The Top 25 People Crippling Scientology, No. 10: Lisa McPherson

GuessWhere16.jpg
On August 5, we started a countdown that will give credit -- or blame -- to the people who have contributed most to the sad current state of Scientology. From its greatest expansion in the 1980s, the church is a shell of what it once was and is mired in countless controversies around the world. Some of that was self-inflicted, and some of it has come from outside. Join us now as we continue on our investigation of those people most responsible...








The Top 25 People Crippling Scientology

#10: Lisa McPherson


LIsaMcPherson.jpg
McPherson
Lisa McPherson has been dead almost 16 years now, and yet, in Janet Reitman's terrific new history of the church, Inside Scientology, four central chapters are focused on McPherson's life and death.

I asked Reitman in an interview why one woman's death in 1995 is still such a big part of the Scientology story.

"Because nothing changes in Scientology," she answered. "The fundamental problem is that this is a fundamentalist religion. [David] Miscavige is a fundamentalist leader... Their mindset is that anything L. Ron Hubbard said or wrote is 'Source,' it's doctrine. This is literal. And as long as they have this literal interpretation of everything, [something like the McPherson incident] could happen again."

What did happen is that a young woman who wanted help with a bad marriage in 1982 turned to a group that she soon dedicated her life to. From Reitman's book:

Lisa McPherson fit right in. "She was a ball of fun," said Greg Barnes, who was Lisa's registrar in Dallas. "She was funny, she was exuberant, she was excited, she was humble -- she was a great person." But Lisa was also unaware of what Scientology would require of her, he said. "Was she naive? No. But did she know what she was getting herself into? No way. None of us did."

McPherson quickly made friends at the church, and her involvement rapidly began to remake her.

Lisa began spending long hours at the mission, forgoing personal pastimes like country-western dancing, once her favorite activity. She stopped drinking and smoking pot; she also left off attending parties and family functions. Her vocabulary changed. People were "terminals." Cars, houses, clothes, jewelry, and other physical or material goods were "MEST" -- matter, energy, space, and time...She was a "thetan," and her life was not singular -- she had lived many lifetimes, she informed her old friends.

In 1983, McPherson began working at the Dallas mission, where she met and became friends with another Scientologist named Bennetta Slaughter. Two years later, McPherson went to work for Slaughter's brokerage firm, and was soon making about $70,000 a year.

Lisa had remarried; her husband, Gene Skonetski, was a Scientologist she'd met at the mission. Now they began to acquire the trappings of wealth: a new condo, new furniture, new clothes, a diamond necklace, a new Porsche, a $700 vacuum cleaner.

But those high-flying times came to an end with a real-estate crash in Dallas in 1987. Slaughter moved to the Bay Area, and McPherson was mired in debt to Scientology. One way to deal with it was to go to work for the church full time.

Lisa's job entailed handling communications, interacting with members, and helping keep tabs on the number of paying Scientologists currently taking courses or being audited -- "bodies in the shop," as they were known. She also reached out to "recover" those who, for one reason or another, may have stopped attending the church.

By 1989, her husband Gene had gone to California to join the Sea Org, and after her own brief attempt to join him there, she was back in Dallas and owed Scientology $45,000. She divorced Gene and declared bankruptcy. Bennetta and David Slaughter returned to Dallas in 1990 and hired McPherson for a new publishing company, AMC.

Within a year, Lisa had righted her finances and repaid her debts to the church. Now that she was eligible to receive auditing, encouraging letters from the Dallas Org once again began to flow her way. "VWD [Very well done] on getting that debt paid off!" one staffer enthused. "Now, get into session, gal!" And Lisa did, donating $12,000 to the Dallas Organization in 1991 and then, redoubling her efforts, giving close to $22,000 to Scientology in 1992 and $27,000 in 1993.

That year, 1993, McPherson moved with the Slaughters as they relocated their business to Clearwater, Florida. But over time, she became frustrated working for Bennetta Slaughter and increasingly frustrated with her Scientology auditing, as well.

Over and over, she spoke of leaving Scientology -- "blowing," in the group's parlance; she also told her auditor that she'd been contemplating suicide...She saw herself as a "potential trouble source" to Bennetta, unhappy at work, wanting to leave. But she felt incapable of walking away. Her anger turned to despondency and finally to helplessness. "Nothing matters anymore," she told her auditor. "I just want to be left alone."

In June, 1995, McPherson checked herself into the Fort Harrison Hotel -- Scientology's iconic center in Clearwater -- for a program called an "Introspection Rundown," which was meant to help with emotional problems. Despite going through a "roller-coaster" of emotions, she managed, in September, to finally go "clear," achieving a state of advanced spiritual stability, according to Scientologists.

The struggle, as she later described it, had been like "a gopher being pulled through a garden hose," but she attributed her success to the support of her friends "and of course LRH." "It has been...worth every single thing I've had to go through...I am so full of life I am overwhelmed at the joy of it all!" she wrote.

Soon, however, McPherson was struggling again, and she was subjected to exhausting confessional sessions. As Thanksgiving approached, she told a friend that she was thinking of leaving Scientology. Her mother noticed that she sounded "ragged" on the phone.

On November 15, 1995, Lisa was sent to a trade show in Orlando with several AMC colleagues. She packed numerous books by Hubbard that she hoped would help her with her job. But even before they left, Brenda Hubert, who was managing AMC's role in the trade show, found Lisa to be unusually disorganized...When they got to the convention, she began "disseminating" to total strangers, accosting a waiter at a local cafe and then another one later that night at the hotel restaurant, demanding that they read Dianetics -- right that minute.

Two days later, back in Clearwater, McPherson helped with the painting of sets for the upcoming Winter Wonderland, but then she seemed to get very tired.

Lisa got back into her red Jeep Cherokee and headed toward the center of Clearwater. It was rush hour, and the line of cars was moving slower than usual, the result of a motorcycle accident...As she approached the intersection, Lisa, perhaps distracted by the accident, rear-ended a boat that was fastened to the back of a pickup truck..."It was just a bump. It was nothing serious," recalled a paramedic named Bonnie Portolano.

Portolano checked on McPherson, who said she was fine -- but she seemed dazed.

Portolano gave Lisa a release form to sign, then she and her partner, Mark Fabyanic, walked back to their ambulance. They were just about to leave the scene when Fabyanic, the driver, looked in his side-view mirror. "Bonnie, she's taking off her clothes," he said.

McPherson walked, naked, down the middle of the street. The paramedics took her to nearby Morton Plant Hospital, where a physician wanted to admit her for a psychiatric evaluation.

It was just around then, [nurse Kimberley] Brennan recalled, that an official from the Church of Scientology showed up. It was perplexing because to Brennan's knowledge, Lisa hadn't called anyone, nor had anyone else phoned the church.

More church officials arrived, and they told the hospital staff that their religion opposed any form of psychiatry. Reluctantly, they allowed McPherson to check herself out, and the church officials took her to the Fort Harrison Hotel for treatment under the Introspection Rundown -- which Hubbard had declared would cure psychotic episodes through silence and rest.

The instructions for the watch were simple. The caretakers were to provide Lisa with water and whatever food was available from the cafeteria, plus daily doses of Cal Mag and various other vitamin and mineral supplements. The caretakers were to keep a log of Lisa's food and fluid intake and also note her behavior. If she needed to talk, they should let her, but per Hubbard's guidelines, they could communicate with her only by writing notes.

Reitman notes that multiple people were pulled in to try and take care of McPherson but few stayed long as McPherson's behavior got more erratic.

[Alice] Vangrondelle [the Flag librarian] complained that it wasn't her job but grudgingly got out of bed. She found Lisa talking gibberish, freezing cold, with blotches on her face that looked like those caused by measles. She'd run around the room in a frenzied manner; later, exhausted, she'd collapse on the bed. At one point she rested her head on the librarian's shoulder. "E.T., go home," Lisa cried. "E.T., go home."

Vangrondelle later asked another worker about what the symptoms of dehydration might look like.

By the end of November, one caretaker, seventeen-year-old Heather Petzold, was "frantic," as she'd later say. Lisa had by now regressed to an infantile state. She was urinating and defecating on her bed. "I wouldn't say there was any day that she ate sufficiently," she noted; by the first of December, Lisa's caretakers were spoon-feeding her bites of mashed banana, sometimes forcibly opening her mouth.

As December began, McPherson declined precipitously. On December 5, it should have been clear that she was in danger, but her caretakers didn't seem to understand the signs they were witnessing. At 6 that night, Dr. Janice Johnson, a senior medical officer, was told that McPherson needed medical attention. About an hour later, she tried to get a penicillin prescription for her from Dr. David Minkoff, but he told her if she was seriously ill, she should be taken to the nearest hospital.

Soon after, Paul Greenwood, a Flag security officer, was dispatched to room 174. With Janis Johnson and Laura Arrunada assisting, Greenwood put Lisa in a van. Johnson got behind the wheel and drove north, past Morton Plant Hospital, where she and the others dared not stop, fearing the doctors might call the psychiatrists. They drove past several other hospitals as well, bound for Minkoff's facility, the Columbia HCA Hospital in New Port Richey, about forty-five minutes away. No one spoke. "When someone is sick or injured you don't talk around them because it puts impressions in the mind which create things...later on," said Greenwood.

Johnson later said she heard Lisa's breath become labored, then grow faint. Sitting with her in the back of the van, Greenwood monitored Lisa's pulse. It slowly dwindled. Then Greenwood couldn't feel it anymore.

As Reitman points out, however, McPherson's death was not just the result of poor treatment or neglect. Scientology's structure, its policies, its way of utter control over people as laid down by founder L. Ron Hubbard was very much a factor.

[McPherson's] tragic outcome was determined by another precept, which reduced individual Scientologists to mere cogs by making autonomous thought, or speech, a crime...A multitude of reasons -- the dogmatism of Hubbard's technology, the exacting nature of Scientology ethics, the church doctrine governing public relations and self-preservation--explain why the [seventeen days McPherson was at the Fort Harrison Hotel] unfolded the way they did. Above all was the fundamental tragedy that from the moment she left Morton Plant Hospital on November 18, 1995, Lisa McPherson put herself in the hands of the Sea Org rather than family or friends. By doing this, she ceded control to a group who, in their inexorable commitment to Hubbard's doctrine, believe they were doing the right thing. Instead, this commitment would lead to her death.

The ensuing investigations into McPherson's death led to the state of Florida charging Scientology's Flag Service Organizations with two felony counts. McPherson's family later filed a wrongful death lawsuit with the help of attorney Ken Dandar.

The state's criminal case fell apart in 2000 when Pinellas-Pasco County medical examiner Dr. Joan Wood changed the cause of death to "accidental." She did so under intense pressure after Scientology spent lavishly on experts who questioned her initial finding that McPherson had died of dehydration. (Dandar continued to pursue the civil lawsuit for years despite hellacious harassment. The suit was settled in 2004.)

Scientology not only spent big money on attorneys and experts. Church leader David Miscavige entrusted his fixer, Marty Rathbun, to take care of the matter, and Rathbun has now admitted that he destroyed documents in the case.

Today, Rathbun has left the church and is a Miscavige critic, and he says the firestorm over McPherson's death was the third worst in Scientology's history -- the first was over the 1977 FBI raids following the Guardian Office's massive infiltration of government offices, the second-worst, he says, was Ron DeWolf's 1982 attempt to take over his father L. Ron Hubbard's assets by declaring that Hubbard was dead or incapacitated.

Neither of those incidents, however, continued for so long to make bad news for Scientology the way Lisa McPherson's death has. Particularly now that Janet Reitman has told her story for a new audience, so many years after it first happened. Reitman weaves in many key elements of Scientology as she tells Lisa's story, from the enthusiastic young joiner to a mentally disturbed woman who died because one powerless Scientologist after another watched her and didn't do enough to raise a proper alarm.

My great thanks to Janet, who gave me permission to quote liberally from her moving account of Lisa's ordeal for this story. Please, go buy Janet's book and read the entire saga for yourself.

And here's to Lisa. You won't be forgotten.


The Top 25 People Crippling Scientology
#1: L. Ron Hubbard
#2: David Miscavige
#3: Marty Rathbun
#4: Tom Cruise
#5: Joe Childs and Tom Tobin
#6: Anonymous
#7: Mark Bunker
#8: Mike Rinder
#9: Jason Beghe
#10: Lisa McPherson
#11: Nick Xenophon (and other public servants)
#12: Tommy Davis (and other hapless church executives)
#13: Janet Reitman (and other journalists)
#14: Tory Christman (and other noisy ex-Scientologists)
#15: Andreas Heldal-Lund (and other old time church critics)
#16: Marc and Claire Headley, escapees of the church's HQ
#17: Jefferson Hawkins, the man behind the TV volcano
#18: Amy Scobee, former Sea Org executive
#19: The Squirrel Busters (and the church's other thugs and goons)
#20: Trey Parker and Matt Stone (and other media figures)
#21: Kendrick Moxon, attorney for the church
#22: Jamie DeWolf (and other L. Ron Hubbard family members)
#23: Ken Dandar (and other attorneys who litigate against the church)
#24: David Touretzky (and other academics)
#25: Xenu, galactic overlord


Tony Ortega is the editor-in-chief of The Village Voice. Since 1995, he's been writing about Scientology at several publications.

tortega@villagevoice.com | @VoiceTonyO | Facebook: Tony Ortega

Keep up on all of our New York news coverage at this blog, Runnin' Scared


SCIENTOLOGY IN THE VILLAGE VOICE

[All recent stories] | [Top 25 People Crippling Scientology] | [Commenters of the Week]

FEATURED INVESTIGATIONS

[Scientology spokesman Tommy Davis secretly recorded discussing "disconnection"]
[Benjamin Ring, LA deputy sheriff, wants you to spend your 401K on Scientology]
[Scientologists: How many of them are there, anyway?]

MARTY RATHBUN AND THE SIEGE OF SOUTH TEXAS

[Scientology has Rathbun arrested] | [Rathbun and Mark Bunker reveal surprising ties]
In Germany with Ursula Caberta: [Announcing plans] | [Press conference] | [Making news about Tom Cruise, Bill Clinton, and Tony Blair] | [Post-trip interview]
The Squirrel Busters: [Goons with cameras on their heads] | [Rathbun's open letter to neighbors] | [Ingleside on the Bay, Texas rallies to Rathbun's cause] | [Squirrel Buster's claim to be making a "documentary"] | [VIDEO: "On a Boat"] | ["Anna" sent to creep out Monique Rathbun] | [Squirrel Busters go hillbilly] | [A videographer blows the whistle on the goon squad] | [Ed Bryan, OT VIII, shows the power of Scientology's highest levels]

SCIENTOLOGY SPYING AND "FAIR GAME"

[Secret Scientology documents spell out spying operation against Marc Headley]
[Scientology's West U.S. spies list revealed] | [Scientology's enemies list: Are you on it?]
Spy operation against Washington Post writer Richard Leiby: [Part 1] | [Part 2]
[A Scientology spy comes clean: Paulien Lombard's remarkable public confession]
[Scientology advertises for writers in Freedom magazine]
[Accidental leak shows Scientology spy wing plans to "handle" the Voice]

SCIENTOLOGY AND CELEBRITIES

["Tom Cruise told me to talk to a bottle"] | [Tom Cruise likes coconut cake] | [Tom Cruise has a sense of humor] | ["Tom Cruise not a kook!"] | [Paulette Cooper on Tom Cruise]
[Paul Haggis, director of Crash, issues an ultimatum, leaves the church]
[Character actor Jason Beghe defects noisily] | [Actor Michael Fairman reveals his "suppressive person" declaration] | [Michael Fairman talks to the Voice]
[Giovanni Ribisi as David Koresh: Scientology-Branch Davidian link makes sense]
[Russell Brand weds ex-Scientologists in wild ceremony] | [Skip Press on Haggis]
[Placido Domingo Jr.: Scientology's retaliation is "scary and pathetic"]
Grant Cardone, NatGeo's "Turnaround King": [Doing Scientology's dirty work?] | [Milton Katselas complained about Cardone's smear job] | [Cardone runs to Huffpo]

JANET REITMAN'S INSIDE SCIENTOLOGY

[Our review of Inside Scientology] | [An interview with Janet Reitman] | [A report from Reitman's first book tour appearance] | [At the Half-King: Reitman not afraid]
[Scientology doesn't like Inside Scientology] | [Q&A at Washington Post]
[A roundup of Reitman's print reviews, and why isn't she on television more?]

HUGH URBAN'S THE CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY

[A review of Urban's scholarly history of the church] | [An interview with Hugh Urban]

EX-SCIENTOLOGISTS SPEAK OUT

[Marc Headley: "Tom Cruise told me to talk to a bottle"] | [The Nancy Many interview]
[Sympathy for the Devil: Tory Christman's Story] | [Jeff Hawkins' Counterfeit Dreams]
[86 Million Thin Dimes: The Lawrence Wollersheim Saga] | [Mike Rinder on spying]

OVERSEAS NEWS

[Scientology dodges a bullet in Australia] | [Scientology exec Jan Eastgate arrested]
[All hell breaks loose in Israel] | [Scientology sees fundraising gold in the UK riots]

ODD VIDEOS AND ODDER NEWS

[Scientology singalong, "We Stand Tall"] | [Captain Bill Robertson and "Galactic Patrol"]
[Scientology wins a major award!] | [Scientology wants your money: Meet Dede!]
[Birmingham in the House! The "Ideal" dance mix] | [Scientology and the Nation of Islam]
[When Scientology was hip] | [Sad: David Miscavige makes fun of his own fundraisers]
[Freedom magazine parodies The New Yorker. Hilarity ensues.]
[Scientology surf report: Anonymous parties outside the New York "org"]

THE VIEW INSIDE THE BUBBLE

[A scientologist's letter to the Voice and its readers] | [Scientology silent birth]
[Tad Reeves: Scientology might listen to this guy] | [More Tad Reeves and family]
[Scientology never forgets: A heartwarming telemarketing holiday miracle]

My Voice Nation Help
125 comments
rudy.m
rudy.m

Lisa m . died becuse of     mu    and may be she was not trueful from the start  these can make life hell i seen it      some LRH BOOK TELL YOU THAT YOU MAY FIND SOMETHING OUT THAT WILL MAKE YOU  LEAVE YOUR BODY !   OR EVEN DIE!!!!   I NO LONGER  STUDY .                                                                                                

agent.it.01
agent.it.01

I'm trying to  figure out who Tony may be meeting today . Per his Facebook Page he has me10 so this will be #11. Looking forward to the next interview.

Kussommak
Kussommak

Church of GARBAGE and, of pure TRASH!

Placement Agent
Placement Agent

Worth to read and share. Thanks for this inspiring blog. Continue posting . :D

Torychristman
Torychristman like.author.displayName 1 Like

LisaMcPherson and the LMT= (The Lisa McPherson Trust)...is a HUGE part of changing my life, forever. I'd barely heard Lisa's name when "in" C of $, despite volunteering with OSA. (They keep things like that very covered up). However, once I woke up and was ready to leave....I literally escaped from Burbank to Tampa, arriving and picked up by Bob Minton and Stacy Brooks, and Jesse Prince--all who ran the LMT. Soon after arriving, I learned the true, horrible story of Lisa McPherson. May she fly high where ever she is...and bless all of you who picket and speak out in honor of her. I love you ALL. TLC

Old OT7
Old OT7

Sadly, that's 100% correct.  They even billed her relatives for Hubbard tapes that were used in the process  that eventually killed her.  THEY BILLED HER RELATIVES FOR THE PROCESS THAT KILLED HER.

sketto
sketto

I did not know Rathbun has admitted to destroying documents in Lisa's case. How the fuck can anyone now go to Rathbun as any kind of positive guide in seeking happiness? I really don't care how much he's turned his life around - he is still fucking responsible for all of the things he's done. Even now he seems to blame Miscavige for the things that he himself did. Where's the responsibility? Where is the true change? Does Marty Rathbun get to decide that he's already paid for his mistakes or do we? Hell, this isn't even a mistake - destroying documents to cover up the org's guilt in murder is in itself a fucking crime. Why isn't Rathbun in jail?

Old Timer
Old Timer

This is one of the many reasons I have said that Marty Rathbun is low on the responsibility scale.

Theoracle
Theoracle

Tony, I don't believe Lisa was alive when she was put in that van and taken to the hospital. I don't believe she died on the way there.  Whatever people were managing  her demise were directly being run by David Miscavige.  "Accidents" don't happen right?  They followed orders to keep that girl locked up until she was dead or certainly dead. That's the bottom line.

ShellyMiscavige
ShellyMiscavige

I read somewhere that David Miscavige took a personal interest in her.

Did David Miscavige take advantage of Lisa McPherson - did he have sex with her?

Guestex
Guestex

First Scientology destroyed Lisa's mind, then they destroyed her body.

Rest in peace Lisa, the world will exact justice from the disgusting cult of scientology.

Stat
Stat

R.I.P. Dear Lisa McPherson.Your confusion, suffering and death is NOT in vain.If there would be an Internet Moment of Silence, you would have it.You have it from me and I am sure from so many others...

 

Endscientology
Endscientology

Oh how I wish the statute of limitations on Rathbun only started when the public had 'knowledge' of the crime instead of when the crime happened itself.  Because then he would sing like a canary to the authorities on DM's crimes just to get out of paying his HUGE debt to society.  He's such a coward.

Theoracle
Theoracle

And you are so brave. Posting at your keyboard in judgment using a ghost name.  What courage.  What bravado.  You are certainly in a position to criticize others for cowardice aren't you?  You are on such a higher ground.    NOT.

candace6
candace6

And your real name would be......? 

guardgirl
guardgirl

Do you only show your face on a boat somewhere for Sea Org? Please. Seek help. I myself have been the victim of a crime, and it's a very hard thing to do to admit that you were duped and/or taken advantage of. It takes years, but i suspect that in those years, you'll not only have to regret being a member of this cult, you'll have to regret harassing others on the internet for pointing out flaws you yourself can't accept right now. Make the list shorter and reexamine your thought process. WITHOUT an auditor or E-meter to "help" you. 

Theoracle
Theoracle

I do have to say on my own behalf, I only post under a ghost name. In social intercourse I show my face at all times. The only time I wear a mask is on Halloween.

Theoracle
Theoracle

I don't use it because I am a coward.  I admit it.  And I don't communicate as a coward while blaming others for being a coward that are less cowardly than I am.  That's the point.

robinlandseadel
robinlandseadel

I am not on higher ground.

If there's physical assault in the tale then let us speak of felonies. If there is slavery in the tale, let us speak of felonies. Let's not offer any wiggle room for Apostates, Squirrels and other Reformationists. Let us acknowledge that a "Religion" based on blatant brainwashing techniques is not a religion, but a cult.

Scientologists and ex-Scientologists who haven't shaken off the ju-ju of the "tech" have a way of changing the subject. I just watched Mr. Jentzsch wiggle and deflect out of the central issues for BBC cameras, evading and re-iterating talking points just like a Republican hack for Fox News.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

It's obvious his attitude has changed as of September, 2011, it's clear that the general attitude towards Scientology is heading south and it's not coming back.

I'd say that if Mr. Rathburn committed a crime, let the punishment fit, etc. I don't think Scientology can be reformed but I do welcome the sunlight on operations that his trip to Germany offers to the world. In any case, the high crimes and misdemeanors of Scientology is nothing compared to the gross violations of human rights that is the Bush/Obama presidency. So it is entirely possible that David Miscavige may never see the inside walls of a prison.

But we can dream, can't we?

robinlandseadel
robinlandseadel

. . . to start with, I'm interested in Scrying in a general way, so I'm experiencing a little cognitive dissonance when I read your posts and see your Nom de Net. I am an outsider to Scientology, I gather you are an insider. If I am not mistaken it appears you feel that auditing is a good thing. If I am incorrect, please let me know.

I am convinced that auditing is a brainwashing technique. I also think that people don't like thinking that they have been brainwashed, particularly if the brainwashing is designed to convince the brainwashee that they have experienced cognitive enhancement. 

When I witness the affect and the overall combative tone of those chosen to represent Scientology my sense is that these people are brainwashed. Ex-Scientologists like to hang on to the idea that the tech did them some good, but my sense is that's the ghost of Hubbard as cheerleader that they are hearing, something not to be confused with rational thought.

Anything designed from the ground up to fleece the rubes has nothing to recommend it.

robinlandseadel
robinlandseadel

Well, right now you're guilty of irritating me, so . . .

Theoracle
Theoracle

Let it out. Let it all out.   I'm sure once you get to the bottom of Mr. Rathbun's  justice evolution and David Miscavige's justice evolution you will be able to live out the rest of your life in peace.  Until you can find someone else that is possibly guilty of something.

Guest
Guest

and I assume you use monitor for posting and theoracle is your surname...?and how did you manage to earn position to criticize everybody here?when is end of your shift? and who is next...Michael?Big hello from LRHs Bulgravia.

Theoracle
Theoracle

I did not criticize "everybody" here.  Buy a calculator if the simple math is beyond you. 

Guest
Guest

I am from Croatia-that is Europe,not Russia-but TNX anyway! greetings to SF!and big hello from LRHs Bulgravia......

Dingo Dongo
Dingo Dongo

Theoracle, that's poor reasoning. Let's suppose for the sake of argument that 'Endscientology' is the cowardliest coward in the annals of cowardice. Now, given this supposition, what exactly can we conclude about Rathbun? That Rathbun is not a coward? No, that certainly doesn't follow. Whether Endscientology is a coward has nothing to do with whether Rathbun is a coward.

What's true is true, what's false is false, regardless of who says it.

Theoracle
Theoracle

I am not responsible for your charge.  And I am not responsible for your discharge.  That is all on you.

Theoracle
Theoracle

And I said, pure and simple reasoning, someone who cannot even admit their own name does not have the altitude to accuse Marty of being a coward.  And that was very elementary reasoning. Did that reason flow here? No. It got some protest. When people actually protest against simple reasoning,  there is no point in my having a verbal exchange with them.  When people invent "facts" that are far from any truth, they are not here to reason anyway.  They are just here to discharge.

Theoracle
Theoracle

I'm not accusing people of being cowards am I?   I never said I was brave, I'm just curious.  But I'm not attacking others for being a coward while admitting I am one myself.  But I guess you would have to be up to perceiving, to figure that one out?

CudgelClever
CudgelClever

"And you are so brave. Posting at your keyboard in judgment using a ghost name.  What courage.  What bravado.  You are certainly in a position to criticize others for cowardice aren't you?  You are on such a higher ground.    NOT."

And you are such a brave,brave critic posting behind your own alias.  An old expression comes to mind:   pot.  kettle.  black.

inb4youthrowitbackinmyface:  I use a nom de guerre to protect my family, friends and neighbors from the harassment they would receive because of my participation in IRL raids against the cult.  What's your excuse?

Endscientology has it right: Rathbun and Rinder should be made to tell all they know. A court granting immunity could FORCE them to talk or face jail for contempt...

guardgirl
guardgirl

No, you're not curious. You seem to be a member of this cult yourself, sent here to deflect from the firestorm of media that is now exposing your cult, to which you are hopelessly devoted. And I feel sorry for you. I hope one day you'll awaken to what you're slaving in, and you'll leave as others have. Until then, you're reasoning doesn't make sense because, most likely, all reason has been obliterated from your mind. I have true sympathy for you.

Theoracle
Theoracle

I'm not accusing people of being cowards am I?   I never said I was brave, I'm just curious.  But I'm not attacking others for being a coward while admitting I am one myself.  But I guess you would have to be up to perceiving, to figure that one out? 

Yeppir
Yeppir

I think what people at large need to know is very simple: if Lisa McPherson had had the proper medical care she would be alive today. She did not have the appropriate medical care, thanks to scientology, and now she is dead. Fact number one: had she not been released to the scios and instead remained in the care of professionals, she would have lived. Simple. My heart hurts at how simple.

Guest
Guest

"At 6 that night, Dr. Janice Johnson, a senior medical officer, was told that McPherson needed medical attention. About an hour later, she tried to get a penicillin prescription for her from Dr. David Minkoff"

What kind of doctor was Dr. Johnson?  Why couldn't she order penicillin?  I don't even know what a "senior medical officer" is, but one would think it would involve the basic credentials to prescribe medication. 

MarkStark
MarkStark

Janice Johnson, MD gave up a lucrative practice, in Arizona I think, to join crazy cult in Clearwater. Go figure! I don't think she was lured by money. She was there to save the planet, and her medical position was mostly minor first aid. Doing something else not related to medicine was most of her job. I read her whole deposition online just a few weeks ago.

Jill
Jill

I wonder if she had appropriate state licenses at the time to be a practicing physician.  If she moved from AZ to FLA, there is a good chance she didn't

WOLFNSHEEPSKIN
WOLFNSHEEPSKIN

Killer Ronbots thinking (knowing) they will save her.

Very approprate chocie Tony.   I will say your timing sucks.   After reading the article my Friday evening has taken a much quieter turn.

Sid
Sid

This is why.

I'm guessing Lisa will be the only person on this list who is there purely by the fact that she was a victim of the church.

We all know that there are tens of thousands of other people who have been harmed by the CoS over the years. How many exactly we'll never know. But we know some of the stories, particularly relating to coerced abortion and family disconnection, are absolutely heart-breaking. We're also fairly sure that many suicides (and in some cases even murders) are related to financial hardships driven by the church.

For me this sheer weight of victims, many nameless and unknown or even unborn, is the main reason I continue to put ethics in on the CoS.

I wonder if others would agree that this one might be slightly better titled: "No. 10: Lisa McPherson (and other victims of Scientology)."

Great job Tony.

Theoracle
Theoracle

Thank you Tony for remembering this woman.  I was betting on her having a place in this count down.  This is the evidence of neglect and power abuse that flows through the halls of any Sea Organization.  It came into the spotlight with this woman. As far as I know, David Miscavige never sent a card to the family. Such a simple human gesture, impossible for that man.  Nobody ever contacted her family to let them know what condition she was in. Such a simple human gesture, impossible for those people. I doubt they arranged any funeral service or memorial service.  The simple human gestures involving  really caring about others are not afforded to Sea Org staff.  And this is what is really crippling Scientology.

robinlandseadel
robinlandseadel

Agree.

" . . . for when Love is gone, there's always Justice. And when Justice is gone, there's always Force. . ."

Jim Wilbur
Jim Wilbur

Over all these years, every time I think about Lisa McPherson or Paulette Cooper and what scientology did to them - I feel rage.

Old OT7
Old OT7

I understand.  But channel that into constructive criticism and we will see the end of this ruthless cult.  But I do know how you feel.  Boy, do I know... 

Spamala
Spamala

Where all the OSA socks at?  Don't tell me you've developed a sense of morality all of a sudden.

I still can't look at poor Lisa's photo without a sense of deep despair mixed with anger at her fate at the hands of a organization that claimed to have her best interests at heart.

bulldog
bulldog

This truly is horror! I can't even imagine what her family went through. Everytime I read about her or watch a video on youtube my heart breaks and then I get really angry.

Will we ever know the truth about what happen in room 174? And how many more murders are they hiding? :-(

DuckBenway
DuckBenway

Excellent Article, Tony! Bravo!

More and more history that $cientology will never succeed in making "go away."

DuckBenway
DuckBenway

Thank you, Tony! Bravo! Your work on this file has earned enduring admiration!

Keeping the memory of Lisa McPherson alive means so much to so many people and I think the placement and location of Lisa McPherson on your list is excellent.

Phobe
Phobe

How can you be "in debt" to a church for religious services?  I thought you could only take donations as a tax-exempt church.  

Guest
Guest

I don't see why they do that, it's like a "mortgage" you need to pay off, but it's a religious service. That seems wrong to me!

Now Trending

Around The Web

From the Vault

 

Loading...