“Trust Betrayed;” my experience and knowledge lead to the conclusion and warning that the Scientologists are to be distrusted.
First communicated in Salekhard, Russia, September 2017
At the International Scientific and Practical Conference “Destructive and Pseudo-Religious Organizations, Sects and Cults: Challenges and Solutions”
Salekhard, Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug, Russian Federation, September 2017
Your Eminence, your Graces, Reverend Fathers, Excellencies Deputy Governor and Representative of the President of the Russian Federation, distinguished colleagues, ladies and gentlemen:
The Scientology cult has been an important life subject for me for many years. The subject is complex and multi-faceted. There are millions of pages of documents and other writings relating to Scientology’s history and the Scientologists’ activities. There are billions of facts, and just as many fake facts, lies. Scientology inventor L. Ron Hubbard designed his subject and his cult to be confusing. He intended Scientology and Scientologists to be overwhelming, and they can be, even to me.
When Dr. Alexander Dvorkin asked what I would talk about here in this brief opportunity – from this very wide and confusing subject, the cult, or “church,” of Scientology — what came to mind, what I thought might be helpful to focus on for the people here, is the Scientologists’ betrayal of trust.
Hubbard, Scientology and Scientologists are untrustworthy. They are undeserving of trust. My distrust of them resulted from my experience of profound betrayal of the trust I had placed in them. They gained my trust with promises and trickery. Giving them my trust, I also gave them my money, my abilities, my intellect, my labor, my time, my allegiance. By good fortune, by the Grace of God, I discovered that Hubbard and his Scientologists had lied, that their promises are false, that they hide their actual intentions, and that these hidden intentions are antisocial and harmful.
I had to accept the painful fact that they had betrayed the trust I had given them, and that thousands of other people have given them. I had to accept the fact that they had never deserved our trust, and I had been foolish to trust them.
It is easy to see that the function of trust is basic to human existence and happiness everywhere, in every situation and relationship. I cannot envision any moment in life when trust is absent from us, even if we have supposedly “lost all trust.”
It is to me a God-given function or capacity. We can trust or not trust. It seems we have that capacity until we die.
The capacity to distrust, I’m pretty sure, is also, like trust, God-given. Misused or misdirected, it can be a terrible thing. Trusting or distrusting can alter our behavior and thoughts radically.
Distrust just between a man and his wife can be catastrophic. There also can be citizens distrusting government, government distrusting citizens, parents distrusting children, children distrusting parents, employees and employers, people distrusting other people for any number of reasons. And these reasons to trust or distrust can be valid or invalid.
There are times and circumstances when we should distrust, when we are saved by distrusting. We also should, as a rule, speak up to save who we can — our fellow citizens — from trusting who or what we know to be untrustworthy, not worthy of others’ trust. That is what the organizers of this conference, and we speakers hope happens here. People do not have to have their trust betrayed to properly distrust who or what should not be trusted.
We are called, by facts, clues, conscience and God’s Word, to discern who or what should be distrusted, and to not trust them – conmen, dangerous cults, liars, the lawless, false prophets.
Because of this basic social concept, I believe it is proper to tell you, or to warn you, that the Scientology cultists should not be trusted. It is also proper, indeed necessary, to say some words about my experiences and knowledge that lead me to this conclusion, this warning.
Our trust is obviously very valuable on earth by virtue of the many people who desire it, and even pay and get paid to obtain it. Our trust is ultimately of infinite value to God. He instructs us repeatedly with undeniable clarity in the Holy Bible to put all our trust in Him. Trust is a key word and concept throughout the scripture. I am quite sure God’s Church in Russia, His priests and His believers teach the same instruction and lesson: “trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not unto your own understanding.”
Learning how to put our trust wholly in God, and doing this — while trusting who and what in the world we must trust in our daily worldly lives — might be easy, or might be hard. It might not be accomplished in our lifetime, or might be given up on before the activity to be learned – trusting God — is even understood. I have not found where God ever betrayed trust. Evidence abounds where trust in Him saved people and rewarded them.
I am not a Bible scholar. I am but a very poor Christian. I was given certain experiences and knowledge, some of which are spiritual, of a lying malignant narcissist L. Ron Hubbard and his dangerous system and organization; and I was given a willingness to speak up about these things when called. My wife Caroline Letkeman and I have built and maintain five websites that contain a wealth of Scientology-related materials.1
After leaving Scientology, I worked for several years in the legal industry in the US. I have testified over seventy days in trials or depositions in about twenty Scientology-related cases, and I have written dozens of declarations or affidavits providing my experiences and knowledge. Much of my testimony and sworn statements is available online.
There is no need for anyone else to go through these experiences, to have the Scientologists betray their trust, and I do not wish this fate on anyone. I hope that by my speaking up the Scientologists’ recruitment efforts are impeded, and even that people already recruited into Scientology might come to their senses, realize that they too are being deceived and their trust has been betrayed, and they escape.
Speaking up with experience and knowledge about not trusting such persons or organizations – Scientology, for example – will result in attacks or threats. This is just because such persons or organizations are indeed untrustworthy – Scientology for example. They deal with criticism, challenges, facts and truth in an untrustworthy manner. They make it dangerous to speak up and tell the truth about their hidden intentions, and their policies, practices, and activities that make them untrustworthy.
The step from trusting the untrustworthy — conmen, dangerous cults, liars, criminals, false prophets – to realized distrust, can be, I can attest, very frightening. While still a dedicated Scientologist, I grasped that L. Ron Hubbard and his underlings had betrayed our trust – mine and millions of other people’s – on a massive scale. I also had to face up to the fact that Hubbard and the people running his cult were not going to reform, not going to stop betraying trust, not going to become trustworthy.
Comprehending this betrayal and the futility of trying to reform Scientology from inside the cult, I escaped. I had to escape. If I had not, I would have been seized, locked up and neutralized, meaning I could have been murdered. Because of what I had discovered, and because I spoke up about it, the Scientologists have considered me a major enemy ever since I escaped – almost thirty-six years ago.
There is an ever-present and inevitable betrayal of trust that awaits people in Scientology, or getting into Scientology, people from here, or elsewhere in Russia, or around the world. Gaining people’s trust, maintaining that trust, demanding trust, and betraying trust are common activities, I believe, of all cults. I am certain that the Russian Orthodox Church is not organized to betray its members’ or the public’s trust. Scientology, however, definitely is.
Just as conmen can never be trusted as long as they remain unrepentant conmen, Scientologists can never be trusted as long as they remain Scientologists. “Conman” is the short form for the English term “confidence man,” and “confidence” is a synonym for “trust.” The common conman gains our confidence or our trust, obtains from us something of value – usually money – promises us something of greater value in exchange, and then fails to deliver on his promises. He betrays our trust.
The scheme conmen use to trick or defraud people is called a “con game,” or “confidence game,” or just a “con.” Scientologists are taught and accept that all their activities are a game. They trick, defraud and betray people as a game. A “long con” is a con game that develops over a long time and (quoting Wikipedia) “involves a team of swindlers, as well as props, sets, extras, costumes, and scripted lines.” The Scientologists’ con game uses all of these things, and has been operating ever since Hubbard invented it and recruited people into it. Scientology is a very, very long con.
Some conmen and con games appeal to people’s greed. Scientology certainly appeals to people’s desires for more money or financial security. The cultists generally, however, appeal to their targets or marks’ desires to be better. The Scientologists promise that with their system, by applying their “technology,” people will become better than they are, better than mere human beings, better than God made His Children. This might sound appealing, but it is a lure into the con, into a dangerous cult. It is a false promise, for which the Scientologists demand, as they demanded of me, money, talent, intellect, labor, time and allegiance.
The Scientologists promise that their recruits will become better in seven important ways: they will acquire superhuman abilities not available outside of Scientology; they will become vastly smarter; they will develop an outstanding character; they will enjoy phenomenally excellent physical health; they will be able to impart this amazing knowledge and gains to others; they will be part of the world’s most ethical group, mankind’s only hope for survival; and they will have total freedom. These are all false promises.
I was inside Scientology for over twelve years. Much of that time I was close to Hubbard and was able to observe him, his immediate family, and his top Scientologist lieutenants, who supposedly possessed these superhuman abilities. These are promised abilities like moving objects with their minds, or being able to travel anywhere outside their bodies with full perception. At no time did I see any demonstration of such abilities, by Hubbard, his family or any Scientologist. At no time did I acquire or experience any such abilities myself.
Hubbard claimed that with Scientology’s mental therapy, known as “auditing,” people would raise their intelligence quotient, their IQ, “a point per hour on average.” I have seen no evidence that Scientologists became geniuses or even a bit smarter through auditing. I had over a thousand hours of auditing, and my IQ did not go up one point.
Being a Scientologist under the religion or cult’s control does not elevate character but is very damaging to character. Scientology’s “scripture” and “technology” seek to eliminate the conscience, the God-given faculty linked to distinguishing right and wrong and essential to a moral character. Scientologists are required to lie and do lie profusely. They take no responsibility for the harm they and their fellow Scientologists do. Their perverse, conscienceless value system makes the harm they do a “moral imperative.”
The Scientologists’ subscribing to the idea that they are superior to us entitles them, they are taught, to deceive people, to rip them off, bully them, control them, silence them, and even destroy them. In reality, the Scientologists are not superior in any way and have no such entitlement. By applying Scientology, they make themselves dishonest, hypocritical, cruel and cowardly.
By applying Scientology, the Scientologists claim, they have created themselves as a completely new race of beings they call “Homo novis.” They denigrate us, Homo sapiens, as inferior. Scientology scripture, and Scientologists universally, call us “wogs,” which is a derogatory term, commonly a racial slur equivalent to “niggers.”
Scientology does not provide exceptional physical health. In fact, many of its practices are detrimental to good health. Scientologists do not live longer than the rest of the population. Just the stress of participation in Scientology at high levels, where I was in the organization, is physically, as well as mentally and spiritually unhealthy. My own health suffered in Scientology. Hubbard himself was often ill during the years I was with him. There are many examples of Scientologists being denied needed medical attention, given instead Scientology’s quack therapy, and dying too young.
Scientologists are all programmed to express a desire for others to have the knowledge and psycho-physical “gains” that Scientology promises. All Scientologists are trained and drilled to administer Scientology techniques to others, and motivate them to take more courses, and pay more money. Since the “technology” does not work as claimed, Scientologists universally are committing fraud.
The inducement that I would be joining the world’s most ethical group, which would bring honesty, sanity and peace to the earth, was key to my recruitment into Scientology. I worked faithfully, long hours, for slave wages to help Scientology achieve these goals. I allowed myself to be imprisoned, deprived of rights, deprived of opportunities and psychologically abused to support Hubbard, comply with his policies and orders, and make Scientology work. I came to my senses, and realized painfully that Hubbard was extremely unethical and so were his cult and his supporters. It is accurate and legally justifiable to say that Scientology is a criminal enterprise.
Scientology’s promise of total freedom is bait into a trap. The Scientologists advertise relentlessly in every medium that Scientology is “The Bridge to Total Freedom.”2 People put their trust in this promise, and their trust is immediately betrayed. The Scientologists use a web of lies and engage in an array of antisocial practices to keep people trapped, paying money and working for the false goal of total freedom.
The Scientologists gain trust and betray trust as religious exercise. Common conmen do this as a secular exercise. The Scientologists also operate front groups such as Narconon, the Citizens Commission on Human Rights, Youth for Human Rights, The Way to Happiness Foundation and the World Institute of Scientology Enterprises, all of which the Scientologists call “secular.” These fronts also gain and betray trust. They function as “feeder groups” to feed people into Scientology, and they serve as intelligence assets, feeding intelligence information to the cult. The fronts operate on the same policies and directives as the “religious” arm, the “church.”
Hubbard published many thousands of pages of orders and manuals for his cultic scheme and how to organize and keep it working. These orders and manuals, although many of them are secret and call for criminal actions, are all religious scripture. Although Scientology is a criminal enterprise, it is also a religion, a materialistic, satanic, criminal religion.
It is operated from the US. The US Federal Government, knowing it was a criminal enterprise, nevertheless gave it tax exemption and bestows on it all the benefits and protections it bestows on other religions. In fact, the US has bestowed special benefits and protections on the Scientologists that it has not bestowed on other religions.
Everything relating to Scientology that Hubbard ever wrote, or was recorded from what he said, is religious scripture. Lying is scriptural. Fraud is scriptural. Psychological abuse is scriptural. Violence is scriptural. Stupidity is scriptural — and enforced. Disconnecting families is scriptural. Hate is scriptural. Silencing people who might tell the truth is scriptural. Destroying people who can’t otherwise be silenced is scriptural. Secret agendas are scriptural. Societal infiltration and control is scriptural.
A vital part of Scientology’s scripture concerns intelligence, the espionage kind. Scientology scripture says that Scientologists are at war. They are at war with the people who tell the truth about Hubbard, Scientology and Scientologists and warn citizens and governments of their antisocial intent and actions. In “the west” at this time, war is waged on people largely covertly.
The persons running the Scientology scheme, which involves several thousand people, employ intelligence techniques to maintain their control, expand their influence, and silence or destroy people who tell the truth. At its core and in function, Scientology is an intelligence organization, an intelligence cult, a materialistic, satanic, criminal intelligence cult – or religion. The Scientologists collect or invent on their opponents, and on their own members, the same kind of intelligence information the CIA collects or invents on persons its agents target outside and inside the agency.
This idea that a “religion,” in this time, acts in this manner has to be alarming to people who have never experienced or studied Scientology. My guess is that there are few people who are Scientologists in this part of the world. I also guess that there are many people in this part of the world who have heard of Scientology, because it is a very celebrity-dependent cult, and sadly, we live in what is sometimes called “The Age of Celebrity.” Scientology’s celebrities, like Tom Cruise, participate in and benefit from the cult’s intelligence-directed activities. Hubbard created Scientology’s intelligence network and ran its intelligence actions until his death in 1986. Since then, David Miscavige has run the cult’s intelligence operations. Cruise and Miscavige are said to be “best friends.”
Throughout the 1970’s, the Scientologists ran a great number of intelligence operations against US Federal agencies. In 1977, one of the cult’s operatives broke ranks and went to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the FBI, and disclosed what was happening. The FBI conducted what is reputed to be the largest raid in the Bureau’s history, seizing millions of pages of material from Scientology’s intelligence offices in Washington, DC and Los Angeles, California. The seized documents revealed criminal activity against over one hundred state and federal agencies and countless US and foreign citizens. Eleven of the cult’s intelligence personnel, including Hubbard’s wife, were charged, convicted and sentenced to prison.3
Despite this, very few years afterward, agencies in the US Intelligence Community initiated an alliance with the Scientologists. In 1993, the US gave them tax exemption and have promoted and defended the cult in the US and around the world ever since. At the same time as the US allied Scientology, and stopped opposing it, the Scientologists began what Dr. Dvorkin called, almost twenty years ago, their “conquest of Russia.” Obviously, despite some setbacks, and despite the reasoned and courageous opposition from the Russian Church, Government and citizens, the Scientologists are still intent, still working zealously on that conquest.
The threat I face from the Scientologists parallels the threat that Russia faces. The threat is not just from a group of mal-intentioned cultists, but also from their collaborators in the US Government, in the US Intelligence Community. The US supports Scientology not for the reason the US gives — commitment to freedom of religion — but from a need to protect their collaboration, religion be damned. Both entities in this evil and unlawful collaboration – US intelligence and the Scientologists – need each other’s survival and success. This need has led the Intelligence Community to view the Scientologists’ enemies – critics, citizens who tell the truth about the dark side of Scientology – as the Intelligence Community’s own enemies. The US can justify its collaboration with the Scientologists and their conspiracy against the rights of its own citizens on the nebulous, and here nonexistent, grounds of “national security.”
I held several important positions inside the cult and close to Hubbard. For some years, I was with him on a ship from which he directed and controlled Scientology around the world. We had a complement of over four hundred Scientologists including Hubbard’s family, and operated in Moroccan, Portuguese, Spanish and Caribbean waters. I was at different times on board the Legal Officer, Public Relations Officer and Intelligence Officer.
The ship operation ended in 1974, and we all moved into the US. I was on Hubbard’s Communications Bureau staff in Florida. I shot movies with him, and worked on his personal Household staff and in his Personal Public Relations Office in California. During my last two years in Scientology, I assembled an archive of his private papers and other materials relating to his life for the purpose of creating a biography and a library. We contracted a biographer Omar Garrison and I supplied him with documents from the archive I had assembled pursuant to contract.
Through my study of Hubbard’s own materials, I came to the shocking realization that he had continually and willfully lied about himself in his public statements and in his marketing of Scientology. He claimed to be a civil engineer and nuclear physicist who excelled at university. In fact he had taken one basic introductory level class in “atomic and molecular phenomena” and failed it. He got a failing grade in his civil engineering curriculum and dropped out of university in his second year.
He purchased a doctorate degree from an uncredited “diploma mill” that sold such degrees, and took to calling himself “Doctor Hubbard.”
He claimed to be a “scientist,” and asserted in his writings that Scientology is “a precise and exact science, designed for an age of exact sciences.” He wrote that “no other subject on earth except physics and chemistry has had such grueling testing.” Hubbard was no scientist. Scientology is no science. He did no actual testing. He invented case studies. Scientology does not work as claimed. Because it is not science and does not work as physics and chemistry work, and his scientific claims were being challenged, he reclassified Scientology as a “religion.” In this way his false claims would be legally protected religious expression. He never removed from his scripture, however, his fraudulent claims that it is an exact science.
He claimed to have been a naval hero in World War II, awarded twenty-nine medals, including two “purple hearts” for combat injuries. In fact, his naval career was not glorious. He was reprimanded a number of times, removed from postings, and he faked injuries and illnesses. He received four standard service medals and no purple hearts. His claims of military medals he was never awarded constitute what is known as “stolen valor.” After he died, Scientologists who know he lied about his medals and military service have continued to steal valor for him.
He claimed that during a period after the war when he was involved with an occult or black magic group in California he was on a covert mission for the US Navy. In truth, he was on no such mission. He was a willing participant in the group’s satanic practices. He integrated its satanic teachings into Scientology. A secret document that was leaked after he died, and is part of Scientology scripture, revealed that throughout the cult’s history he had considered himself an Anti-Christ, an incarnation of Lucifer.
He falsely claimed to not be married to a woman he actually was married to bigamously. He falsely claimed to not be the father of his own daughter. He claimed to have been deserted by his family at the end of the war, when he had actually deserted them.
He claimed to have been “crippled and blinded” in the war, and to have cured himself with his mental science. In fact he was neither crippled nor blinded, and cured nothing.
Many of Hubbard’s lies that I documented were what he and other Scientologists used to lure me into his cult, and keep me subjugated and slaving for them. In fact, in one of his documents I discovered, he programmed himself with the affirmation “men are my slaves.” I went to my Scientology seniors with evidence of his lying in the hope that we would correct his lies and tell the truth. Instead, I was attacked and threatened for my effort. Realizing that Hubbard and the Scientologists were not going to correct the lies they were publishing, and fearing for my life, I escaped.
The Scientologists declared me an enemy, tracked me down, put me under surveillance, and published and distributed black propaganda documents on me. Black propaganda, or black PR, is Scientology’s practice of covertly, overtly, widely and relentlessly smearing or libeling a person to destroy his reputation, credibility, opportunities, relationships and life. When I knew the Scientologists were targeting me, I went to Garrison the biographer, with whom I had stayed friends, and he gave me copies of some of the documents I had provided him, which I needed to defend myself. I sent these documents to lawyers who had agreed to defend me.
The Scientologists sued me in Los Angeles and a month long trial occurred in 1984. A number of Hubbard’s documents went into evidence. The judgment after trial exonerated me and censured Hubbard and certain Scientology practices. The judgment stated in part:
In addition to violating and abusing its own members’ civil rights, the organization over the years with its “Fair Game” doctrine has harassed and abused those persons not in the Church whom it perceives as enemies. The organization clearly is schizophrenic and paranoid, and this bizarre combination seems to be a reflection of its founder [Hubbard]. The evidence portrays a man who has been virtually a pathological liar when it comes to his history, background, and achievements. The writings and documents in evidence additionally reflect his egoism, greed, avarice, lust for power, and vindictiveness and aggressiveness against persons perceived by him to be disloyal or hostile.4
The judgment also condemned the Scientologists’ practice of using information people divulge in Scientology’s religious counseling or confessions for intelligence, control, blackmail or other antisocial purposes. This, I believe, is the Scientologists’ most wicked betrayal of trust.
People undergoing auditing disclose everything they have ever done in life, things that are embarrassing to them, things for which they could be prosecuted, their whole sexual history. They also disclose such things about their families or associates. They are pressured for details — the exact time, place, form and event for all of these confessions. When I was in Scientology, whatever was said was written down, and kept in files. People who have left the cult after me have reported that confessions are now secretly recorded with audio or video devices. I have seen reports that police raids on Scientology’s organization in Moscow found such hidden recording equipment in the building’s auditing rooms.
The Scientologists promise that whatever is divulged in auditing or confessions is confidential, recorded only to assist people in their spiritual progress up the Bridge to Total Freedom. The Scientologists promise that whatever is said will never be used for any other purpose. People trust these promises and the Scientologists making them. I trusted them. These promises were false, and the betrayal of trust was grievous.
The judgment after my trial states:
The practice of culling supposedly confidential “[auditing] folders or files” to obtain information for purposes of intimidation and or harassment is repugnant and outrageous. [The Scientology unit doing this] was no respector of anyone’s civil rights, particularly that of privacy.5
Even after this scathing condemnation, the Scientologists culled my auditing files for confessions that would devastate or ruin me, and they disseminated this information, including to the judge who oversaw my legal case. The Scientologists even took the opportunity to include “confessions” I had never made of incidents that never happened.
Just imagine if the Russian Orthodox priests or startsy who heard the confessions of believers, given in a relationship of trust, used the confessions to intimidate, harass or blackmail the penitents. Just imagine if all the priests or startsy recorded the confessions and passed them to the security services, or worse, to criminal gangs. This would be an unthinkable betrayal of trust. Thanks be to God, it is not reality. But it is reality in Scientology.
There is some science on the way betrayers of trust typically react to exposure of their betrayal or attempts to hold them responsible. They deny, attack the persons confronting them about their behavior, and they reverse the roles of victim and offender. Betrayers of trust blame the persons whose trust they betrayed, which further victimizes their victims. This is Hubbard, Scientology and Scientologists’ pattern.
Since I left the cult and spoke up after being ripped off, abused and horribly betrayed, the Scientologists or their collaborators have physically assaulted me six times and sued me six times. They have forced me into bankruptcy and ruined me financially. They have terrorized me and people I was with on highways in California and Germany. They have staked out my homes and workplaces, and frightened my neighbors and family members. They have destroyed friendships. They have threatened me many times. One of their hired agents threatened to put a bullet between my eyes. They have framed me with crimes. They have run covert intelligence operations against me. They have sent operatives who pretended friendliness to get close to me to gain my trust just to betray it. They broke into a car I had and stole a briefcase containing valuable artwork and a manuscript. They have attempted several times to have me prosecuted on false charges, including with the FBI, the Los Angeles District attorney and even the Ekaterinburg prosecutor here in Russia. They have generated and disseminated reams of black propaganda, some of which can be found on the websites of Scientologists and their collaborators here in Russia. They have black PRed me to governments, law enforcement, media, the clergy and citizens at every level of society in countries around the world. The Scientologists black PRed me as a “criminal element” and “foreign criminal” to several Russian officials and entities, including the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Federal Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Federal Security Service.6 Only last month I learned that the Scientologists or their collaborators had fingered me as a likely perpetrator in a notorious series of bombings in the US, the Unabomber case.7
That is how the Scientologists deal with exposure of their betrayal of trust. There is much more. Almost thirty-six years of attacks and threats. All because I spoke up and told the simple truth.
As I write this, I am imagining, of course, what I would say in this rare opportunity, these few minutes, to talk publicly to you. I am also imagining you, the people I will be talking to, in the Yamalo-Nenets Government Building in Salekhard, Russia on September 28, 2017.8
There will be, I imagine, people from nearby, from far away, some from right here in this inspiring building. Perhaps some will be here from out there on the wide, challenging tundra, some from the gas fields, some from the reindeer herds. Some might come from the water, from the fishing and shipping industries. Some from mining, from construction, from tourism, from factories and shops, from home-making.
I am from nearer than you think, from Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada. You just go due north as far as you can go, about 23 and 2/3 degrees of latitude, and then head south a little less than 41degrees of latitude and you’d walk right into Chilliwack. We have herds of dairy cows instead of reindeer, and forests and fields of corn, berries and clover instead of tundra.9
I know as I write this that there will be government people here from different levels and departments. I am grateful for the attention that people in government in Russia — in the Justice Department, the Security Service, and other departments — have given to the cult problem. I am grateful for the time and resources given to solving this problem. I thank the people in government here, Governor Dmitry Kobylkin and his staff, for the honor bestowed on me, the trust shown in me, by inviting me here.
I am imagining that there will be priests here, perhaps bishops, monks, nuns, believers, helpers, students, other people in other religions, the curious. I imagine there could be citizens here from all sorts of professions and trades, all sorts of clothing, haircuts and shades. There might be Scientologists, or their agents. I know there will be some people I have met before in Russia, because I have been involved in the cult problem for many years and I have participated in conferences in different Russian cities over some years.
One of the speakers here is to be Pastor Thomas Gandow. We met twenty years in Berlin, Germany, on the occasion of a Scientology demonstration for “religious freedom.” The “religious freedom” the Scientologists seek is freedom to lie, freedom to suppress people’s freedoms, freedom to betray their trust. When my wife Caroline and I fled from Canada in 2002 to escape Scientology, Pastor Gandow and his wife Ute sheltered us for several months. My experiences with them are the stuff of books.
About eighteen years ago, Thomas introduced me to Dr. Alexander Dvorkin, who is also a dear friend. I have also had countless blessed times with him and his dear wife Irina and their daughter Juliana. Dr. Dvorkin has introduced me to countless people, mostly Russians — bishops, priests, monks, journalists, officials, students, servants, beggars, television personalities, ladies and gentlemen. I imagine that a few people I’ve met through Sasha will be here now.
All these people, all these encounters, all my times in Russia have been good for my education as a human being, and good for my soul. I am seventy years old. How much longer I can do this is in God’s Will. I will take this opportunity to thank Dr. Dvorkin for his trust in me, and for the extraordinary, devoted work he has done across Russia, for the Church, for the people, and for God. I also thank Patriarch Kirill and the whole Church body.10
Since I learned I would be invited to this conference, I have viewed many photos of Salekhard and its people. By the time I read this, I expect I will have seen and touched parts of the real thing, and met real people.
I read some articles about this part of the world and a bit about the history. I expect that by the time I read this, our hosts will have told me more.
The most famous person I could find who had ever visited Salekhard was your President Vladimir Putin. He is, I think, the most famous, recognizable person in the world at this time. I thank him too for many things, including my freedom to be here.
The most famous Canadian to visit Salekhard has to be Governor-General Adrienne Clarkson who came here in 2003 on a tour of countries touching the Arctic.11 The Governor-General is the federal representative of Queen Elizabeth II.
Sadly, Canada and Russia are not as friendly as we were back then; but we still share the Arctic Ocean, and the Pacific Ocean, the air, and the rest of the planet. I am a common Canadian, but one who knows that Russians love their children too. And I hope to do my small part to make friends and advance peace between our peoples and nations.
One final comment. By criminally framing my attorney, by lies, by threat, and by US complicity, the Scientologists obtained a series of court orders against me over the past twenty years to silence me about my experiences and knowledge of Hubbard, Scientology and Scientologists.12These orders prevent me, on penalty of $50,000 per utterance from even saying the word Scientology. The orders also sentence me to prison for every such utterance. These orders apply everywhere in the world, even in Russia.
Because I know that the Scientologists’ court orders are unlawful by international human rights charters — and by the US’s own laws – I have continued to speak and write, and have made thousands of statements that violate these orders. By this, should I ever return to the US, I could be imprisoned the rest of my life. I will not return until the US eliminates these orders and prison sentences.
Because Scientology is a religion – certainly in the US – these orders are equivalent to penalizing people $50,000 per utterance and imprisoning them for discussing their religious experiences and knowledge of Christianity, Islam, Buddhism or any other religion. It is the same as imprisoning people for merely saying the holy name “Jesus Christ,” or “Adam,” or “Moses,” or discussing a verse in the Holy Bible.
It should be understood that these orders against me are not for lying about my experiences or for defaming Scientology or Scientologists, but for telling the truth.
Such court orders silencing people about their religious experiences or knowledge of other religions would not only be unlawful in the US, but ridiculous. The US, however, gives Scientology special treatment, allows the cult to victimize people in ways no other religion can. By this special treatment, the US has made Scientology the de facto state religion. The US has an undeniable interest in silencing me, just because I have spoken up about its unlawful conspiracy with the Scientologists.
The Scientologists’ court orders against me also apply to persons acting in concert with me; that is persons who might facilitate, or make possible, my speaking up about my experiences or knowledge. By inviting me here, by asking or even allowing me to speak, the organizers are acting in concert with me, and violating US court orders. Dr. Dvorkin and Pastor Gandow have willingly and defiantly acted in concert with me many times. Many people in the Russian Orthodox Church and people in the Russian Government have acted in concert with me. My translator or translators are acting in concert with me. My wife Caroline acts in concert with me. Thank you all for doing so. Thank you for your courage.
- http://www.gerryarmstrong.org; http://www.gerryarmstrong.ca; http://armstrong-op.gerryarmstrong.ca; http://www.suppressiveperson.org; http://scientology-research.org; http://www.blacklies.xenu.ca ↩
- http://www.najbjerg.info/scientologi/form37-enggradechart.pdf ↩
- The crimes for which the Scientologists were convicted stemmed from a criminal conspiracy known as “Operation Snow White. See, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Snow_White ↩
- Decision of June 20, 1984 in Church of Scientology of California and Mary Sue Hubbard v. Gerald Armstrong, Los Angeles County, California, Superior Court case no. C 420153: http://www.gerryarmstrong.org/50k/legal/a1/283.php This decision became the judgment and was affirmed by the California Court of Appeal on July 29, 1991: http://www.gerryarmstrong.org/50k/legal/a1/3112.php ↩
- Ibid. ↩
- http://www.gerryarmstrong.org/50grand/cult/osa-ltr-fsb-2001-04-20a.pdf English translation:
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ted_Kaczynski ↩
- See, e.g., http://l7.alamy.com/zooms/f55ace008f9640798b2249aed023c7a5/salekhard-russia-january-26-2017-the-offices-of-the-yamalo-nenets-hkb9x0.jpg ↩
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chilliwack ↩
- http://iriney.ru/ ↩
- http://adrienneclarkson.com ↩
- See, e.g., the Order of Permanent Injunction of October 17, 1995 in Church of Scientology International v. Gerald Armstrong, Marin County, California Superior Court case no. BC 157680: http://www.gerryarmstrong.org/50k/legal/a4/2623.php; http://www.gerryarmstrong.org/ga/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/injunction-1995-10-17.pdf ↩