Stanislav Kolotvin: Gerry Armstrong: “A U.S. court has authorized the Scientology cult to forcibly retain its recalcitrant members”

Translation of a Russian article posted on May 19, 2011 on the website of St. Tikhon’s Orthodox University:

Gerry Armstrong: “A U.S. court has authorized the Scientology cult to forcibly retain its recalcitrant members”

by Stanislav Kolotvin
Photos by Alisa Merkulova
May 19, 2011

Gerry Armstrong is in Russia for what is already the fourth time. He has previously traveled to cities such as Yekaterinburg, Novosibirsk and Nizhny Novgorod. Each of his visits has, like the past 30 years of his life, been devoted to exposing the true nature of the Scientology sect, a task for which Mr. Armstrong uses the documents he has preserved concerning the activities of L. Ron Hubbard.

The central theme of Mr. Armstrong’s lecture, which was translated by his longtime friend, Professor Alexander Dvorkin, head of sectarian studies at Saint Tikhon’s Orthodox University, was Scientology’s doctrine regarding “suppressive persons” – the evildoers and psychopaths who are to blame for all the troubles on earth. However, among the people that Scientologists have put on this list, there are no criminals or even mentally ill persons. All “suppressive persons” are critics of Scientology, such as Mr. Armstrong. According to the teachings of L. Ron Hubbard, whose word, for Scientologists, is sacred and requires compliance, “suppressive persons” are subject to the doctrine of “Fair Game”, according to which any suppressive person becomes a “legitimate prey” for Scientologists. It is incumbent on followers of the sect to strive to seize the person’s property and, if necessary, to physically destroy an opponent. The “suppressive person” doctrine is highly reminiscent of the Nazi theory regarding “subhumans”.

After he left the sect, Gerry Armstrong was declared a “suppressive person” and there have been six attempts on his life in the U.S. and in Germany. In addition, a campaign of “black PR” has been waged against him for many years on the internet, and Scientologists brought lawsuits against him in the U.S. and complained about him to the FBI and even to courts in Yekaterinburg. Five million dollars were spent over 30 years for the services of lawyers around the world whose sole concern was to send Mr. Armstrong to jail on fabricated charges!

The reason for which Scientologists have no scruples about the means they use to fight against Gerry Armstrong becomes clear when one considers his biography. Mr. Armstrong became involved with the sect in 1969 and he began working in a low-paid post as a dishwasher. However, he quickly rose through Scientology’s ranks of Scientology and he was soon accepted into the “Sea Organization”, which united the members of the sect who were close to Hubbard. In 1972, he became head of legal services, and, in 1974, he was the head of Scientology’s own intelligence service. Throughout this time, Armstrong was on Hubbard’s personal ship, the “Apollo”, as the sect’s founder sailed along the European coast (with the exception of 1973, when Hubbard was convicted of fraud in France). Armstrong was soon entrusted with a mission to go to Los Angeles and establish a central Scientology base there, but he got into an argument with the secretary of Hubbard’s third wife and was sent to the so-called “Rehabilitation Project Force” (RPF), a kind of Scientology gulag.

The RPF is designed to break a person’s will. Offending Scientologists are assigned the dirtiest and heaviest labor, and they are forbidden to speak to other sect members, except to answer questions. He literally had to eat the food left in plates by others after their meals. He did not have the right to walk normally; he could only run. His already low Scientology wages were reduced and, during his 17 months in the RPF, Mr. Armstrong received 4 U.S. dollars and 30 cents a week. For the slightest offense, RPF inmates were forced to run to exhaustion up and down stairs. The duration of stay in the RPF was not specified at all, but only depended on the mood of the sect’s leaders.

At the end of his first assignment to the RPF, Armstrong was entrusted with organizing the shooting of films about Hubbard, but the sect’s founder soon thought that Armstrong was allowing himself to refer jokingly to these films, so Hubbard again ordered the offender to the RPF. After 8 months of confinement, Armstrong oversaw the creation of Scientology’s current headquarters in California.

During searches in 1977, American police uncovered documents that resulted in jail sentences for 11 high-ranking Scientologists, led by Hubbard’s third wife. When it became known in 1979 that a new search was imminent, Armstrong was ordered to destroy all documents that compromised L. Ron Hubbard. He faithfully executed the order, until he found about 20 boxes of various old documents, including Hubbard’s personal diaries. He did not destroy them because he felt they had historical value, and he requested that he be assigned to the drafting of a new autobiography of the sect’s founder. It is at this point that the total deception on which Scientology is built was unveiled to Armstrong.

He had previously admired Hubbard as a nuclear physicist, as a recipient of 27 senior military awards that he supposedly earned at the sacrifice of his health (including his eyesight, which was miraculously restored), as the author of numerous scientific studies, as an exemplary family man. Now he had before him evidence that Hubbard sat out the war on the home front, was expelled from his second year of university, and abducted his own children from different marriages. Armstrong realized that he had wasted 12 years of his life, that after a thousand hours of Scientology “auditing” procedures, his IQ had not increased at the promised rate of 1 point per hour, and that he had not received the promised super-powers.

Armstrong thought about everything and he fled from the sect in 1982. He immediately became the target of lawsuits. Scientology lost the first case, but then came a series of absurd court rulings, one of which allows Mr. Armstrong to be fined fifty thousand dollars for each utterance of the word “Scientology” or for mentioning any of the members of the sect or any organization that cooperates with Scientology. The same fine, according to the court order, applies to all individuals and organizations that cooperate and are in agreement with Mr. Armstrong, for example the Russian Orthodox Church and the police of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Mr. Armstrong explained why the U.S. federal government, which had previously opposed Scientology, decided in 1993 to make it an ally. One reason was the activities of the Scientologists to undermine the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and its upper management. After 1993, the IRS began providing help to Scientologists, a complete reversal. But the main reason for U.S. cooperation with Scientology is the sect’s mode of operation. During the “auditing” procedure (for which each session costs a considerable amount of money), all members of the sect have to give an account of themselves to their seniors and to disclose the most secret and embarrassing aspects of their lives and of the lives of their relatives and friends. Their revelations are recorded on audio and in writing and then transferred to the sect’s headquarters in California. Scientologists thus possess intelligence from around the world. Since Scientologists primarily try to attract influential persons – intelligence specialists, famous actors, business people and politicians – it becomes clear why the U.S. government has so zealously been trying to aid the spread of Scientology.

However, by working with Scientologists, the United States is betraying its own citizens. In 2010, a U.S. court handed down a ruling according to which Scientologists may legally hold recalcitrant members of their sect in custody and forcibly take them back if they escape! In addition, U.S. authorities support a number of committees established by Scientologists which supposedly fight for human rights and even help … victims of Scientology!

During Mr. Armstrong’s conference at St. Tikhon’s Orthodox University, the lecture hall was full and people were standing in the aisles. The main part of his talk ended with a long round of applause and the speaker was then bombarded with questions. Responding to one question, for example, Mr. Armstrong explained how Scientology is dangerous to sect members themselves – it is dangerous for their mental health, it destroys their families, their financial savings disappear with the ever-growing number of costly hypnotic procedures, and cult members mobilize to fight against “suppressive persons”.

When asked about the number of people fleeing the sect, the lecturer said that the scale is difficult to evaluate because Scientologists have many levers to force these people to remain silent: the compromising information collected during their time in the sect, death threats, restricting contact with relatives who remain in the sect. News of senior members leaving the sect resonates more loudly. Books have recently been published by four persons who not very long ago belonged to Scientology’s elite. True information about Scientology is the best way to prevent its spread in Europe and Russia, but Scientologists are now directing their efforts toward third world countries where knowledge of the cult’s sad reputation has not yet gotten through.

The university’s guest also mentioned that, during this visit, he will meet with officials of Russia’s Ministry of Justice to offer advice in connection with complaints against Russia filed at the Strasbourg court by Scientologists.

Summing up the evening, the Vice-Rector of St. Tikhon’s Orthodox University, Archpriest Georgiy Orekhanov, said that all those assembled are, of course, Mr. Armstrong’s friends, with all the judicial consequences this entails, and that the university’s administration would be glad to have him as a guest whenever he decides to come back to Russia.