Translation of an article posted on May 24, 2011 on the portal-credo.ru, a website dedicated to news about religion: http://portal-credo.ru/site/?act=authority&id=1636
Church of Scientology of Moscow spokesman and editor-in-chief of “Right to Freedom”, Alexei Danchenkov: “Armstrong was invited to Russia as an expert on Scientology, but he left the church 30 years ago”
Interview by Valery Stepanov
Gerald Armstrong spoke a few days ago at St. Tikhon’s Orthodox University in Moscow and he was presented as a former senior official of the Church of Scientology. Is his name familiar to you?
Aleksei Danchenkov: Actually, Gerald Armstrong was a former clerk of the Church of Scientology of California.
Well yes, haven’t we all been clerks at one time or another?
It’s like saying, for example, that Aleksei Danchenkov is a former child, or a former room-cleaner, or a former bed-wetter.
The problem, however, is that Mr. Danchenkov implies that during my twelve plus years inside Scientology all I did was be a clerk. I’m already aware, of course, that this is a long term, planet-wide “attack line” on me by Scientology agents. See, for example, this June 1983 article in Penthouse containing an interview the magazine conducted with Heber Jentzsch, the clerical President of the cult:
Jentzsch: Mr. Armstrong is my step-son-in-law. I know him quite well. He was a clerk, and he also drove a car. And that’s all he ever did. When he left, he sort of tried to raise his status. If he thinks he’s been hounded by Scientologists, I’ll offer this: he says he’s getting phone calls? We’ll go to the police and put a tap on the phone. You know what a tap is, right? It just traces the phone call. So let’s find out where the phone calls are coming from, because it isn’t coming from our people. And I want to know. So to every guy who’s screaming that, that’s the thing I offer. http://www.rickross.com/reference/scientology/scien240.html
It seems reasonable that Mr. Danchenkov as well as being a former clerk or child also also drove a car. Although we have never, to my knowledge, met, his name is somewhat familiar to me because of news reports such as:
Mr. Danchenkov and his Scientologist accomplices are further implying, of course, that “clerk” is some unimportant, degraded position in Scientology, and that the Scientologists filling that position are necessarily prevented from acquiring any experiences or knowledge that could conceivably make them experts in anything.
The truth is that I successfully held several positions during my years in Scientology, and none were termed or described as “clerk.” Another truth is that in those actual positions and years I acquired a great deal of experience and knowledge. I have also acquired a great deal of experience and knowledge in the almost thirty years since I left Scientology. Throughout these post-Scientology years, I also was in many positions and had functions different from clerk; for example, as a Scientology target, victim and opponent, and as a witness, writer, speaker and researcher.
Along with certain God-given abilities, and the necessary willingness, of course, my honestly acquired, now forty-two years of experience and knowledge have, in fact, made me an expert on Scientology. My experience, knowledge and testimony is particularly expert regarding Scientology’s “Suppressive Person” doctrine, or “SP” doctrine, and regarding the doctrine’s application, which is commonly called “fair game.”
Mr. Danchenkov’s black propaganda statement about me to portal-credo.ru is his fair game assignment, his visible application of the antisocial and dangerous SP doctrine. The operators of portal-credo.ru, Valery Stepanov, et al., also, of course, facilitate and forward fair game. They share the agreement that I am a legitimate target for attack and pursuit. Black propaganda or black PR is the policy and practice and facet of fair game provided by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbbard of manufacturing and disseminating false and defamatory information about a person to destroy his reputation, credibility, relationships, opportunities and livelihood.
I’m a very accessible person, and no one attempted to check any of Mr. Danchenkov’s charges with me. The reasons for not checking what are presented as statements of fact are obvious and further explained in my response.
I have been recognized in legal proceedings as an expert on Scientology, and have testified in several legal proceedings as an expert. I have written and executed many expert declarations for use in legal proceedings relating to Scientology, written and published considerable material on Scientology, and, as the interviewer notes, I have spoken publicly on the subject in different places.
I am willing to engage Mr. Danchenkov in a debate concerning Scientology, founder Hubbard, their claims, activities, products, intentions, history and nature. Since I left Scientology, I have never found a Scientologist willing to engage in a debate on these important issues, and I believe that this universal refusal to engage in a debate is because the Scientologists, virtually universally, recognize that I am the expert they say I am not.
He left the church in 1981, stealing more than 10,000 pages of documentation.
Now, Mr. Danchenkov is lying, and libeling me.
It is true that Scientology and Scientologists attempted to have me convicted of theft of documents. It is true that they filed a lawsuit against me alleging that I stole documents. It is also true that Scientologists like Mr. Danchenkov and their collaborators have been telling the lie that I stole documents since I escaped from their cult. But they are all simply lying.
The law enforcement authorities that Scientology and Scientologists pressured to bring criminal charges against me refused. The civil case that the Scientologists brought against me was decided in my favor, and the Court stated in the judgment:
“The court finds that while working for L. R. Hubbard. . . [I] . . . had permission and authority from plaintiffs and LRH to provide [contracted writer] Omar Garrison with every document or object that was made available to Mr. Garrison, and further, had permission from Omar Garrison to take and deliver to [my] attorneys the documents and materials.”
The Court also ruled that because I was subject to “fair game,” by which Scientology “harassed and abused” people “it perceives as enemies,” the “reasons and justification” for my actions were “manifest.”
This judgment was affirmed in 1991 in the California Court of Appeal.
Despite these judicial rulings and their affirmance on appeal, because of the relevant Scientologists’ seemingly conscienceless condition, they have continued to falsely assert, as Mr. Danchenkov is doing, that I stole documents.
He is currently wanted by the police of the United States on a number of charges for which he could face imprisonment and be required to pay fines for contempt of court.
If it is true that I am wanted by the police of the United States on a number of charges, it would be yet another instance and operation of fair game Scientology and Scientologists are perpetrating. It is my belief, however, that Mr. Danchenkov is not correct, that I am not wanted by the police of the US, and that he knows I am not wanted by these police.
It is true that Scientology has been successful in obtaining a series of unlawful jail sentences against me for lawful violations of an unlawful injunction that the cult obtained against me in Marin County, California Superior Court in 1995.
Scientology’s injunction unlawfully prohibits me from discussing Scientology, Hubbard, Scientology organizations, and even Scientologists such as Mr. Danchenkov, who is a Scientology employee. The injunction also unlawfully prohibits me from helping Scientology or Scientologists’ victims, or people adverse to Scientology or Scientologists. Such persons all comprise the “Suppressive Person” class, which is identified as a hated and persecuted religious class by Scientology “scripture.”
Scientology’s injunction is unlawful and lawfully judicially unenforceable, and no person has a duty to comply with unlawful orders. Nevertheless, Scientology has been successful in having certain California courts unlawfully enforce its unlawful injunction and issue unlawful orders to fine, jail and financially ruin me.
Since Scientology is considered a religion in all US states, Scientology’s injunction is equivalent to a secular court order that prohibited a person from discussing Christianity, Jesus Christ, Christian Churches, and Christians, and prohibited the person from helping anyone adverse to, or for that matter not adverse to, some named church or religion. The jail sentences Scientology has been able to obtain against me are as unlawful as jailing people for discussing Christianity, Jesus Christ, Christian Churches, and Christians, or for helping or not helping anyone adverse or not to Christianity or any other religion.
It is both ironic and fully understandable that Mr. Danchenkov has for many years been involved in the effort to portray Scientology and its members as defenders and advocates for religious freedoms around the world. See, for example, this comment I happened to include in a letter in 2004 to Scientology collaborator Joseph K. Grieboski:
Your research associate Kyle Ballard writes this about his project “The Study of Religious Freedoms in Russia:
In modern democracies, religious freedoms are fundamental. Thus, as Russia is shedding its Communist ideology and emerging as a democratic state, religious freedoms have become essential. With this in mind, I traveled to Moscow and Nizhniy-Novgorod to attend the Experts Conference on Religious Freedoms in Russia and to study the position of religious minorities in Russian society.
My assistant was Alexei Danchenkov, Russian national and a legal analyst and spokesman for the Church of Scientology. In attendance at the conference were academics, journalists, state servants, political advisers, and religious freedoms advocates from both Russia and the United States. The conference provided an open forum to discuss the state of religious freedoms in the Russian Federation and allowed U.S. experts to share the American experience. Moreover, because the Church of Scientology works extremely hard on religious freedom issues, I was provided with much information the struggles of religious groups around the world.
Scientology is a global, well-documented suppressor and destroyer of basic human rights, including, most egregiously, freedom of religion. To cloak this antisocial reality, Scientology has people make ridiculous claims, such as, for example, that Scientologists are “religious freedom advocates,” or that “Scientology works extremely hard on religious freedom issues.”
Very relevantly, Mr. Danchenkov, as “Church of Scientology of Moscow Spokesman” and “Editor-in-Chief of “Right to Freedom,” is a contracted “beneficiary” in Scientology’s injunction that unlawfully and unarguably suppresses and destroys my basic freedoms including my religious freedom. He is also a contracted beneficiary in Scientology and Scientologists’ unlawful efforts to enforce their unlawful injunction. He benefits personally by having me jailed and fined.
The injunction’s unlawful prohibitions, moreover, also apply to “persons acting in concert” with me. There are, of course, many people around the world, indeed many in Russia, who act in concert with me, in defiance of Scientology and Scientologists’ injunction. Consequently, the conspiracy against human rights, particularly religious freedom, in which Mr. Danchenkov is a beneficiary and participant, is truly monstrous.
I was in Russia, in fact, on this occasion, to discuss my amazing Scientology-related legal situation, and specifically how it applies to persons and groups acting in concert with me. I was also helping to organize the class of Russian citizens who act in concert with me, in order to oppose Scientology’s injunction and have it declared unlawful and unenforceable.
The class of people acting in concert with me, as considered by Scientology’s injunction, have never had an opportunity to be heard or even to appear in the Court that made them subject to that Court’s orders. The same Court issued its unlawful orders against me without giving me a fair trial, or even an unfair trial, but at least I got to make an appearance in the case. The whole class of persons acting in concert with me has never had the opportunity to appear in Court, and had no notice that the Court would or might issue such an order that directly, adversely, and unlawfully, affects the class. I was in Russia because it is time that this grotesque injustice is ended.
– Is Mr. Armstrong really an expert on Scientology?
I am not, however, claiming or suggesting that this is in some way an enviable status. Indeed, experts on Scientology, that is, those who tell the truth, tend to be victimized and their lives made as miserable as Scientologists can make them. It is simply a statement of fact, no matter how unenviable, that I am such an expert.
For me to deny this fact, in order, for example, to get Scientologists to stop victimizing me, is pointless because, as indicated above, they know that I am the expert they say I am not. The Scientologists would clearly still know this, and accordingly still fair game me, even if I said as they say that I’m not the expert they say I’m not.
I do not believe that being an expert on Scientology is a unique or rare ability or station. In fact, I believe that virtually anyone who learns and communicates the truth about Scientology can be an expert. My goal is to have as many other people as possible have the same expertise I now have, because, the more people that have that expertise, the safer for all of us.
– In 1984, Gerald Armstrong was preparing a plot to seize the assets of the Church of Scientology.
This is false. There was no such plot.
The truth is that Scientology’s intelligence personnel, operated at that time by L. Ron Hubbard and his successor David Miscavige, concocted a plot to make it appear that I was plotting to do things I wasn’t plotting to do. They were the plotters. I was the mark. The cult’s covert operatives sent to contact me – Dan Sherman, David Kluge and Mike Rinder – claimed they were members of a group of Scientologists who wanted to take control of Scientology from Miscavige, end his era of criminality, and in fact have him jailed for his crimes. The operatives insisted on meeting in secret because, they said, everybody in their group was afraid for their lives.
This group of “ethical” Scientologists approached me with the come-on that they wanted my help against their criminal bosses because, they said, I had successfully stood up to them and their criminal cult. Scientology leaders and intelligence personnel know that I’m a person who is often very willing to help people, and they have used this “help button” many times to get close to me, run intelligence operations on me, and try to entrap me. Sherman, Kluge and Rinder and their operators attempted to inveigle me into unethical or criminal activities, but were unsuccessful.
When the circumstances of this crime were uncovered, an investigation was conducted concerning Armstrong’s plans.
This is false. I committed no crime. The videotapes Scientology made were illegal, and what the cult has done with the illegal videos is tortious and illegal. Since the whole “Armstrong Operation” was schemed, programmed, manned, drilled and executed by Scientology and its agents, the idea of Scientology and its agents uncovering the operation and conducting an investigation into the operation is blackly funny.
For more details regarding the Armstrong Operation, see this declaration of February 20, 1994: http://www.gerryarmstrong.org/50grand/legal/decl-1994-02-20.html
Also see this related declaration of February 22, 1994: http://www.gerryarmstrong.org/50grand/legal/decl-1994-02-22.html
During this investigation, he was recorded on videotape stating that he intends to fabricate and plant incriminating documents on Church premises, where they would be discovered during a subsequent raid.
This is false. What I suggested is that if these people, who were asking for my help, and who were claiming to want to reform Scientology and end its criminal activities, really meant it, they should document what they knew of their cult’s criminal activities so that there was an accurate record no matter what happened.
As an action in their fair game campaign, Scientology and Scientologists pervert what I was suggesting, as Mr. Danchenkov is doing here, to assert that I wanted to “fabricate” documents or evidence. All I was doing, however, was attempting to lawfully help and encourage the people who came to me for help to stand up against a dangerous evil. These people, of course, were fakes, who didn’t want to reform Scientology, but were, like Mr. Danchenkov, working for that dangerous evil.
Armstrong admitted that his goal was to overthrow the supreme leader of the Church, using sexual enticement in a scheme which Armstrong named “Operation Long Prong”.
As stated above, the removal of Scientology head David Miscavige and prosecuting him for crimes were the goals that the “reformers,” the cult’s own covert operatives, claimed were theirs. Those goals would not prevent me from helping these people as reformers, because Miscavige is a clear sociopath and has committed crimes for which he should be prosecuted. Those were not specifically my goals, however, in agreeing to help his agents who were claiming to be his victims.
What are relevant at this time, since this “interview” for portal-credo.ru is all about me, are my actual and current goals regarding Scientology and Scientologists. I stated these five easy goals in a letter to Miscavige in 2008.
I’ve also communicated them publicly on numerous occasions for other Scientologists and for normal people over the past few years.
1. Release everyone from any restraint that prohibits them from speaking freely about their experiences and knowledge.
2. Repudiate the “Suppressive Person” doctrine.
3. Pay reparations to everyone harmed by Scientology or Scientologists or their agents’ application of the SP doctrine.
4. Pay back Scientology’s fraud victims.
5. Tell the truth.
When I reflect on my state of mind back in 1984, my goal then was to have Scientologists stop their war on me, my family, friends, and everyone. That’s essentially what Scientology and Scientologists promised in a group settlement with their victims in December 1986. Scientology and Scientologists, however, have never stopped their war on us, so that goal has not been attained. The five easier goals are reasonable steps or requirements to show that the war has been stopped.
“Operation Long Prong” was a thoughtlessly scribbled, tasteless note of a joke I wrote, actually to ridicule Scientology and Scientologists’ spy mentality. Ultimately, the joke may have been what Scientology’s intelligence personnel and leaders estimated was enough to destroy my reputation or my ability to continue to oppose their aggression and abuses. Their estimate was wrong, however, and my bad jokes have not destroyed me. I wrote in my February 20, 1994 declaration:
It has not ceased to be embarrassing to me whenever the organization trots out the Armstrong videotapes, because I do say some silly and raunchy things. But the organization has never been able to embarrass me into silence and it won’t now.
Some of Armstrong’s actions are quite revealing. For example, he posted a message on the internet about his letter to Saddam Hussein during the Gulf War. In the letter, he offered himself to Hussein as a hostage in the Iraqi war. The letter ends with the words: “If either side failed to perform any part of the agreement, the other side could execute me.”
Mr. Danchenkov implies that what is quite revealed by my November 1,1990 letter to Saddam Hussein is something deranged or nefarious about me.
Elsewhere Scientologists or their agents make more explicit claims about the letter; for example that it shows my “mental stability is questionable,” or evidences a “personality disorder.” See, for example, Scientology’s US-based website: http://www.religiousfreedomwatch.org/anti-religious-extremists/gerald-armstrong/
In addition to his unlawful activities, Armstrong’s mental stability is questionable. Armstrong once posted a message on the Internet concerning a letter he sent to Saddam Hussein during the Gulf War. In the letter, he offered himself to Hussein as a hostage in the Iraqi war. “If either side failed to perform any part of the agreement, the other side could execute me,” he concluded. Armstrong makes clear in his posting that he did not think the letter to Hussein was a joke, but was deadly serious. He quite proudly republishes it and other similar writings from time to time. To further demonstrate how out of touch he is with reality, Armstrong had himself photographed by a newspaper naked while holding a globe to promote his theories of destroying all money.
Also see Scientology’s Russia-based site: http://religiousfreedomwatch-ru.org/religious-extremists/gerald-armstrong
В дополнение к его незаконной деятельности, душевное здоровье Армстронга находится под вопросом. Однажды Армстронг в одном из своих сообщений в интернете привел письмо, которое он послал Саддаму Хусейну во время войны в Персидском заливе. В этом письме он предлагал самого себя в качестве заложника для Хусейна во время войны в Ираке. «Если какая-либо из сторон не выполнит какую-то часть соглашения, вторая сторона будет вправе казнить меня» — написал он в заключение. Армстронг четко заявляет в своем сообщении, что он не рассматривал письмо к Хусейну как шутку, наоборот — это было в высшей степени серьезно. Он с достаточной гордостью публикут это и другие похожие послания время от времени. Для большей демонстрации того, насколько он потерял связь с реальностью, Армстронг сфотографировался для одной из газет, будучи голым и держа Землю, для продвижения своих теорий уничтожения всех денег.
Importantly, also consider Scientology and Scientologists’ submission to the US’s Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on which its many entities in 1993 were granted tax exemption, and consequently US Federal Government protection and promotion.
There are several pages of black propaganda on me in Scientology’s submission, which its leaders and the people preparing the submission knew to be false. Such false statements to the IRS are grounds to have Scientology’s tax exemption withdrawn, if the US Government had the will. The statements also evidence the importance the IRS had placed on the Scientology v. Armstrong case in previous denials of the cult’s demands for tax exemption. See, for example:
Church of Scientology v. Gerald Armstrong:
We have included some background information here and an epilogue to the decision in question. That is because the Service has continuously thrust the Armstrong case at us, demanding an explanation. The Armstrong case decision was so inflammatory and intemperate that it was used to stigmatize the Church in the legal arena and make other outrageous decisions possible. As we shall demonstrate below, all this decision ever involved was Armstrong’s state of mind, which subsequently obtained evidence proved conclusively to be one sordid, sado-masochistic nightmare.
Our consistent view has been that the civil litigants are solely motivated by greed. The exception is Armstrong who we truly believe to be psychotic. During the 1980’s, the IRS used every single civil litigant against Scientology as an IRS witness. The government, however, has no business in taking sides in a religious or civil dispute. It is indeed ironic to note that once the Flynn civil litigation in the 80’s was settled, with the exception of Armstrong, we hear no more of their “horror stories” from these paragons of virtue claiming to be interested only in “principle” and “what is right.”
Scientology and Scientologists are driven to use whatever exists and whatever can be manufactured therefrom to show that their thoughts, words and actions against me are right, and completely justified, indeed necessary and honorable. One of their most important and often repeated pieces of “evidence” that I’m truly psychotic is my 1990 letter to Saddam.
The letter, obviously, is unrelated to Scientology. It could stand alone for consideration without reference to Scientology. Anyone could have written it without my history and present relationship with Scientology. The cult made the letter “relevant” in a lawsuit it filed and prosecuted improperly against me in the 1990’s. Once it obtained the letter in the legal proceeding, Scientology has used it in its black PR campaign.
I’ve just re-read the letter. It is grammatically solid, philosophically consistent, literary, and sincere. I was, of course, aware that there was little likelihood that Saddam would pay any attention, or even hear of my offer. I was, nevertheless, willing to make my life available if called for to avert or in relation to the coming war. Doubtlessly my offer on behalf of people who don’t participate in national negotiations could have been preferable to the wars that have since happened in Iraq.
The letter does not, however, evidence a personality disorder, legally, medically or societally, any more than any other understandable and sincere offer within a person’s capability in a tense situation evidences a personality disorder. Scientology’s leaders do not truly believe I’m psychotic, but clearly believe that their survival depends on getting others to believe I’m psychotic so that what I say won’t be believed.
In addition to black PRing me for writing Saddam Hussein to try to prevent war, Scientology also black PRs me for my writings about my plan for peacefully resolving the world’s economic problems. Scientologists have demonstrated that no matter what I say or do, no matter how unrelated to Scientology, no matter how enlightened, beneficial or even holy, they will attack it to attack me.
Yet, the attacks on me, and my associates, besides being hurtful, are irrelevant. It would not matter if I was truly psychotic, or truly evil, or the evilest person on earth, it is not right or lawful to try silence me about the Scientology religion and its religionists, by court order, by threat, or by any other means. And I am not such a person.
Armstrong had himself photographed by a newspaper naked while covering himself with a globe, which, according to him, symbolizes the idea of refusing any money.
This is false, and Scientologists know it’s false. They know I was wearing running shorts, which was completely appropriate apparel for the occasion.
President Jentzsch’s 1993 letter to Entertainment Television: http://www.gerryarmstrong.org/50grand/cult/jentzsch-ltr-1993-08-05.html
Former international chief spokesperson Mike Rinder’s 1994 letter to the Mirror Newspaper Group: http://www.gerryarmstrong.org/50grand/cult/rinder-ltr-1994-05-09.html
Current international chief spokesperson Tommy Davis recently made the same naked claim as reported in Lawrence Wright’s profile of Paul Haggis, “Apostate,” in the February 14, 2011 issue of The New Yorker.
Davis passed around a photograph of Armstrong, which, he said, showed Armstrong “sitting naked” with a giant globe in his lap. “This was a photo that was in a newspaper article he did where he said that all people should give up money,” Davis said. “He’s not a very sane person.”
Armstrong told me that, in the photo, he is actually wearing running shorts under the globe.
This photo, which was published in Runners World in the February 1995 edition, shows me wearing the same pair of shorts while running. http://www.gerryarmstrong.org/50grand/media/rat/runners-world-1995-02.html
– Why then was this man, who has been outside more than 30 years since he was a member of the Church, invited into the country and called one of the leading experts on Scientology by the chairman of the Expert Council of the Russian Ministry of Justice?
The real reason, ironically, is just because of what Scientology and Scientologists like Mr. Danchenkov have done during those almost 30 years to unlawfully silence me, in knowing violation of international human rights charters, and even US Federal criminal statutes.
I was in Russia in fact to offer my legal case and situation with Scientology to the Russian Ministry of Justice and to other Ministries and officials who must deal with the cult’s fraud, abuses and criminality.
That Scientology can get and has gotten people to conspire to suppress and destroy human and legal rights, and allow themselves to be contracted beneficiaries in that illegal conspiracy, is enough reason for Russia and every country to act to properly warn its citizens about Scientology and its conspiracy against rights.
The Chairman of the Expert Council of the Ministry of Justice Dr. Alexander L. Dvorkin, St.Tikhon’s Orthodox University, and other Russian institutions and Russian citizens deserve gratitude and respect for their courage in inviting me speak and for daring to act in concert with me.
– I believe that more qualified experts have a different point of view.
I would very much like to find out who these more qualified experts are. I am already certain that Scientology’s less qualified experts, for example Gordon Melton, James R. Lewis, Massimo Introvigne or Eileen Barker, have a point of view that is radically different from mine, simply because they’re Scientology’s experts, or its collaborators. I have never found, however, a more qualified expert whose point of view is radically different from mine. And neither Mr. Danchenkov nor portal-credo.ru, unfortunately, identifies who these more qualified experts are.
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