Critics and Criticism in Scientology

A few words first about Hamburg’s Scientology Working Group.

I am in touch, mostly by Internet, with people around the world who know of the work being done here by Ms. Caberta and her staff. It is perhaps as well known as Hamburg’s famous „Miniatur Wunderland,“ the world’s largest model railroad. The Scientology Working Group is, of course, known by different people, not happy, model railroad-loving children and other visitors to Hamburg, but survivors and victims of the Scientology cult, and other people involved in the opposition to to the cult’s fraud, abuses and criminality. Ms. Caberta and her group are also well known to Scientology’s leaders who perpetrate that fraud, abuse and crime.

I am a survivor, victim and target of Scientology. I was inside the cult for 12  ½ years, and was terribly abused — defrauded, enslaved and imprisoned. On December 12, I will have been out of the cult for 28 years. All those years, I have been a target of Scientology’s aggressive and criminal policy and practice known as „Fair Game.“ There are thousands of people who are victims and targets just like me. We all, some more than others of course, look to Hamburg and derive strength and even some safety and security from the Working Group, and from the knowledge that the State and people of Hamburg support it.

People too who were never Scientologists but who stand up to the cult on behalf of its victims — attorneys, government officials, clergy, educators — also look to Hamburg.

The working Group is quite unique in the world. My country of Canada has no such group, and one is truly needed. Not every city in Germany perhaps needs such a group, because Hamburg’s group has done so well. But Germany needs a group, and the world needs a group, and Hamburg — thanks be to God — is that group. It is knowledgeable, accessible and human.

Because people everywhere know about the Miniatur Wunderland, and know about model railroads, is not a good reason to shrink or eliminate the Miniatur Wunderland. Because Ms. Caberta’s group has been effective in educating people about Scientology’s dangers is not a good reason to curtail the group’s activities.

Scientology’s membership might be declining slightly, but it is still dangerous — to society and to its own members. The recent revelations of physical assaults and other abuse by cult leader David Miscavige, and long, unlawful incarcerations of his Scientologist juniors show that it’s actually more dangerous than ever inside.

Because Scientology under Miscavige is abusing people terribly, we have no choice but to keep up the pressure against him and his cult — with media, legal processes, protests, etc. But, as history with other destructive cults has shown, with such pressure comes increased possibilities of tragedies and mass exoduses of members, all of whom are victims, who will need help. We pray and work, of course, for no such tragedy, but we must be prepared for it. For that reason too, we in this conflict look to Hamburg, and pray that this group keeps working.

If Hamburg hosted World Cup football, the security needs would be enormous. If security was successful, no catastrophe would happen. If no catastrophe happened in the event’s first weeks, it would make no sense to withdraw security in the final week to save money, or because security had been so effective or had done such a good job. No, security would be maintained until the event was complete. For the same reason, we who understand Scientology and its dangers to security ask that the Hamburg Working Group be kept working.

This would also, of course, send a clear message to Scientology’s leaders and deny them the „big win“ they seek against Ms. Caberta and Hamburg.


To understand Scientology’s treatment and handling of critics and criticism, internally and externally, it is necessary to understand that the cult is a dictatorship and at war.

Scientology’s enemies in its war are a class of people called „Suppressive Persons“ or „SPs.“ Anyone who criticizes Scientology, or its dictator David Miscavige is an SP. Scientology says that SPs are completely evil and cause all illness and every other problem in the world. In truth, SPs are simply good people with the courage to stand up to Scientology and criticize it.

Scientology’s rules of criticism and dealing with critics are complex, often extremely rigid, and at times totally arbitrary.

The rules of criticism are very different for Dictator Miscavige than they are for other Scientologists. When I was inside, Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard ran the cult and the rules were very different for him than for the rest of us.

Hubbard could, and Miscavige can criticize anyone , and no one can criticize them. Anyone who dared to criticize them would be severely punished. If they even suspected that someone harbored a critical thought that person would be punished. There are credible reports coming out of Scientology recently of Miscavige physically beating juniors just because he felt they were thinking critical thoughts about him.

The leader’s „criticisms“ of his juniors can be nasty, defamatory black propaganda. The juniors cannot even tell the truth about the leader.

For Scientologists generally, there are certain things that are always beyond critcism, and any criticism of them is punished. E.g.,
1. Scientology works;
2. Hubbard is right;
3. Miscavige is right;
4. Management is right;
5. Scientology is the most ethical group on the planet.

These assertions are complete lies, and of course, deserve a great deal of criticism.
1. Scientology does not work as it claims, but is a criminal fraud;
2. Hubbard was a monstrous liar, in fact he was declared a pathological liar in the first case in which Scientology sued me;
3. Miscavige is an equally big liar, and a sociopath;
4. Scientology management is dishonest and criminal;
5. Scientology is arguably the most unethical group in the world.

Scientology indoctrinates its members with the idea (which cannot be questioned or criticized) that people who criticize it, or criticize Hubbard, Miscavige or Mangement are criminals with crimes in their past for which they can be imprisoned. Because of this, Scientologists learn to suppress any reasonable criticism they could have of these things — which deserve obvious criticism — and don’t even bring their criticisms up to consciousness.

Scientology subjects its members to „security checks“ using the E-meter as a lie detector to find any disagreements or criticisms they might have. These sec checks can even be „gang bang“ style in which a person is locked in a room, put on the meter and multiple people interrogate him, scream accusations at him, and attempt to break him down to confess to criticisms he had.

For people who do criticize Scientology, Hubbard, Miscavige, etc., Scientology’s intelligence or security personnel are instructed to find or manufacture evidence of their crimes. Scientologists and their agents have attempted several times to have me criminally prosecuted on manufactured evidence — in the US, including with the FBI, and even in Russia.

Just as there are things in Scientology that may not be criticized, there are things that must be critricized. E.g.,
1. Psychiatry;
2. Media;
3. The whole wog world and all wogs (what Scientologists call us, human beings);
4. Anyone who leaves Scientology;
5. All critics or SPs.

If a Scientologist even „grants credence“ to an SP — which could be as little as acknowledging that something about the SP, or something the SP is saying, is okay — the Scientologist can be declared an SP and made „Fair Game.“

Being declared an SP is a terrifying experience for most Scientologists, and they will do almost anything to avoid it. The threat of being declared an SP is used constantly inside to control the members.

Being declared an SP means that the person is disconnected from friends and family members who remain „in good standing“ in Scientology. The cult denies that disconnection, or Fair Game exist, but these are simply lies, which to these practices’ victims are very cruel.

My wife Caroline was declared an SP for criticizing Scientology and Hubbard, and the cult’s leadership disconnected her daughter from her, and she has not communicated to Caroline in over 8 years.

Caroline was inside Scientology and a devoted member for 24 years. She paid over $60 thousand, and worked many years for slave wages. Yet the leadership would turn on her, black PR her, destroy her relationship with her only child, Fair Game her in the US, Canada and even in Germany, just because she dared criticize the cult and it creator.

Because I criticized Scientology and Hubbard, current cult head Miscavige has had me physically assaulted six times, spied on, sued six times, and relentlessly black PRed. Scientology agents have run covert intelligence operations on me and my family, bankrupted me, broken into my car and stolen my possessions, caused trouble for me with my employers, and caused potential employers to not employ me.

All these Fair Game actions have, of course, given me even more to criticize Scientology for. In fact they have made criticizing Scientology even more necessary for my health,sanity and safety, and the safety of my family and fellow SPs.

When everyone is free to criticize what in Scientology needs criticism, and when Scientologists are free to criticize and are no longer in fear of punishment if they criticize their organization’s evils, then the war will be over. Then the Hamburg Working Group can declare „Mission Accomplished“ and we can all go off to other careers, crusades or callings.

Gerry Armstrong