An escape for the ages

It was thirty-five years ago today,
I blew the cult and there was hell to pay.

I was thirty-five.

Now over half my life I’ve been fair game.

I wrote this “official note of resignation” to Barbara DeCelle, my org board senior, knowing she would get it to “the proper person:”

The handwritten words “read” and the underlines were attorney Mike Flynn’s notes to himself for reading sections of the letter into the record at my 1984 trial in Los Angeles. Here’s trial testimony about the letter:

Q And if you had planned your departure, Mr. Armstrong, with the idea of harming the organization or Mr. Hubbard, would you have taken — what files would you have taken more than any other files?

LITT: Objection. That calls for speculation.

THE COURT: Overruled.

THE WITNESS: Well, I think if I had planned it, I could have made off with a lot of files that would be particularly more useful than the files I have.

But the MCCS files, certainly, would have been important. The — various LRH orders into the PR Bureau like, for example, the Nobel Prize stuff, these are things which would have been available to me.

I suppose I could have made great inroads in the Intelligence Bureau if I had been real eager. But I didn’t make off with anything. But the materials that could have been obtained would have been more revealing than the ones that are here now.

Q BY MR. FLYNN: Now, you have testified on cross-examination about the gradual removal of your belongings from the organization, a box at a time; do you recall that?

A Yes.

Q Was there a policy or practice in the organization that when a person tried to leave, to keep their belongings, for the organization to keep their belongings?

HARRIS: Your Honor, this is beyond the scope of cross-examination.

THE COURT: Well, it goes to state of mind, I suppose.

THE WITNESS: Yes; it happened with many people throughout the time I was involved in the organization. People were not allowed to leave with the personal Scientology materials in many cases. And all kinds of impediments would have been put in the way of me getting materials out, my own personal things. That was really the reason why the stuff went out a bit at a time.

Q BY MR. FLYNN: Now, exhibit 30 is your — what you termed your official notice of resignation dated 12 December, 1981; is that correct?

A Yes.

Q Now you stated in there that, “I spent the last several months trying to get Omar copied all the materials he would need and more stuff kept pouring in.”

What did you mean by that statement, “more stuff kept pouring in,” Mr. Armstrong?

A Well, right up to the end of my stay, I kept getting more material. The final boxes of the Pers Com arrived, the final Pers Sec materials arrived, the stuff from Controller archives arrived, and there was more than I could possibly copy.

Q Now these were materials that you had been trying to procure or obtain possession of for several months prior to that?

A Yeah. I guess the Controller archives — the only reason I did not have them months before that was that Tom Vorm told me that he was simply too busy to go through all the materials, so we waited until he had a time when he was more or less free. Then he went through the materials with me.

The Pers Com materials only arrived some time in 1981, and there was such a mass of them. They were in very big boxes and they were kept for a long time in the external communications bureau, the LRH external communications bureau in another building, and I brought them over a box at a time throughout that period until I finally had all of them there, but there was such a mass of then, there was simply no way to go through them all.

Q What was your state of mind with regard to your obligation to complete the project based on the agreement that Mr. Garrison had with PDK and that you felt you had with Mr. Hubbard with regard to getting him, Mr. Garrison, documents before you left?

A Well I felt very committed to that. That is the reason that I tried to get copied everything that I could, and my wife and I worked so hard in the last two weeks to try and do that.

Q And you didn’t take any files of any nature that fell outside the biography project and you could have taken the MCCS files; is that correct?

A Well I could have done that, but I did take financial — my own personal things, and that is actually when I went back in some time in February or — either January or February I saw Vaughn Young, and I realized that there was this file of all my copies, and the reason I took that was because basically on board the ship I had run into a problem with the organization in accounting for a disbursement which I had and the rule was laid down that if you didn’t keep a copy of your turned-in accounts, then you could be liable if the organization didn’t find it, and in that case I had to pay for the amount of the disbursement because the treasury bureau at that time had lost my accounting, so I had to pay again.

So, following that, I tried as much as possible to keep copies of all the money received and all ay accounting for that money. So I went back in and spoke to Vaughn and I took — it was only my copy. The organization had all the other documents and the accounting.

Q And per your letter of 12 December, 1981 you advised the organization, particularly Barbara De Celle, of the fact that you had taken those documents in the last several months and given them to Omar Garrison; is that correct?

A Yes. I also spoke to Barbara at the same time and told her the status of everything in archives.

Q And per this letter you asked that you not be harassed by the organization; is that correct?

A Yes.1

When I blew in December 1981, my note would end up pretty quickly with Hubbard. He was the proper person. It is inconceivable that Miscavige wouldn’t make the most of my blow with Hubbard, and everyone else.

Just three years earlier with my “Barnum and Bailey Beingness,” which he thought was joking, I’d caused Hubbard to blow his gourd. Now, after two years dutifully collecting and copying his personal archive and delivering it all to wog writer Omar Garrison, I’d blown his org.

December 1981 is when Hubbard would have started his torrent of hate-filled vitriol about me Jesse Prince identifies, which by the time Hubbard died would take up multiple bankers boxes.

What a trip!