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Saturday, 22 December 2012
Kathryn's Story of OSA and insanity PDF Print E-mail

Thanksgiving, 1998

I was a member of Scientology for many years. The only counseling I ever received was from official, authorized Scientology.

A few years ago, at the hands of some of it's most trained members, I went through a devastating experience that left my mind and spirit shattered. I was no longer a whole person. Only now, am I able to even talk about it. Stories like mine are the exception, rather than the rule. However, mine is not the first, nor will it be the last.

I am posting this anonymously because I do not wish to be 'outed.' I am doing better, but I need time to continue healing in private. Of Course Scientologists in the Office of Special Affairs International (OSA Int) and Religious Technology Center (RTC) will recognize who I am because it was under their care that this happened.

The story I wish to share began almost three years ago in 1996. I did not know it at the time but my saga began eight weeks after Lisa McPherson died on December 5, 1995, in Clearwater, Florida. Several aspects of my story are similar, if not the same as Lisa's both of our doctors were Scientologists, we were given the same vitamin and herb concoctions as well as the Drug Chloral Hydrate, and both of us had complete mental breakdowns including hallucinations. Luckily, there were some aspects that were quite different, especially our endings.

Lisa and I had both been long term Scientologists. I had spent over 10 years on Scientology staff (the Sea Organization) as a full time employee or staff member in one of their organizations. Several of those years were spent in Scientology International Management (Int.). After leaving the Sea Organization, I spent another ten years as a public Scientologist with varying degrees of activity.

While I was a Scientologist, I encountered many conditions and situations within the church that I disliked or disagreed with. However, I rationalized them and placed them into perspectives that allowed me to feel I could and should continue as an active member. I guess I always hoped that these conditions would eventually be changed for the better.

By the early 1990's, I found my hopes were wearing thin and my doubts and disagreements weren't so easily put to rest. I took some Scientology courses intending to get these doubts and disagreements resolved. Instead, the doubts got stronger.

Towards the end of 1994, I received a call from someone at OSA Int. who wanted me to join a new group that "Wolly” had started on the Internet. (Note: "Wolly” is the name that staff at OSA Int. use for Larry Wollersheim, a former Scientologist.) She wanted to know what "Wolly” was up to. I turned her down, saying that I did not know my way around the Internet.

However, her call made me curious and I soon learned how to get 'online'. That was how I discovered the Internet. During 1995, I found and read many court cases, court decisions, affidavits and press information in support of and against Scientology.

While this information answered a lot of questions for me, it neither eased my doubts nor made me a stronger Scientologist. I took a few trips into AOLA (the Advanced Scientology Organization in Los Angeles) and CCLA (the Celebrity Center in Los Angeles) to get some help in sorting out my feelings. These actions did not help either.

A few of the points that I wanted sorted out were:
1. If Scientology was supposed to clear the planet, how come it cost so much? Most of the people that I knew in the regular middle class world, couldn't afford the lower levels of Scientology - much less the higher levels of "clearing'. Due to its prices, it seemed to be more of an elitist group than one working to help mankind. I knew of one member who had already paid $300,000 and he was being told he needed to purchase another $60,000 to get to the first level above Clear.

2. Where was all the money going? Looked to me like a huge portion was going to lawyers to handle court cases to handle the people that were hurt by the exorbitant amounts of money being charged for services. And they needed to charge those exorbitant amounts of money because their lawyers cost so much.

3. Was it really a religion? When I first joined I was clearly told that the 'religion' label was used only for tax and legal reasons, and that no one had to change their personal religious affiliation to be a member. During my 20 years as a member, I had only ever been to one Scientology church service. Once I tried to find a Scientology service to which I could take my children. One Scientology organization told me that they held a small service WHILE people ate their lunches during a break in a Scientology Training Course. Another organization spent their Sunday mornings putting on a very large social Brunch, that they heavily advertised and promoted. I did hear that one organization had a service on Sunday nights that was pretty good. So I packed my children up one Sunday night and went. There was one other person standing in front of the building where we had been told the services took place. It was a dark, locked up building. We both went into the main lobby of the building next door. After asking several staff, who knew nothing about a Sunday service, we found one gentleman who casually said, "Oh, no, that was cancelled tonight”. End of my foray into Scientology Services for my children.

4. If Scientology was a religion, what were the group's beliefs about God. I had thought that my Scientology counseling would bring me a better understanding and a closer relationship with God (the divine, universal, whatever you call it), but here I was 20 years later, having experienced the highest levels of Scientology counseling, and I didn't feel any closer to God. Most of the Scientologists whom I knew personally did not believe in God. But, was that their decision as individuals, or was that due to Scientology's influence over them? I attempted to find out. That was when I discovered the massive editing that had been being done on Scientology materials. The one book in which I found some clear LRH references to the religious basis on Scientology (Notes on the Lectures), I had to buy in a used book store because the Church had "cancelled” it.

5. How come there were always these "Enemies?” I had done some projects for both the GO and OSA Int, and during those projects had the opportunity to spend some time with a few of these "SP's” and "Enemies”. I did not find them to be the ogres that Scientology portrayed to its members. In fact, most of them knew of some valid point of outrageous Scientology behavior that led to the creation of their discontent or anger. In other words, from my point of view these enemies were being created by the very group that held itself up to be the 'victim'.

These were a few of my feelings and concerns, as I wandered about the Internet.
Around New Years 1996, I realized that I had to tell my husband how I felt, even though it was a High Crime to tell another Scientologist about one's disaffection with Scientology. I also told him that I might not want to be a Scientologist any longer. He was visibly upset and very clear with me that that would be a problem for him. I knew that if I continued in my current direction, my marriage and children could be at risk. So I stopped talking about my feelings.

On Monday, February 5, 1996, I received a call from a member of OSA Int. who I knew personally. She wanted to meet with me. I met with her and her associate in the boardroom of OSA Int. on Hollywood Blvd. To my amazement, they handed me a private E-mail message I had sent to someone several months earlier. Scientology had declared this person a Suppressive Person, meaning that the Church had dismissed him from membership, severed his ties to the Scientology and to active Scientologists, and forbad all Scientologists to have anything to do with him. The person, in his message to me, marveled that I, a Scientologist in good standing, still trusted and communicated with him. I replied that I did not distrust him personally, but that I was concerned about the spies that I was certain that Scientology had positioned closely to him.

The two women at OSA Int. never admitted how they obtained my private E-mail message. I told them I was not hiding anything, in that I had signed my real name to it, and knew they had observers and spies everywhere. I also told them about my visits to AOLA and CCLA to try to sort out my thoughts and feelings about Scientology, including some thoughts I had recently resolved.

I told them that I disagreed with many of the operations that OSA Int. instigated against its so-called "enemies,” as they were unethical. I disagreed with the Scientology mindset, "the end justifies the means,” that governed their actions and decisions, including those I had personally been involved in or had personal first hand knowledge of.

They really did not seem interested in my point of view, but instead zeroed in on specific names I mentioned, wanting to know if I had talked with this or that person, all of whom, of course, were on their enemies list.

They offered to help me sort through my doubts and confusions. They said that a wonderful auditor, whom I had known but hadn't seen for many years, had been studying my folders and that she wanted to help me.

I was not adverse to an offer of help, so went in for a D of P interview. Only to find out it was not a D of P interview like any I had ever had, but more like an interrogation. I was asked if I knew people who are off the bridge. Did I know anyone who is an SP? How bout people I chat with? How bout what I think??

I returned home NUMB. I didn't want to talk about it. I knew if I refused their 'handling' I would be declared, and I knew my marriage (and other facets of my life) were at risk if I got declared.

That night I happened to get a call from a Scientology friend of mine. She was troubled. Her Org (AOLA) had ordered her to disconnect from her best friend (disaffected as a Scientology member, but not a declared enemy). Her husband told her that if she didn't disconnect, she wouldn't be moving on the bridge and if she was not moving on the bridge, he could no longer be married to her.

I felt I was in a similar corner to her and that I had no choice but to appear at the scheduled 'session' the next day. I call it a "session” because it was not an interview; the interview had been done the previous day. It was meant to be an informal interview before the more 'formal' auditing began.

The next day the two OSA Int. women walked me back into the auditing room to meet the auditor. They followed me into this tiny auditing room. At first I looked at these three women and their stern faces and wondered if this was about to be a "Gang Bang Sec Check” that I had heard about years ago. But it wasn't, and they soon left me alone with my auditor.

What transpired over the next several days was like no "auditing” I had ever experienced. "Grueling” is a word that comes to mind. The sessions were hours long, and went on for several days.

I remember on the second day, the auditor had me read these different bulletins to show me that this was truly for my benefit and that these sessions were not meant to be an inquisition or to 'attack' me. The auditor said that she really cared about me and that this was being done to help. But then she would begin yelling at me over something I said or that she disagreed with.

For example, I remember telling her about something that I had done to a suppressive person that I considered to be an overt, only to be yelled at. She shouted at me that what I had done couldn't possibly be an overt, that "You can not commit overts on Suppressive People.”

We had several disagreements about the definition of an overt. I said that I did not agree with the definition, "Greatest Good for Greatest Number,” as it had been used to justify a lot of wrong actions I had done. I said that I felt that "Do Unto Others,” or 'what goes around comes around' had immensely more validity for me, and I used them to decide if I transgressed. The auditor vehemently disagreed with my point of view as it did not comply with either Hubbard's or Scientology's beliefs and, right in the auditing session, this led to several more yelling episodes.

These 'session days' lasted about a week. When I wasn't in session, I talked very little. I felt numb all the time. Although I tried, I could not sleep. I forced myself to eat in order to "pass a metabolism check,” the needle phenomenon that shows your body is rested and fed and allows the session to begin.

At night I would feel these 'sessions' repeating constantly in my mind. It was like the session never ended. I brought the auditor home with me. She was in my mind, disagreeing with me, screaming at me, and digging into my head.

February 9 or 10, 1996

This was the longest session I had, about six hours. I remember desperately wanting to leave. However, I was on one of the upper floors of OSA Int. When I pictured the difficulties in getting past my auditor as well as the hallways and stairs that had cameras everywhere and were always full of staff and security guards trained to prevent "session blows”, I ended up remaining. I spent most of those six hours sitting in the tiny auditing room sobbing, or doubled over a trash can with the dry heaves.

Sunday night February 11, 1996

I went to sleep. Around 2 AM I was awakened with the cracking of my mind, my self, my soul. I don't know how else to describe it, other than my mind broke. I was driven to do something, but I did not know what. I was yelling at my husband, but it didn't feel as if I was yelling the words.

I left the house running. My husband, who was chasing me, caught me before I left the driveway. I paced around the car and tried to touch the trees. My husband calmed me enough to get me back into the house.

I was scared to death. Something had happened to my mind and I knew I was now in a different place. My husband called OSA Int. and spoke with my auditor (who happened to be up at 2AM)… She spoke with my husband and then myself. All I remember of our conversation was her saying "There is no tech to handle this”. I remember feeling as though I was off in the distance, while thinking, "she could at least have lied to me…”

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