Is Scientology breaking the law?

Allegations of illegal imprisonment by Scientology

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"Art Student", an anonymous poster to alt.religion.scientology, describes being locked up after refusing to disconnect from his family


From: (A. Student)
Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology
Subject: Re: How does Scientology view marriage and the family?
Date: Mon, 26 Jan 1998 05:03:46 GMT

In my case, my family did not dissuade. They did not even know about my membership in the sea organization until after I left the cult. No one knew where I was or what I was doing. I had left home at the age of 15, I was very independent (including financially), and went, more or less quickly into the lower courses, then into the sea org.

But, I was ordered to disconnect. When I refused, that was when I was ordered into auditing and lockup at the celebrity centre in Hollywood. Of course I could have busted out. But, they threatened that I would not be able to get a refund for outstanding cash balances. The sum was substantial, so I stayed. As it turned out, the refund was just a ruse anyway. They had no intention of paying it. A staffer later told a family member that I had agreed to it, paid for it, and that was it, there would be NO refund.

The money was extremely important, as I found out all too well. I pursued a refund through all the normal channels in California; First, the church and its management. Second, the Better Business Bureau. Third, the Consumer Protection Agency. Fourth the California State Attorney General’s office. Only after this last step did I receive a partial refund.

Probably what shocked me most from this experience was the total lack of a support network in the legal sense. I had signed an agreement forever waiving my right to sue the church in my lifetime as a condition for receiving the refund.

I remember the day well, a Sunday, finally seeing the brutal side of the cult--it’s all business side.

After my experience with the State Attorney General’s Office and reading about litigation tactics used worldwide to silence ex-members, I felt very threatened at the time. Well, I was a teen and not very saavy about the law. What I believed was that my hands were tied, so that I could not pursue litigatation, nor did I have any idea how to go about it really. Most of what I knew about the law came from watching re-runs of Perry Mason! If the State Attorney General could not make the cult do right, then who could?

I went into a state of silence. Reeling from the shock of the powerlessness of the State Attorney General’s Office, and the realization that the cult posed as a religion on the surface but maintained a very large global network of attorneys. I wondered how the government could be so powerless to take action on behalf of a consumer. Now, I wonder no more.

I watched as one women decide to get tough in court, so they entered countersuits against her in countries all over the world. They litigated her into the wild blue yonder.

It’s more important for me to know that the cult made a mistake in my case. How could they have known that I would go on to become a leader in government, reporting to the Governor of the State of California.

How could they have known that I would go on from there to increasing positions of power. The old saying rings true, it’s a good idea to be careful about stepping on toes.

While I would surely not abuse my position to persecute the cult, I certainly do have a sensitized awareness of what is going on with it.

But, back to your original statement about disconnection ... had it not been for this, I would have not faced the ethics organization or been locked in a room for hours, interrogated at one end of an e-meter, asking me about my relationship with my parents, and intense probing to find out why I would not disconnect. Up until that point, my record was spotless. I had never been RPF’d or anything like that. Honestly, I never heard of RPF (or ethics) until that crucial day. I was never in a downstat condition prior to that point.

Art Student

This page was last updated on May 8, 1999.