Scientology and Forced Abortions: Testimony of an Enforcer

Filmmaker Mark Bunker has released another preview from his upcoming documentary, Knowledge Report.

In this segment, Gary Morehead talks about his role as a security officer at Scientology's secretive California desert headquarters, Int Base, where he oversaw the operation that persuaded pregnant Sea Org members to have abortions.

Numerous woman have come out of the Sea Org to tell their stories about how they were forced to terminate their pregnancies. In 2009 Claire Headley, for example, told the St. Petersburg Times about her ordeal:

When Scientologists join the hardcore Sea Org, they sign billion-year contracts and promise to come back, lifetime after lifetime, to work for the church. Former members talk of incredible work hours -- more than 100 in a week -- for paychecks of about $40 a week. Conditions are harsh, the work can be menial in the extreme, and couples are encouraged not to have children so that they can continue to work at such a pace.

As Morehead says in the video, it was his job to find out which women at the base were going against that rule and planned to have children. It was his job to talk them out of it.

Headley and other women have characterized this as "forced abortion," and it's one of the things the FBI was reportedly looking into earlier this year. Why the FBI gave up on that probe is the subject of the petition that gathered enough signatures for an Obama administration response, as we reported earlier today.



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] [Thursday 2pm Stats!]

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?]
[Scientology hates clean ice: The "Fair Game" operation that should turn your stomach]
[Scientology hates clean ice, part 2: Another target, and the web as weapon]

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]
[Lori Hodgson and Disconnection: "No one's going to take my eternity away"]

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]
[Philip Boyd, Saving Grace actor, rips "the business that is Scientology"]

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]
[Aussie former rugby pro Chris Guider calls David Miscavige "toxic" and "violent"]
[Stephen Cox, UK church newbie, pledges 20K pounds] | [Biggi Reichert: A German Lisa McPherson?] | [The Birmingham trove: 7,000 internal e-mails]

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]
[Scientology High School, Dating and Super Powers!]


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33 comments
Mike
Mike

That dude looks like an enforcer.  I guess that it is immaterial that LRH says in the Ethic's Handbook that women who abort are in the 1.1 band and in another policy leter indicates that people in the 1.1 band should not be staff members.  Also the COS puts a high price on personal integrity.  If one violates there own personal integrity they are no good to the group.

Another case where the church was investigated and nothing was found.  Now there is a petition.  OK, I am sure Obama will get on it right away, right after the wars in the middle east, the trouble brewing in Africa, the finacial crisis here and the coming election....

I am sure that a petition signed by people complaining about a FBI investigation that didn't go their way against a group with commendations from just about every City, State and County that they have church locations, will get his full attention.

Anon A
Anon A

I do feel the need to chime in with a personal experience that actually shows certain Scientologists in a decent light with regards to this subject (odd as that may seem).

A few years ago I personally observed a very young couple (18-19 y.o.) who had been offloaded from the Sea Org due to the girl getting pregnant and their subsequent quickie marriage.  After getting the boot from the SO, they were sort of "adopted" by an older married Scn couple who were WISE business owners and the young kids were given some work to do to support themselves.

Now, I'm not saying that the opportunity for continuing exploitation of these desperate kids wasn't still there - I have no idea what kind of wages and living conditions were being provided by their newfound employers/mentors.  But the situation showed me that at least some public Scientologists recognize the tough circumstances an unplanned pregnancy has on young Sea Org members and are willing to help them out.  Also that some of these kids are tough enough to stand their ground and not give in the the pressure to get an abortion.

Just thought I'd share.

Ex
Ex

Scientology = Manipulation.

Torychristman
Torychristman

Awful. The fact that this mafia-like organization gets by being called a "church" is trulypathetic. It won't last much longer, Davey boy. You time IS coming. You can RUN,But you CANNOT hide. Tick Tock, Tick Tock: Time *is* on our side. Great interview, Gary, Claire and Mark :) Love to all ....Tory/Magoo

JustCallMeMary
JustCallMeMary

Glad Gary is speaking up about this. No woman should be coerced into having an abortion. EVER. 

ScientologyAdvocateMarkMiglio
ScientologyAdvocateMarkMiglio

When I worked in the Sea Organization, it was clear to me that raising children in the Sea Organization was not appropriate.  Some Sea Org members choose to leave the Sea Org and a few others got abortions when they refused to properly use birth control, which they decided to do.  If they say otherwise, then they are putting out black propaganda.

* If you are interested in the story of Scientology, this is not the blog to read.  I would ask you to consider the possibility that there is an anonymous circle of public commentators that write for this blog, who have mentally imprisoned its author, Tony Ortega, into some sort of matrix that has the earmarks of a covert, hypnotic brainwashing operation.  It is for this reason that I protest. 

We can be thankful that there is a like-minded community of spiritual people that resist the conduct of individuals, groups, and organizations that toil daily to discredit or destroy all good people and decent organizations. 

Today this anonymous circle endeavors to discredit Scientology; tomorrow they may very well succeed in tearing down your religion. 

If you have ever become concerned or upset after reading any part of Ortega’s articles, or the comments within the readers’ comment section, you will find sincere people at a Scientology church, mission, or Dianetics center with whom you can talk to and address your concerns.  You may find it more convenient to send an email query on our premier website:  Scientology . Org.  You can also send a written request for information to the Office of Special Affairs, or any staff member at our local organizations, or to the International Executive Director at the Church of Scientology International, 6331 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, CA  90028.  You are welcome to tour any church, peruse our books, and attend an evening lecture or Sunday Service.  Free introductory courses are available at Volunteer Ministers . Org.  Local public libraries usually carry Dianetics and Scientology books or eBooks in their systems.  When in Los Angeles, touring Hollywood, you are invited to visit the L. Ron Hubbard Exhibition Center.  I am not a staff member but I will do my best to provide you with gentle advice and simple answers that to assist you when unwanted situations may have you overwhelmed.  Scientology Advocate @ gmail . com. 

Carmen
Carmen

I'm sure people know of the Shakers, a religious community that eschewed sex and made uncomfortable furniture.

This won't happen to the Sea Org; as exes report lots of pressure to sign their offspring over to the cult, even minor children under the age of 13.

Xenu
Xenu

Helpful tip for OSA: one old RPF t-shirt can be used to make over 20 dirty grey arm bands.

Jgg
Jgg

  Let's hope Obama responds.  Maybe the fact that his nemesis, Fox News, likes Co$ will inspire him.  Gov. Brown and California's Attorney General are not interested at all.

Ex
Ex

With LRH as a source of it.

Jgg
Jgg

  That's what amazes me: Pro-lifers and pro-choicers are both very vocal and passionate, and both should oppose forced abortion, but neither has any interest in Scientology's Sea Org (both ignored my emails).  Next time one of them makes me listen to their spiel, I will remind them of this fact.

Herod
Herod

You are sick, and twisted.   Great to see scientology has made you suck.

Thetan-X
Thetan-X

You're a douche-bag Mark, a real class A douche-bag !!

Sweet Little Buttercup
Sweet Little Buttercup

Out of one side of the mouth they say Scientology is not perfect and they are only human. From the other side of the mouth, they have never made a mistake. That is why people like me say they are brainwashed liars.

Skydog
Skydog

Shame on those soulless animals "that write for this blog, who have mentally imprisoned its author, Tony Ortega, into some sort of matrix that has the earmarks of a covert, hypnotic brainwashing operation." Such action is intolerable in a free society that must tolerate such machinations under the guise of "free speech". Shame on that nice Tony Ortega for allowing himself to be pulled into this matrix. After reading your post Mr. Miglio, scientology advocate, I am finally able to see  that the hypnotic operation played out by these ill tempered apostates is nothing more than a con job funded by the deep pockets of the psychiatric industry that has a hidden agenda that includes , among other things, enslaving mankind. Thank you so much for your post. I read it and went "like wow, this really explains everything". Today, with my check book, credit cards, and the deed to my home, I am going  to my local org and will take my first step on the "Bridge to Total Freedom" (TM) so that I too can attain the highest level of spiritual freedom commercially available to mankind. When I am done, I too will have the ability to attach a "Go-Pro" (TM) camera to a really cool baseball cap and get to wear really spiffy tee-shirts and drive around in a golf cart harassing those that disagree with this worldview-because that is what spiritually enlightened people do.

Hgc
Hgc

Raymond Shaw is the kindest, bravest,warmest,most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life.

Yeppir
Yeppir

So everyone is a liar but you? It's all just "black propaganda"? Your cult, I am sure, is very proud of its product: YOU.

I am digusted by your wilingness to shill for this cult and completely discount the very real and painful stories told by many very real, living and breathing human beings who have suffered tremendously from the policies of your organization.

Just exactly what WOULDN'T be acceptable to you Mark Miglio? What exactly IS the line you will draw?

Anna Asks
Anna Asks

Why did you leave the Sea Org?

Xenu
Xenu

"When I worked in the Sea Organization, it was clear to me that raising children in the Sea Organization was not appropriate."

Agreed!  Why?  The Cadet Org was an unmitigated disaster, with undernourished, lice-infested kids running wild, stealing, turning tricks.  Their education was almost ignored.  It was that bad because the resources needed to make it into something better than a scene from Lord of the Flies were not being allocated.  Those running things didn't want to spend anything on the kids, and when ignoring them threatened to make PR flaps, they simply banned them.  That was a complete betrayal of every SO member, because you don't sign someone to a contract and then change the rules, that's breaching your contract.  All old SO members should be able to walk without penalty, because their contracts are now void, and have been for years.  And all because management really don't give a crap about kids, or about the first or second dynamics of their staff.

LoyalOfficer
LoyalOfficer

Under Hubbard it was OK for the Sea Org to have children.

Under SQUIRREL Miscavige abortions were coerced.

The sick Squirrel has perverted your cult! You should leave this dangerous and criminal cult instead of trying to suck innocent people into this criminal organization to be victimized. You should be ASHAMED of yourself and your crimes against humanity.

Investigate and prosecute the cult of $cientology.

LeeAnneClark
LeeAnneClark

You are one sick motherfucker.

"Refused to properly use birth control"? How CAN they use birth control when they have no ACCESS to it? They make 40 freaking dollars a week, and have no health insurance!

"Chose to leave the Sea Org"? Nobody gets to CHOOSE to leave the Sea Org. They get put in RPF, assigned to hard labor. The myth of a Sea Org member turning up pregnant and then happily skipping out of the Sea Org to go raise her child is a total fiction. She would be separated from her husband (who would NOT have the option of leaving) and then either routed to the RPF for hard labor, or dumped and declared, penniless, pregnant and alone.

You are so full of shit it is oozing from your pores. I used to laugh at your brainwashed inane posts - now they make me want to vomit.

tomthomclub
tomthomclub

Scientology come in for the brainwashing,,stay for the chicken and waffles

Jgg
Jgg

  Mindlessly copying and pasting the same post is a symptom of brainwashing.

Chuck Beatty
Chuck Beatty

By the way, are the Int Exec Strata positions filled with people at present who are being allowed to become hatted for their positions?   I'm curious if Exec Strata and Watchdog Committee are even being allowed to form.   It takes a good number of years to make a good Exec Strata or Watchdog Committee member, and the rumor is Miscavige is not allowing those top councils to form up and do their jobs!   That's a criticism against Miscavige, since he's being the one man band instead of the two councils which LRH last set into place to manage the movement, NOT one guy doing it all!

The_ancestor
The_ancestor

It ain't a bunch of public commentators holding Tony O, it's non other than "Big Pharma."Keep your ridiculous conspiracy theories straight, would ya?

CofS Exit Zone
CofS Exit Zone

Oh I dont know about that...  every time this angle gets coverage, I get tons of traction with Pro-lifers. Maybe it's just a matter of which ones you approach and how you present it to them.

My tactic is to get their interest sparked, then mention "Scientology" after their fired up. Just like grilling - get the coals hot, then add lighter fluid = much bigger flames.

tamsonsbairn
tamsonsbairn

That's a question I've been waiting for someone to ask, I'm sure I read somewhere that he was frogmarched off gold base for some reason, so common Mark spill the beans,tell us why you left the sea ogres.

Jgg
Jgg

  "He is always very kind to me."--LRH, discussing David Miscavige.

Endscientologynow
Endscientologynow

Wow....that quote was mind numbing.  I just don't understand how people can put faith into anything this drooling psychopath/drug addict ever said.  It's no wonder why the Indies get so defensive when shown shit like this.

GhostofCharlie
GhostofCharlie

 Hubbard claimed that Auditors could Audit away the fetus a few beams of energy and that pesky pregnancy Is terminated..

Lets look at what the Old Fool Said

"Now as far as birth control is concerned, you say, Well, yes, birth control, we'll just overreach this food supply. Oh no it wouldn't. The auditors who have discovered this to date have asked me not to mention it, but theta clearing provides pregnancy termination at will. We mustn't mention this because, God help us all, there goes the moral code. Penicillin took out the disease level and now if a person, a girl can take a couple of beams of energy, just move out back of her head and take a couple of beams of energy and terminate the pregnancy. Now it didn't, n-n-nothing wild or forceful or upsetting or anything like that. Just make sure that the tube opens. That's very simple. There are muscles, and so forth, which contract and expand at a certain period of every month, and that sort of thing, and pregnancies that were as much as three months advanced, and that sort of thing, have been terminated this way. In how long? 24 hours. With what kind of a set-up? None. What kind of repercussions? None. Isn't this fascinating? So you've got something like birth control sitting right there in theta clearing. A lot of experimentation could be done with something like this, in order to get it all down fine. But the three auditors who have had anything to do with it have discovered that it was just deadly: One-two-three."

this Is Hubbard stupidity at its finest!

tomthomclub
tomthomclub

DougE Fresh Chicken and Waffles  located Adam Clayton Blvd 5 blocks from the Harlem Org

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