“These are the times that try men’s souls: The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.”
This is the famous opening line from the first pamphlet of a series entitled The American Crisis published from 1776 to 1783 during the American Revolution by Thomas Paine. Today, Scientology is in crisis.
An ever-growing chorus from long time former Sea Org members and upper level executives allege that David Miscavige has eliminated checks and balances called for by its Founder, L. Ron Hubbard, and has beaten international executives and subjected them to inhumane treatment. Media and governmental bodies are rightfully taking up the stories.
An independent internal investigation, which we have called for repeatedly, would immediately resolve these very serious and damaging charges. Rather than confront the accusations, however, the Miscavige administration continues to attack and label the whistleblowers “liars,” “defrocked apostates,” “suppressive persons,” and other derogatory terms, thereby holding the allegations in suspension and further dividing the Scientology community in addition to harming our message to the world and distancing us from the general public.
Obviously the administration is not handling the situation. Far from it, these actions tend to prove that Miscavige is guilty of the abuses he is charged with and that he operates unchecked.
Descent Into Madness
The Debbie Cook debacle was a self-inflicted wound to Scientology and the church by the Miscavige administration, entirely avoidable.
For those who missed the news, Debbie Cook sent an email to fellow Scientologists on New Year’s Day, pointing out LRH policy violations and the elimination of checks and balances at the top of Scientology international management by David Miscavige. To read the email, Click Here.
Debbie, of course, was the Captain and face of the Flag Service Organization (FSO) for 17 years, a Sea Org member at Flag for 29. She was widely known, loved and respected in the Scientology community. She left the Sea Org for medical reasons in 2007 and became a public Scientologist in good standing with the Church.
After she sent out her email, the Miscavige administration lashed out, suing her in a Texas court. In the name of the Flag Service Org (FSO), Miscavige claimed Debbie violated a confidentiality contract she had signed upon her departure and sought $300,000 in damages. He also sought an injunction that she not speak out again. She was forced to take the stand and testify why she felt her email did not violate her contract.
And, boy, did she have something to say.
Debbie’s email had merely cited LRH policy that she felt was being violated by the Miscavige administration and requested Scientologists to Keep Scientology Working by not going along with policy violations; e.g., use of org resources to solicit donations, which LRH forbade.
In court, she testified that she had signed the confidentiality agreement under duress only to escape the cruel and inhumane treatment, including imprisonment, she had been subjected to by Miscavige after promotion to Int Base.
In describing why she signed the confidentiality agreement under duress and would have signed anything just to be permitted to leave in good standing, Debbie testified to the following:
●Two men jumped through her office window while she was on the phone with Miscavige to forcibly carry her to “the Hole,” a double-wide trailer with bars on its windows and guards at the only door, in which she was imprisoned for seven weeks with more than 100 other executives, sleeping on the ant-infested floor in sleeping bags and eating soupy “slop” made of reheated staff leftovers;
●She described a 12-hour ordeal at the California base where she was made to stand in a trash can while fellow executives poured water over her, screamed at her and said she was a lesbian;
●She witnessed Miscavige punch Marc Yeager, from CO CMO Int, in the face, knocking him down;
●She told of one executive being beaten by a Miscavige assistant for objecting to violence in “the Hole” and was then made to clean a bathroom floor with his tongue for 30-minutes;
●At Miscavige’s orders, his secretary slapped Debbie hard enough to knock her down; and
●Miscavige also ordered his communicator to break Debbie’s finger. The aide bent her finger but didn’t break it.
Her testimony went viral on the Internet. For an example, Click Here.
Miscavige Appointed Debbie Cook His Executioner
The confidentiality contract being sued on had a provision calling for arbitration before a panel of three Scientologists. The church could have sought $300,000 in damages through arbitration and then turned the award into a court judgment. Arbitration hearings are private. Therefore, Debbie’s testimony would not have been public, and would not have gone viral on the Internet.
So, why did the Church waive its First Amendment privileges (by itself going into court) and force Debbie to take the stand in a public forum and defend herself?
To an experienced lawyer, it makes zero sense.
Obviously, Miscavige wanted an injunction. Injunctions can only be obtained in a court of law, not in an arbitration or small claims proceeding.
Church lawyers obtained a temporary restraining order (“TRO”) and filed a motion for a preliminary injunction upon filing the lawsuit against Debbie. The lawsuit seeks damages plus a permanent injunction.
For information on what an injunction is and its three stages, TRO, preliminary and permanent, see Click Here.
Given Debbie’s allegations, however, it was impossible to obtain any injunction beyond a TRO. All she had to do to defeat the motion was testify that she signed it under duress.
The Church has plenty of experienced lawyers on its payroll and found an established law firm in Texas to represent its interests.
Apparently, the Miscavige administration did not fully brief the lawyers; they rushed them into action with orders to obtain a TRO and preliminary injunction and did not warn them what Debbie could say when called to the witness stand. Apparently an order came down, “Just shut her up. Now!”
FSO lawyers pulled the plug to further damaging testimony by Debbie and other former high-ranking Sea Org members by dismissing the motion for preliminary injunction.
Skilled, fully briefed lawyers would have advised Miscavige to dismiss the entire lawsuit.
Miscavige Demands To Be Comm Ev’ed In A Public Forum
Instead, FSO filed a motion for summary judgment, i.e., a request that the court enter judgment without a trial.
A summary judgment can only be granted when it is proven that no material issue of fact exists in the case. For more information, Click Here.
This motion for summary judgment is dead on arrival.
Debbie has already presented sufficient evidence to create a material issue of fact. To get around her testimony that she signed the confidentiality agreement under duress, Church lawyers offer a clever argument. Clever if one isn’t fully informed, that is.
FSO presents evidence and argues that Debbie may have been under duress when she signed the contract, but that was in 2007. The duress supposedly ended some time after she walked away and she failed to take steps to indicate she was not in agreement with the terms of the contract she had signed.
Church lawyers then invoked a principle in contract law called “ratification,” claiming she ratified the terms of the agreement by her silence.
This argument is easily overcome by evidence that Debbie did not gain perspective on her ordeal and the duress she was under until recently. Besides, she can reasonably interpret the agreement not to have been a waiver of her ecclesiastical duty to Keep Scientology Working.
Many former Sea Org members are available to testify that they, too, experienced the same abuses and degradation testified about by Debbie and that it took them years to “decompress” and make sense of it all. Why did I put up with the abuses in the first place? What about my eternity if I speak out? What about my connections to family and friends? Am I really screwed up, deserving of such inhumanities?
For a summary of potential witnesses and their evidence, Click Here.
There will be no summary judgment; there will be a trial.
In both the opposition to the motion for summary judgment and the trial, Scientologists will finally be able to present their cases against Miscavige and his abuses to a trier of fact.
It is sort of a fitting irony, given the fact that Miscavige has allegedly banished Executive Director International to “the hole,” thereby eliminating the convening authority for worldwide Scientology ecclesiastical matters, the person with the authority to convene a Committee of Evidence against Miscavige.
Miscavige’s elimination of internal checks and balances has blocked private, internal reforms and has forced Scientologists who attempt to bypass Miscavige in order to Keep Scientology Working to try him in a public forum instead.
Kudos to Debbie Cook
In Scientology’s crisis, these are indeed the times that try men’s souls. The sunshine Scientologist and status seeker will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of LRH; but he that stands by him now, deserves the love and thanks of all Scientologists.
We at SaveScientology.com thank Debbie for not shrinking from the service of L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology. For standing by it now, she has our love and thanks and deserves the same from all Scientologists.
“Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.”— Thomas Paine
A Constructive Solution To End The Madness
There is a simple solution to the overall situation: Miscavige should step aside and allow independent, internal investigations of the kind we have detailed in our Action Series. CST special directors should encourage him to do so and begin to absolve themselves of liability.
LRH Intent to end one-man rule upon his death with multiple checks and balances among the seven boards of directors and trustees in three separate religious corporations should be implemented immediately.
Administrative checks and balances should also be fully restored, which include the international executive strata, an independent Church of Scientology International, an effective Executive Director International, and the Watchdog Committee.
Each of us can follow’s Debbie’s courageous example and do something to bring this about. Dare to confront and investigate the situation in Scientology. Dare to communicate to your fellow Scientologists. Dare to stand up to policy violations. Dare to spread the word.
Naturally , we risk being falsely declared by standing up. “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” — George Orwell.
But, as LRH once asked: “Why are your necks so precious?”
 HCO PL 22 May 59, Issue III, Central Organization Efficiency