Translation of an article published in Russian on June 1, 2011 on the website of Komsomolskaya Pravda: http://msk.kp.ru/print/article/25695/897953
Ex-legal officer of the Scientology organization Gerald Armstrong: “I landed in a jail for cult members because I got into an argument with the secretary of Hubbard’s third wife”
In the U.S., his former coreligionists long ago declared him an outlaw
by Alexey Ovchinnikov
Photo: Marina Volosevicha and AP
June 1, 2011
According to their rules, they can now hunt him down and, without qualms, take his life. All the sins of Canadian Gerald Armstrong stem from the fact that he left the so-called “Church of Scientology”, where he was a personal assistant to the organization’s founder, L. Ron Hubbard. He travels the world describing what goes on behind the scenes in this organization which he openly brands as a cult. Gerald Armstrong was recently in Moscow and, following a conference with students at St. Tikhon’s Orthodox University, he answered questions from Komsomolskaya Pravda.
THE SMARTS TO ESCAPE
– Mr. Armstrong, how did you get into this cult?
– I became involved in Vancouver in 1969. I, like many people, was attracted by the idea of improving my intelligence through Scientology.
– Did it improve?
– (Laughs). Actually, yes: I acquired enough smarts to escape from the cult, but I spent twelve and a half years there.
– Did you personally know the founder of Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard?
– Indeed. I rose to the post of legal officer. I was responsible for contacting customs officials and police in the countries at whose ports we stopped. Later, I became the public relations officer and then the intelligence officer on board the “Apollo”, the ship on which Hubbard sailed with his admirers, hiding from the taxation authorities of various countries. The ship was the headquarters of Scientology’s elite order, the “Sea Organization”, the nerve center of the entire Scientology organization. I was Hubbard’s personal archivist. But I twice did time in the “Rehabilitation Project Force” or RPF.
- Church of Scientology
A PRIVATE GULAG IN THE U.S. IS LEGAL
– What is the RPF?
– The RPF is a Scientology prison, similar to a gulag. It was created in 1974. People are sent there if, for example, the movement’s leaders think people aren’t working as hard as they should. Or for some other arbitrary reason. When I was there, a man was punished simply because of a smell that Hubbard didn’t like. The duration of the sentences is not specified and the “convicts” get only a quarter of their salary. When they move about, they always have to run. They are fed leftovers. They are not allowed to talk, except to answer questions … The purpose of this “gulag” is to break a person’s will. Moreover, for repeated violation of rules, there is an even more brutal prison, the “RPF’s RPF”, where a person is generally kept under 24-hour surveillance.
– What offense did you commit?
– I dared to talk back to the secretary of Hubbard’s third wife. The second time I went to the RPF was because Hubbard thought I was joking about how he was making films.
– Does the RPF exist today, after the U.S. recognized Scientology as a religion?
– Oh, yes! In fact, a U.S. court even decided last year that Scientologists have the right to hold people captive, to track them down and to forcibly bring them back and lock them up, because this is based on doctrine. They declared me an SP …
THE MOST FAMOUS SCIENTOLOGIST: TOM CRUISE
– What is an SP?
– A Suppressive Person. According to Scientology, these are the people who are responsible for every evil on earth. Myself, for example (laughs). In reality, SP’s are ordinary people who are not afraid to tell the truth about Scientology. This doctrine by itself makes the organization criminal. Every new Scientologist is told at the very first encounter that Scientology is continually at war.
– With whom?
– With the SP’s. SP’s are subject to the so-called “Fair Game” policy. According to the rules laid down by Hubbard, any Scientologist may take away the possessions and even the life of an SP. If you are declared an SP, other Scientologists are not allowed to communicate with you. On the internet, there is a video in which perhaps the best known Scientologist today, Hollywood actor Tom Cruise, at a ceremony to award him a special Scientology medal, expresses the hope that before long there won’t be any SP’s left in the world.
– This sounds like Nazism …
– This is the closest parallel that comes to mind. Hitler’s “Untermensch” doctrine really is similar to a number of Scientology doctrines.
– Have they tried to kill you?
– They don’t seem to have tried outright, but there have been six assaults. I was once hit by a car. In Southern California, agents of the “church” tried to run me off the freeway at high speed. They would go further, I’m sure, but they are afraid they would go to jail. There have been countless threats and lawsuits. In the U.S., they fabricated a case against me and, as a result, I have no right to utter the words “Scientology”, “Dianetics”, “Hubbard”, and so on. For each utterance, I am to be fined fifty thousand dollars. So I’ve already spent a couple of millions speaking with you (laughs). The court allowed them to say anything they please about me. That’s justice, American-style …
– How did this happen?
– As I’ve already said, the case was fabricated. Without corruption and blackmail, they couldn’t have gotten away with this. According to my information, they have spent about five million dollars in legal fees on me.
CONDOLEEZZA RICE PROTECTED SCIENTOLOGY
– Mr. Armstrong, at one time, several U.S. federal agencies declared that Hubbard was wanted and they were searching for him all over the planet. Then suddenly, it was peace and harmony; they even recognized Scientology as a religion …
– In my opinion, it’s all obvious. At first, the U.S. federal government genuinely and very strongly opposed Scientology. In 1977, FBI agents searched the organization’s offices in Washington and Los Angeles, and they found hundreds of documents that had been stolen from government agencies. The then head of the FBI later told reporters that “Scientology has one of the most effective intelligence services in the U.S., on par with even the FBI.” Beginning in 1993, the process suddenly went in the opposite direction: Scientology was recognized as a religion …
– Bill Clinton came to power in 1993 …
– Yes, and he also sympathized with Scientologists. Madeleine Albright and then Condoleezza Rice openly defended the organization. They actually made it their ally. Since that time, they have been protecting Scientology around the world. I think this decision was made on the advice of the intelligence services.
A MATTER OF NATIONAL SECURITY
– What did that accomplish?
– Scientology itself is a highly developed intelligence agency. I’ll elaborate a little about how it works. According to Hubbard’s doctrine, every Scientologist must continually raise their intelligence and seek self-improvement through a procedure called auditing. During this process, which on the surface looks beneficial (and is conducted using a primitive lie detector called an E-Meter), all of a person’s secrets are divulged: details concerning the family, complexes, grudges, sexual experiences, and every personal story. Scientology claims that this is a kind of confession, but it is not. All of the information is recorded and forwarded to the organization’s intelligence department. This information can then be used to blackmail the relatives or friends about whom information was confided during auditing.
– A powerful tool to gain leverage …
– Exactly! Moreover, the Hubbard-style intelligence department itself searches for people who take an interest in it, but it collects embarrassing information about them first. This includes politicians, officials of international organizations, police, FBI agents …
Likewise for the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, the IRS. My information is that, when the IRS declared that Hubbard was wanted, Scientologists collected information on all top IRS officials and paid for any information which could embarrass them. It is highly probable that they found something against the then director of the IRS, because the IRS suddenly formed a friendly relationship with Scientology. The same goes for the U.S. intelligence services, as I said earlier. So the presence of Scientology in any country is a danger not just to individuals and to public order. It is also a matter of national security. I spoke about this recently with your Justice Ministry …
A MONIED CULT
– What did you discuss, if it’s not a secret?
– I reiterated to them what I know about Scientology, and I talked about my legal predicament and how this can help Russia with your country’s position in relation to Scientology. After all, Scientologists have on several occasions filed lawsuits against Russia in the European Court of Human Rights for refusing to re-register the “church”. However, my own situation (and not only mine) clearly shows that Scientology is organized so as to violate human rights. Any member of this organization is a direct participant in an all-out effort to suppress human rights.
– But recently, a huge Scientology center opened right in the middle of Moscow on Taganskaya Square …
– Yes, I saw that building. I saw posts by your bloggers who went in and took a lot of pictures there. It’s all very opulent, and this is evidence that, in Russia, they have a lot of money. It’s also evidence that Scientologists in Russia are, unfortunately, quite at ease. Your government has already shut down several active schools, but sadly, it has not yet issued a single warning to Russia’s citizens about the dangers of this cult. In Germany, for example, the government regularly talks about this on its websites and in its publications and brochures. I would strongly recommend that Russia do the same if, of course, you want to preserve Christian morals in society, including the institution of the family.
THE GURU LIED ABOUT EVERYTHING
– Why did you leave the organization?
– One day, an order came to destroy all documents showing Hubbard’s involvement in Scientology and its finances. It was feared that the FBI would find them. While riffling through old papers, we found about twenty boxes of Hubbard’s personal documents. I asked for permission to read them, to later compile an updated version of his biography, and I began to study them. I discovered that Hubbard lied to everyone about everything. For example, he said that he was an engineer and a nuclear physicist, that during wartime he was crippled and blinded, that he was awarded 27 combat decorations …
– And in reality?
– He was expelled during his second year of university. He spent the entire war on the home front, and so he was not injured, he was not blinded, and he did not receive 27 decorations. And then Scientology completely fell apart for me. I knew that my IQ had not increased one point and that I had not acquired any superpowers … I had wasted twelve and a half years of my life … I read his notes: “Every man is my slave.” He programmed himself to have limitless power. To do this, he even used psychotropic substances.
IN RUSSIA, SCIENTOLOGY AROUSED THE INTEREST OF ENTERTAINERS AND PROFESSORS
– Tom Cruise and John Travolta are the most famous Scientologists in the U.S. Do you know of any Russian celebrities who are involved in this organization?
– There are some, of course, but I do not know their names.
– “I can’t name them at the moment,” interjects Alexander Dvorkin, a leading Russian expert on sectarian studies, “But when the Scientologists had just arrived in Russia, many of our stage celebrities and even university professors were actively interested. One of these professors even opened an L. Ron Hubbard reading room at his department and posthumously awarded Hubbard an honorary doctorate.”
– Are celebrities recruited with their knowledge or by trickery?
– In Hollywood, many understand that a connection with Scientology can give their career a big boost. When a movie starring Tom Cruise comes out, every cult member is obliged to buy 30 tickets to see the movie or to purchase DVD’s. Scientology has a very powerful intelligence gathering appartus, so when a reporter wants to meet with Cruise himself, the actor is provided a complete file on the reporter, including all of the person’s weak spots.
FROM KOMSOMOLSKAYA PRAVDA‘S FILES
“If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion!”
Lafayette Ronald Hubbard was an American science fiction writer and the founder of the “Church of Scientology”. He was born in 1911, in Nebraska.
Hubbard initially wanted to become a nuclear physicist, but he was unable to pass the exams for the introductory course. Being in need of money, he began to write science fiction stories.
At the start of World War II, he was drafted into the Navy, but he sat out the war on the home front. He “distinguished himself” only once: by lying that he had located a Japanese submarine, alerting commanding officers, and firing at the submarine for several hours. When it was discovered that the submarine was a figment of his imagination, he became very upset and, for some reason, he fired all his ship’s guns at an island belonging to Mexico, a U.S. ally. Rear Admiral Braisted noted in Hubbard’s fitness report after the incident: “Consider this officer lacking in the essential qualities of judgement, leadership and cooperation. He acts without forethought as to probable results.”
Hubbard was then assigned ashore due to illness (ulcers). After his discharge, he bombarded the FBI and the CIA with letters in which he proclaimed his desire to destroy the communists. These agencies quickly stopped paying attention, deeming him mentally unstable.
In 1945, Hubbard met John Whiteside Parsons, a devotee of Aleister Crowley (one of the most well-known Satanists of the twentieth century), and he regularly frequented occult circles.
In the late 1940s, he invented his own religion and, according to the recollections of friends, he did not stop using drugs.
It is reported that in 1949, at a science fiction writers convention in New Jersey, Hubbard said: “Writing for a penny a word is ridiculous. If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion.” In 1950, he published his bible, entitled “Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health”. Four years later, the “International Church of Scientology” was born. Since then, Hubbard’s teachings have made their way around the world.
In some countries, Hubbard was declared persona non grata. From 1977 to 1981, Hubbard lived on a yacht in international waters, a fugitive from the justice system of different countries. Shortly after his return to the United States, he went into hiding and remained in the U.S. until his death in 1986. In 1996, the State Duma adopted a resolution classifying the “Church of Scientology” as a destructive religious organization.
According to some accounts, Hubbard’s dream of making a fortune by inventing his own religion came true: at the time of his death, his wealth reached 640 million dollars …