Another Ex-Scientologist Publishes Damning Tell-All

Categories: Scientology

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Adding to Scientology's woes, some of the people who have been making defections in recent years are turning around and writing damning tell-alls.

Regular publishers won't touch these books -- even though some of them are actually very well written -- so the authors have had to go the self-published route.

Last year's killer I-escaped-from-Scientology narrative was put out by Marc Headley. His Blown for Good made for a gripping read, about a low-level grunt who spent years at Scientology's secret HQ in the California desert until he finally made a mad dash for freedom.

This year, we can report that Headley's book has been equaled. In Counterfeit Dreams, ex-Scientologist Jefferson Hawkins not only provides his own dramatic tale of getting sucked into and ultimately escaping from Scientology, but Hawkins was no low-level scrub.

He, maybe more than any other single person, may be the reason Scientology ever became as popular as it did, with L. Ron Hubbard's Dianetics setting sales records in the 1980s.

It was Hawkins and his ideas for television ads (the "volcano" TV spot, for example) that propelled Dianetics to meteoric heights, leading many to wonder if Scientologists themselves weren't just buying up the books by the truckload to make sure it topped the New York Times Bestsellers List.

But that wasn't the case, Hawkins tells the Voice:

"Yes, the 'boom' in the late 1980s was driven by the book sales, and those were real sales, caused by TV advertising, good book distribution and an aggressive PR machine. They tried to get me to organize Scientologists to go out and buy books to artificially jack up the sales (as they did when Battlefield Earth was released) but I refused to play that game. After we had been running an aggressive advertising and PR campaign for about 4 years, we had built it up to between 10,000 and 30,000 books being sold weekly through US bookstores - something that would have been impossible by 'getting Scientologists to buy copies.'"

Hawkins' impressive book takes a reader through his introduction to Scientology in 1967 to his defection in 2003. Along the way, he became the marketing genius that helped Scientology grow to unprecedented heights -- only to watch it go into serious decline under David Miscavige, the Scientology leader who took over after Hubbard's death in 1986.

Like others who have come forward, Hawkins details the physical abuse he witnessed at the hands of Miscavige, the orders that were impossible to fulfill, the constant threats of punishment, and the hopelessness that Scientologists feel when they are forcibly separated from family but feel that they can't under any circumstance, leave the organization.

But what struck us was Hawkins' claim that it only took a slick PR campaign to drive huge sales of Dianetics and make big gains in membership to Hubbard's weird cabal (which doesn't say much for the intelligence of the American public). Scientology today seems to be in a major rut, attacked on all sides and ridiculed even by mainstream news organizations that once carefully steered clear of the subject. Despite that present condition, would it only take another slick PR campaign to make Scientology resurgent again?

"Sure, that action could be duplicated at any time. While it's true that Scientology is very unpopular and even ridiculed today, the same was true in the 1980s and it was overcome to some degree with advertising and PR," Hawkins says.


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80 comments
Schultzy
Schultzy

The overall business model here is moving more and more towards a relationship approach and building large databases of local homeowners, with marketing funds of a business being invested in bringing value to those consumers and not throwing lavish parties for other r/e agents

 Schultzy @   http://www.remeorealty.com/

John Q CitizenClipjoint4film
John Q CitizenClipjoint4film

It can't just be me, but what is the differance between Scientology and any other religion it's all about Money and Control and run by BLIND FAITH that also produces War and Bigotry!

Jim
Jim

It's amazing the Scientology shills commenting on this thing. It's a scam for rich people. Everybody knows it. It's genius really. John Travolta can buy a jet and donate it to the church so he pays NO taxes on it. Then can use it whenever he wants. I suppose if you're rich this is a nice thing to belong to.

Just don't agree
Just don't agree

I think that Jeff Hawkins has some truths there regarding Miscavige and his destroying the organization.

I do know without a doubt from first hand experience (and I am not a current member) that the advanced levels of materials by Hubbard have 1/been misrepresented grossly on the net to include false hoods, dropped out info and altered sequences etc. and 2/ I know the same as I know my own name and what I ate for breakfast that definately, definately there is unparalled gains from those materials I have both experienced and observed without a shadow of a doubt. Sadly, Hawkins probably thinks he is but a body, so those materials would not be very real to him in the first place as they are solely of one as a spiritual being.

Wu Kapauw
Wu Kapauw

Last person out of Scientology, please shut out the lights. Whoops, sorry, they're already off in most of the vacant (but pricey!) building purchased by the hard-earned money of the dupes who are still taken in by this scam.

Perhaps that should be 'last ones out of Scientology be sure to hire a lawyer' because it's becoming hard to believe that anyone could not be aware of the crimes, human rights abuses, frauds and general illegal thuggery of this vicious group.

You're a Scientologist and you think everything's hunky-dory? Shame on you. Open your eyes and look around before it's too late.

Jacquline Snider
Jacquline Snider

I worked at the Org in Columbus, Ohio. My new room mate was an receptionist there. Working there for roughly three weeks, was good enough for me. With out going into detail, it should of never been recognized as an Church. The only positive thing I liked, in classes we were taught to always use a dictionary to understand what we were reading. Other than that, my job was filing the paper work. Up there I heard everything. If you have morales and values, then you do not want to work there. The Org I was briefly employed with, there was tension amoung the staff. They were all cheating, then divorce, then would re-marry. There was a negative vibe , and there are parts of the hiring process that had me asking myself MANY questions.

jojo
jojo

I have not been involved for 10 years but am still being hounded by the Cof$. In fact, my neighbor received a call from someone claiming they are from the Cof$ and needed to reach me. Had a matter of great importance and it was imperative they get in touch with me. They gave my neighbor a first name only and the Cof$ call-in number. I have no idea how they got my neighbor's phone. I never was on staff so I cannot comment on the abuses other than I have witnessed yelling and screaming on various occasions. I was appalled to say the least. That would never happen in a "wog" workplace but I guess Cof$ believes it is above the law as LRH has claimed it is far superior to any democracy so they do what they please.

I am half way through this book and have to say that this is one of the best books to date about the subject. Jeff gives so much detail about his experiences you feel like you are there with him.

I recommend this book to anyone who wants a clear history of what it was like to be part of the organization from way back in the 60's to almost present time. The promise it had back then the ideals people had make it so much easier to understand why one would dedicate their lives to it.

Those who berate the former Scientologists who are making the truth known to the world are fools. They are fooling themselves and they know it. I feel very sorry for them as they will never know what it is like to truly be free until they come out from under that cloak of deception.

Louboutin Peep Toes
Louboutin Peep Toes

How many Hollywood stars toiled their way into the scene through building their career over the years, some even amounting to decades of hardwork. And there are countless others who have been working all their lives but never got their dreams accomplished.

Mike
Mike

I cannot believe that the Village Voice allows this Ortega guy to continue his campaign of religous bigotry against Scientology and pass it off as journalism. Practically all claims presented are of the "he said-she said" variety.

As a scientologist I do not see the COS as being on its last legs, but truthfully that is my business, not yours.

The anti-scientology movement has no relevent foundation except the irrational urge to see it destroyed. Further the anti-scientology movement, through there own internet forums, have proven themselves to be pro-drugs, pro-pornography and anti-religion.

In one forum entry they actually egged a school shooter on (in Denmark) and when the hellacious violent act was committed, they posted comments like "epic fail you should have killed more". It was truly disgusting...we should be looking toward these people for our moral compass? These are the types of people Ortega has involved himself with.

More people, now more than ever, have heard about Scientology. The old addage "any publicity is good publicity" is certainly true.

Most people regard types like Headley and Hawkins as turncoats or traitors. Most people understand the concept of what signing an oath means or what giving oneself to a higher cause and forsaking all material and individual needs for a higher purpose means.

Scientology is not for everyone and it is not perfect...it is not meant to be perfect. It is a philosophy that helps people pure and simple.

brandsale
brandsale

Yes, our organization is indeed a cult. $cientology has done terrible things and is in the process of being dismantled.-----------------------------------------------View Profile

Aurelio Klaassen
Aurelio Klaassen

Every young girl dreams of her wedding day and how perfect it will be. What has Chelsea accomplished besides being Clinton's daughter?All we need in the news is more filth, this time the rich type.

body armorr
body armorr

no doubt some of that 2 mill is ours...very funny..he's a hedge fund guy isn't he?!! And she works for a hedge fund. What a DOUBLE STANDARD these Ruling Elitist have.

Victor Sae
Victor Sae

I bought a Canon Rebel and the quality is breathtaking.

Rush Limbaugh
Rush Limbaugh

We came across your post about the Koran debacle and it reminded me of something I heard on Ann Coulter. I wish we can all live as one .

BT Bob
BT Bob

Way to go Australia!!!

Leading Cult Buster of the world! Please show the U.S. how it's done!

Bravo, Australia, bravo!

osa handlers
osa handlers

Louanne, posting false PR would be you posting as Louanne without disclosing your Scientology connections then posting as Anonymous in the very next message.

dondebar
dondebar

The role of fundamentalist Scientology believers Grace and Ken Aaron in the takeover of Pacifica and the purging of community activists, particularly community activists of color, from the network deserves study by someone familiar with the organization. Although the Aaron's were (reportedly) officially "shunned" by the Scientology establishment, their actions at Pacifica sure do look like the group's M.O.

finally
finally

Great news out of Australia, with dire consequences for Scientology:

A federal parliamentary committee has recommended the creation of a charities commission.

The commission would ensure charitable and religious organisations were open and transparent.

They would also need to be able to prove they deserved a charitable status.

Independent Senator Nick Xenophon has welcomed bipartisan support for the commission, saying organisations such as the Church of Scientology are on notice.

"I believe reform is now inevitable. We can't continue to have business as usual when it comes to organisations that have been beyond any reasonable level of accountability," Mr Xenophon said.

He believes reform in the sector is inevitable.

"This inquiry came about because of legislation I introduced for a public benefit test for religions and charities, and it was as a direct result of being approached by many victims of the Church of Scientology," he said.

"Their evidence, their complaints played a key role in triggering this inquiry."

Sean
Sean

"as they did when Battlefield Earth was released"Are they talking about the s**t movie, or the book? Because I have read the book, and it is a f**king outstanding piece of Sci-Fi. Up there with Dune.

Dertive
Dertive

Interesting story that the man behind the PR boom of Scientology had left the "church" almost ten years ago and is only now comfortable enough to write this book.

Benin
Benin

Ronbots sure are hitting those comments pretty hard.

Amnesty Ordy
Amnesty Ordy

Put down your stupidity, and choose safety, and normalcy over driving others crazy, and Everyone deserves a safe zone, to return back to full health.

Zee Mu
Zee Mu

It took a while for the Scientologists to get here but finally those paranoid, misinformed ranters have entered the fray. You've been duped, Ron-bots. The cats out of the bag and it ain't going back. Freedom mag is a joke. I think, in all honesty, it's only published for the benefit of the brainwashed. None of us "wogs" are buying it. By the way, there is no state of Clear or Operating Thetans. No "super powers". The jig is up. Dust yourselves off, save yourself some money and start your life again.

the truth
the truth

The truth of the matter is Scientology has no more secrets. The abuse, the constant demands for money, the forced disconnection from loved ones, the prison camps, the coerced abortions, the slave labor, ALL of it now out in the open. Over 1000 former members of this cult have left and spoken out. They all are not liars. They are not "criminals" no matter what Scientology would like for people to believe. They are individuals who experienced the abuses first hand. Who are now no longer allowed to speak to mothers, fathers, children, spouses, who are in utter financial ruin with maxed out credit cards and 2nd and 3rd mortgages. Many are in the 50's and 60's with no skills and no real work experience. They leave because they can't live the lie anymore. They can't support the abuses, the fraud, the scams and cons.Do your best to smear Jeff Hawkins, Scientology. But know it is abssolutely not working. It merely shows you to be a vindicative, venegeful, Mafia-like organization. Mention the word "Scientology" and people either laugh, or cringe, or both.The con is up guys, and no amount of "handling" these forums will bring a single person into your empty orgs.

5million$+ tax bracket
5million$+ tax bracket

At a communications level scientology is now defunct.

However long it may persist as a parasite to celebrities... The so-called Ron-Bots are automated for trigger by information on their cult, as their settings are permanently set to such a default response. Best to for this error to be fixed, is to submit a request for neutralization of all active scientologists, and queue it for an authorized systems administer to enable access.

Now, to speak in a sane language that normal people can understand, scientologists operate by intimidation, and use very generic predatory/abrasive and exploitative methods to scare away bearers of information.

But the are beyond impotent at this time, and, former members and victims are encouraged to avoid self-stigmatization as non-credible/unstable witnesses by avoiding scientology codes in their mainstream communications. It is your right to be safe, secure, to have peace of mind.

TommyFan
TommyFan

GBR,according to the last American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS 2008) there are only 25,000 Scientologists in the US.That doesn't even come close to "millions".

Guest
Guest

Yes, our organization is indeed a cult. $cientology has done terrible things and is in the process of being dismantled.

GBR
GBR

You see stuff on the web and other media about how bad Scientology is. TV documentaries, sites, blogs and feedback. From harshly critical to the mildly sarcastic. The redneck nabobs who can�t even define the word religion will tell you otherwise but as a student of philosophy, theology and comparative religions in the university before becoming a Scientologist I will firmly declare to you the truth: Scientology IS a religion. And here�s the deal about all those comments critical of Scientology (and Scientologists): they come from people who really don�t know what Scientology is. I doubt they have ever been to a Church. They certainly haven�t honestly studied it. They just pick up on everybody else�s stone throwing and add their own prejudicial inanities. Real rational enlightened thoughtful opinions!

Or you get the ex-Scientologists, who never got anything out of it, with their rants. The media LOVES them. Never mind that they are small potatoes compared to the MILLIONS over the past 60 years whose lives have been made better by Scientology. That news, I assure you, rarely makes the news media because their modus operandi is to present a threatening dangerous world full of tragedy, loss and conflict. Their self-proclaimed doctrine of �objective reporting� obliges them to report the �controversy�, which they concentrate upon. So much for �fair and balanced!� The good news about Scientology? Heaven forbid that something like Scientology could actually HELP people. No. Scientology has to be �controversial�! Well, Christianity was �controversial� when the Roman authorities were feeding them to the lions. And so was Islam when the great prophet had to fee Mecca. Gautama Siddhartha, the founder of Buddhism, was nearly killed by opponents from the established religious orders. Joseph Smith WAS murdered. Martin Luther barely escaped the Inquisition. St Thomas Aquinas � kidnapped. On and on. So many great spiritual leaders have been pilloried for trying to help.

Then you get the anti-Scientology �specialists.� The ones with websites who have made a tremendous effort to gather and present to you all the sordid details about the dangerous Scientology cult. They especially love to target ex-staff members who used to work for the Church. Taking their �testimonies� they embellish, omit and twist them to give you �the facts� of what goes on inside the Church. As Scientology continues to grow in acceptance around the world the past 60 years, you have to ask: why? Why is there a very tiny few who have appointed themselves vigilantes to protect you against Scientology, who yell and scream when Scientology has helped millions? The answer is BRUTALLY simple. THEY DON�T WANT YOU TO IMPROVE YOUR LIFE. Scientology is GOOD. It HELPS people. No matter how convincing the anti-Scientology �experts� may try to sound, all they do is twist and pervert, and there isn�t a shred of truth to any of their claims. The bottom line is: they don�t want you being helped.

Look at it his way: if Scientology is SO BAD how come it hasn�t folded after more than 60 years. No religion in modern times has been so viciously and vociferously attacked since the Holocaust. Yet despite all the attacks by governments and all the black PR in the media, I see no sign that Scientology is folding up any time soon. For years they�ve been saying Scientology has been declining, losing its members. Year after year, they keep saying it. Well? Funny, because while they keep proclaiming how Scientology is shrinking and about ready to close its doors, the Church has been expanding and growing, opening up new churches monthly, country by country, winning adherents from all over the world.

Yes, there were people who abused Scientology. And they�ve either been corrected or have left the fold. You certainly don�t condemn a good group or organization because of the actions of a few bad apples. Christianity has had its share of them the last 2000 years but that doesn�t mean the preaching�s of Jesus is any less valid. No matter how many bad deeds were committed �to protect and defend the Constitution�, it�s still a great document that has helped to make America a great land. There are no perfect sinless saints. Not on this planet of fallen angels. But there are plenty of GOOD people who have tried to help better the condition of mankind and this world we live in. L. Ron Hubbard was one of them.

The dedicated stone-throwers, the naysayers, the ones who write all that anti-Scientology stuff: they don�t want you helped. They don�t want to see anybody�s lives bettered. They don�t want to see conditions improved. And they prey on your prejudices. The question is: are they going to get you convinced to pick up a rock or are you sane and self-determined enough to discover the truths about Scientology for yourself?

GBRScientologist

GBR
GBR

I am a Scientologist and have been a Scientologist since 1974. Before then I was a student of philosophy, theology and comparative religions in the University (CSUN) and in high school.

I have read and studied every book written by L. Ron Hubbard, some several times over. I have taken many Scientology courses and received pastoral counseling (auditing). I consider myself no more �brainwashed� than any devoted Christian earnestly studying their Bible, or pious Jew studying the Talmud, or Muslim studying the Koran, or Buddhist studying the pali canon, or any serious devotee reaching for knowledge and wisdom from their religion.

For 22 years I was a staff member of the Church of Scientology, all of it spent in the Sea Organization. I briefly trained on one of our training vessels. I was on the RPF twice, and also did time on the RPF�s RPF. I consider myself privileged to have worked, at times, with the highest ranking officials in Church management. Although I did not work directly with Mr. Hubbard we were in regular communication. I have met, worked and befriended Scientologist, staff and public, from all over the world, from so many different walks of life.

The negative comments about Scientology on all the blogs either come from ex-Scientologist who never got anything out of it or non-Scientologist who are more or less re-hashing earlier or current anti-Scientology feed with their personal brand of negativity. The vast majority of negative comments come from them and they demonstrate a complete lack of knowledge and understanding about what Scientology really is. Many of the comments are so ridiculously unfounded and outrageously false, they border on the absurd. If that�s YOU, then the most charitable thing I can say is: stop criticizing something you know nothing about. Because you don�t. You don�t know what the Sea Org is, you don�t know what the RPF or RPF�s RPF is, you don�t know what being a Church staff member is. You don�t know anything about what Dianetics and Scientology really is. All you know is the lies and disinformation pushed in the media. That�s all you know. That�s all you CARE to know.

To those who are honest enough to realize they don�t know, please don�t let the prejudices of the bigoted uninformed cloud your judgment. The only way you can really form a true understanding about Scientology is to find out about it from its source. Go to a Church and ask questions, read a book. If you buy into the second-hand natterings of the ignoramuses who really know nothing about Scientology then you�re as stupid as them. I trust you have better judgment than that.

Scientology is GOOD. It helps people, and has helped MILLIONS for over 60 years. And it continues to grow. The various news media specializes in BAD news: tragedy loss, irresolvable conflict, scandal, rumor and gossip. We don�t. I invite you to come and see for yourself.

GBRScientologist

GBR
GBR

The TRUTH about every disgruntled ex-Scientology staff member is this: they have committed transgressions or did bad things against the Church which they cannot face up to. That�s why they left. There�s no other reason. It just doesn�t matter what they say. They know what they did, and they can�t bear to admit it and make up the damage. That�s the truth.

Most Scientologists who leave staff do so to pursue other activities while yet remaining active in the Church. The disgruntled dishonest ex-staff are very few in numbers but they sure like to beat their drum. They�re just hiding their crimes. Or, if they freely admit them, have no remorse about the bad things they did. So the ones who splash in the media with their sensationalized exposes: they�re just proving how guilty they are.

Scientology has helped MILLIONS of people over 60 years and continues to flourish and and grow. That fact drives the crazy disgruntled dishonest ex-staff nuts and they will rant and rave. They�re just sentencing themselves, declaring their guilt between the lines. So if you read any of their rants, that�s what you�re really reading. They are going nowhere. WE are. And that�s the REAL truth.

GBR

Julissa
Julissa

Randy from OSA:

I've done the research. I looked at both sides, and I came to the inevitable conclusion that Scientology is a big, fat global scam that abuses and defrauds its own members.

Your attempts to fair game anyone who leaves your despicable cult speaks volumes about Scientology.

Rowdy Randy
Rowdy Randy

"Come on people! Do some research before you believe anything people say."

Translation, don't do any research on the subject at hand, namely Scientology, but carefully review our efforts to "dead agent" critics of the cult.

Funny how the Scientologists on here try and make the Village Voice out to be an extremist organization, when major media of all stripes have been covering Scientology's abuses recently, from the New York Times to CNN.

DonKeheehaaw
DonKeheehaaw

I remember reading Dianetics over 20+ years ago. I was interested in becoming "clear" but after my first $200 session with no results, I said to myself, "what a crock of sh*t!"

Outright scam is what I thought. My mentor told me that if I didn't continue with the sessions, I would turn into a basket case and eventually put a gun to my head and blow my brains out.

I'm glad I put my money to better use. Chronic Maui Wowie and Kona Gold was better than throwing away my money at those cons. F U L. Ron Hubbard!

Rettur y D'Nar
Rettur y D'Nar

Randy, please elaborate your statement and please provide proof of otherwise to enlighten us mere mortals. Thanks.

Randy Rutter
Randy Rutter

Come on people! Do some research before you believe anything people say.

It's well known that this man is sick to the core. I wouldn't be surprised if he was hiding something before he ran away from Scientology. You never know with these people...

Anyways, I've read this book and its complete GARBAGE!

swine
swine

An attempt was made to get me into scientology when I was a kid. Luckily, I grew up with one mantra...Question Everything. It has served me well.Now I belong to the Flying Spaghetti Monster and am blessed by his noodly appendages!

Scientology isn't even a word

David Hoggis
David Hoggis

Louanne, I'm not a Scientologist nor am I particularly opposed to it. Maybe you think you're jumping to the defense of your religion (not sure why an eternal trueth needs a "defense") but the reality is that you are doing Scientology more of a disservice than this book. I could chalk what Mr. Hawkins has to say down to his personal opinion, but your bitter slanderous rantings are making your belief system look really bad. This is what it means to be a Scientologist - to be an attack dog? Interesting.

TommyFan
TommyFan

The real book contains more stories, more photos and more detail, by the way, so it is not the same as the blog version of the book.I have so far only read the blog version, which was very interesting, entertaining and not boring at all, imho.

Clam On A Halfshell
Clam On A Halfshell

Ohai, OSAbot who can't spell! It's 'adage,' not 'addage.'  Child labor and slave labor, used by your church, are NOT ok, and NOT LEGAL! "Disconnection," which separates families and friends, is horrible and evil. The Co$ needs to be investigated. The sooner it goes down, the better.

Clam On A Halfshell
Clam On A Halfshell

I think it's telling that he only feels safe enough to tell his story ten years later. Good for Anonymous for making this possible!

Bob Calder
Bob Calder

That's like 3 mega-churches. Coral Ridge Ministries suffered a drop from near 14,000 to 5,000 when Rev Kennedy started spouting Obama-is-a-Socialist nonsense. Too bad his media company is still churning it out. They bring in over 13 million a year.

Bob Calder
Bob Calder

*Snort* Can't even cut and paste. Blah blah blah blah. This is what the Tea Party will look like in a little while. A bunch of old farts sitting at their computers thinking "I COTROLS TEH INTERNETS."

Clam On A Halfshell
Clam On A Halfshell

Wow. You have been brainwashed but good. What if they left because they realized $cientology was a money-sucking cult?

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