Qual building, the one with the big circular stained glass window," he says. More

Related and full of bizarre goings on: Mimi Faust's Mother, Olaiya Odufunke: Her Life in Scientology's Secret Service Maybe more links to come after more reading.

Full list of articles by Tony Ortega


Anonymous said...

Scientology and Me

Himself said...

Thanks for the link, I am familiar with the program.

Anonymous said...

Federal suit: Scientologists spent $30 million to cover up death of Lisa McPherson.