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Report ... and Farewell

Discussion in 'General Scientology Discussion' started by Songbird, Jan 10, 2008.

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  1. Songbird

    Songbird Patron

    I hope that you won't mind my taking a bit of space to post here a message that I just posted at OCMB. Although I never joined this MB community, I did request help from folks here for some projects, and I'd like to report on those - and also to say goodbye to some who now reside here rather than at OCMB. Here goes.....

    I would like to update everyone on some activity that I’ve referred to indirectly in posts over the past couple of months.

    I had intended to leave OCMB and the Scientology critic scene in October, saying goodbye and thanks to all here. Then came word that the cult is applying for rezoning so that LRH’s old Phoenix home can be made into a museum. I live in the Phoenix area, and I thought: I’d like to do something about that. I put out messages here and on ESMB asking people to provide signed statements or sworn affidavits describing their experiences with CoS - as public Scientologists, as staff, as SO, as family who had suffered disconnection, etc., so that this information could be gathered and presented to the Phoenix City Council before it makes a decision (sometime this spring). That effort has been ongoing.

    Simultaneously, we began hearing reports about the “Suppressive Persons Hall” and worsening conditions inside Gold Base. I know a woman who was said to be in the SP Hall. I wrote to the FBI, expressed concern about her, and asked them to investigate. The FBI informed me that they sent agents into Gold, that the agents found my friend there, spoke with her for about half an hour, and she assured them she was fine and “just working there.” One hopes that, on their way in & out of Gold, the agents noticed the razor wire.

    At the same time, I had begun contacting former high-level INT execs to explore the possibility of their going en masse to the media & the authorities about their experiences at INT. A variety of efforts re this are ongoing behind the scenes, as more execs leave the cult and as those who have been out for awhile find themselves ready to speak and continue networking with each other. IMO we will see former INT staff coming forward, as a group.

    Meanwhile, back at the Phoenix City Council… partway into the process of collecting statements and affidavits, I was told - and it has been confirmed to me three times, by three different individuals - that Council members are not legally permitted to consider the character of a nonprofit organization in rezoning applications such as CoS’s; they are only allowed to look at issues such as land use, adequate parking, etc. If conversion of the LRH house to a museum is to be opposed, it must be done on that basis, most likely by residents of the area.

    Sooooo, where are we? I’m sorry to say that I don’t see any point to going ahead with an organized effort to provide information to the Council, since it cannot consider the data we would be offering, for fear of lawsuits by the cult. To those who have sent me statements and affidavits for the Phoenix City Council, I have shredded those documents, so there is no trace of them in my possession and you need not worry about them falling into hands other than mine. It was heartrending for me to read these accounts of disconnection or years spent in the SO or on the RPF. I know that it was difficult for you to write your stories. Thank you. To those who contributed letters, thank you. To the individual who compiled a chronology of LRH’s and the Scientology organization’s criminal convictions, thank you. If any or all of you wish to contact the Phoenix City Council on your own to express your opinion of the creation of an LRH museum in Phoenix, you’re certainly free to do so. I can’t say what impact it will have - but you never know.

    Some believe that the best way to expose CoS is through law enforcement, and others believe through the media. I think that it may be a combination of the two. The cult’s own seemingly endless, and often hilarious, penchant for footbullets continues to be perhaps the most effective tool of all! :) And certainly websites such as OC perform a vital service - both informing the public about the cult and offering a place for former CoS members to debate, blow off steam, caucus about ways to “undress” Scientology, and ultimately heal.

    Healing is mostly what I’ve done here. Although I never wrote an entry on “Your Story from Inside Scientology,“ many here know the story of my husband’s & my recruitment into CoS when he had cancer and the cult’s ensuing attempts to take every cent we had. I will share with you that we celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary in December; he is cancer-free and life is good.

    So now, after more than 3,000 posts during six years, it is time to go and there’s only one thing left for me to say: Thank you. Most of all to Andreas, who is a giant. Of course to those currently here, who are so sharp and creative and committed. And especially to the “old timers” who populated the board when I arrived here; who kept thought-provoking discussions going day after day despite trolls and OSA bots and occasional personality clashes; who gave me so much help and encouragement, always with compassion and good will. To you - Freeborn, Ten Tigers (“Forty Paws“), Merlin (I-Loki), Saguaro Rose, Raised 11th, Galileo (Squirrel), Braveheart’s Girlfriend, Olska, Don Carlo, Haarek, Freeway, Tiggeroo, Jarboy, Terril, choochooman (Venusian Traindriver), Fluff, Neil C., ltricha, Tom, Pippi, programmer-guy, Serenitynow, Arnie, Sea Ogre, Tory, treelooney, NecV20, Umike, moontaco, Ambassador Yak (and his chickens & camels), Michael Leonard Tilse, chuckbeatty, my favorite troll Tochtli (“A bunch of jonkies”), MissDorfl, no_8c_now, Hubbard’s Mushroom, dan garvin, mickwenlock, Herc, and others - I will always owe a very great debt of gratitude. Thank you.

    It will be strange not to hit and see “Log in - Songbird.” I will miss you. I hope that my contributions to this board have been a help to some. I wish each person here happiness, health, and peace.

    Bless you all,

    Mary Ann :rose:
  2. Songbird

    Songbird Patron

    A quick addendum, based on some questions that I've received, one of which was: Why didn't I take the statements that had been sent for the Phoenix City Council and distribute them to the media?

    Those who sent statements to me sent them for a specific purpose - to be shared with a government body. When I asked for the statements, I didn’t mention spreading them around the media, and I wouldn’t have felt I had the right to do that without permission from those who had written them. IMO it would likely backfire anyway, considering the limits on what the Council may consider for rezoning - if it could be shown or even suggested that the Council acted on the basis of our information, there's a window for the cult to sue them. The last thing the Council will do is deliberately set itself up for a lawsuit by Scientology! The Council members are not fools - they have heard of Scientology - and the neighborhood may in any case oppose the rezoning.

    My actual idea (which I shared privately with some people) was that this project could extend well beyond Phoenix - that this group of statements and affidavits could form a core of data, to which other statements could be added, until there was enough to go to the appropriate congressional committees and request a review of CoS’s tax-exempt status. It was never just about the Phoenix City Council. :wink:

    Those who sent me statements still have their drafts. If someone wants to step in, I’d recommend doing what I did: Put out the word that more statements are needed; collect them; organize them; begin approaching Senators and Congressmen until you find some who are receptive; request hearings; take it from there.

    I should also say this….
    For ages, people have talked about a class action suit against CoS, but the main impediment has always been finding attorneys who could/would take it on. In discussions with the FBI, I found that there was a great deal of interest in my description of how people are hooked up to a machine which runs low-level current through their bodies, while being given hypnotic suggestions, and then taken to staff who hard-sell them for large amounts of money. I believe that, if a large group of people came forward simultaneously to report abusive regging, the FBI might well pursue it. It would be necessary for people to provide whatever documentation they have of money donated to CoS and refund received (if any).

    Someone would need to act as a coordination point, but this could be done very easily. Perhaps someone will pick this up and run with it - I believe there’s a chance it could succeed.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2008
  3. Free to shine

    Free to shine Shiny & Free

    Songbird I haven't been around long enough to get to know you, but what I have observed is just the sort of thing that needs to be done. Getting the FBI to actually go into Gold - wow!! My hat is off to you and it shows an individual can make a difference. Lets get lots of individuals understanding that.

    Thankyou so much for your work, your care and I hope one day I can read your story!
  4. Emma

    Emma Con te partirò Administrator

    Mary Ann, thank you for doing all you did. I know how much work you put into this.

    Enjoy your life with your hubby.


    - Emma
  5. petraph33

    petraph33 Patron with Honors

    What she said! Thank you for this and all the best :thumbsup:
  6. olska

    olska Silver Meritorious Patron


    I would answer you on OCMB but my account there is still messed up and won't let me post. (Could that be a "sign" that it's really, really time to move on :unsure: ?)

    Thanks for all your work to help expose the truth about scientology and CoS, and an extra feather for this particular job -- very well done! Best of luck to you in your future!

  7. Songbird

    Songbird Patron

    Free to Shine, Emma, Petraph33, my old pal Olska -
    Thanks very much for your kind words and good wishes! They are much appreciated. :)

    Foot out the door, but I'm getting questions via PM and email about possible FBI / class action.

    Here goes…… Specifically….. I wasn't suggesting a suit - too hard to find attorneys, and too expensive. What I was suggesting is that people go to the FBI and ask THEM to fight the battle. They have the resources! An agent with whom I met was literally riveted when I was telling him how people are hooked up to a machine that sends low-level electrical current through their bodies, while simultaneously being given hypnotic suggestions, and then taken to a staff member (the Registrar) who hard-sells them for large amounts of money.

    He asked me flat-out whether I would like for the FBI to try to get my money back. He said: "Is this happening to a lot of other people?" I said: "Around the country, thousands of them." I believe there is a real possibility that the FBI would take this on - as fraud? Not sure what category it falls under where they are concerned. I just know he was very interested, and that IMO there is an opportunity of some kind here. And the blessing is that the FBI has the RESOURCES to do it. It just takes someone to organize ... alas, will not be me. As we say here in Arizona, “I’ve hung up my spurs, pardners.” But I do hope someone will step forward and pursue it.
  8. Dulloldfart

    Dulloldfart Squirrel Extraordinaire

    Yes, thank you Songbird. That FBI incursion was memorable!

    Surely Larry Brennan, among others, is engaged in such a data collection, and has the intention to see it through with the authorities, not merely putting such data online like most of us?

  9. Kerry

    Kerry Patron with Honors

    Mary Ann, your contribution to fighting the cult of Scientology has been well-targeted. There is so much folks can do offline they don't even think about or are so justifiably frightened of doing because of cult indoc.

    I'd like to applaud you and all you've done on and off the net once again. That it's got to the FBI is simply awesome! I would think some people who are just not sure or completely terrified who may, somehow, come across these posts, will feel a sigh of relief that there is somewhere they can go, somehow, to get out of that cult.