Scientology's Shame: Lisa McPherson, 16 Years After Her Death

Categories: Scientology

LisaMcPherson3.jpg
On December 5, 1995, a 36-year-old woman perished while several people were taking her to a hospital in Florida.

Within a few years, the mysterious and strange circumstances around the death of Lisa McPherson -- who had been a Scientologist since the age of 18 -- had the Church of Scientology facing a criminal prosecution, generated the worst publicity for the church since it was raided by the FBI in 1977, and inspired a new generation of critics who ever since have kept close watch on the controversial organization.

Lakes of ink have already been spilled writing about Lisa McPherson. Earlier this year, we placed her #10 in our series, "The Top 25 People Crippling Scientology," and in that piece, we printed excerpts from probably the best, most moving journalistic telling of Lisa's story, in Janet Reitman's excellent book, Inside Scientology.

Rather than write yet again about this piece of Scientology history, we wanted to turn things over to our loyal readers. After the jump, we're printing some brief tributes from readers who were asked what Lisa McPherson has meant to them in their own lives. And we hope in the comments section, you'll do us the honor of adding your own tribute.

Jeff Jacobsen is an old friend of ours, and played a key role in the McPherson saga. In Arizona at the time, he spotted an online notice by Clearwater police who were looking for information regarding a suspicious death. Jacobsen recognized the address as Scientology's Fort Harrison Hotel, and brought it to a Tampa reporter's notice. And so began a publicity firestorm. Jeff sent over this remembrance:

Through strange historical and legal twists, we know perhaps more about Lisa McPherson than any other victim of Scientology. Because of this, she stands out as a representation of all that is wrong with this organization. Even when they think they are doing the right thing, the result is pain and even death for the recipient of their "care."

When I first saw Lisa's name, I had never heard of her before. Neither had any other critics and ex-Scientologists that I asked. Cheryl Waldrip of the Tampa Tribune, bless her soul, used her journalistic skills to dig out the major points of Lisa's life and death. The civil lawsuit Lisa's family filed, and Florida's brief criminal case, also exposed the inside information on how Lisa died. As more information came out, what unfolded just made Scientology darker and more egregious than us critics had even known. And for others it presented what they knew all along but couldn't get anyone to listen to.

Lisa's life to me is simply tragedy. It's sadness. And it's the impetus for me and many others to make sure as much as we can that Scientology stops hurting people.


Michael Tilse:

I didn't know Lisa or her story until I started searching the 'net in 2002. It shocked me and confirmed my doubts about church management. Her treatment at the hands of Flag staff was horrific, very different than any Scientology I had studied. I read the felony indictments and many of the police interview transcripts. The interviews screamed to me of cover-up with obvious lies, 'acceptable truths' and misdirection on the part of the interviewees. It chilled me to realize I had been forced to sign a document allowing Scientology to similarly imprison me as a requirement for starting on the 'OT' levels at AOLA.

I hated that I had never been told the truth. I had been told lies to make me donate to the IAS to fund defense of this atrocity. That is fraud. It all made me furious, and I searched more, finding the lies, mistreatment, "acceptable truths" and misdirections involving Hubbard's death, the FBI raid, the 'religious freedom crusades, and
nearly every crisis Scientology had been involved in. Finally it took me back to the actions and character of Hubbard himself. In documents, trial transcripts, testimony and Hubbard's own words it became clear he was a lying con man, a fraud who used lies, fabrications, 'acceptable truths and misdirection to keep himself out of jail and defraud thousands of people while hiding his true intention to "make all men my slaves". Scientology, despite some positive content, is his creation and bears his pathology in every fiber.


Eevey Fawkes:

Lisa's story makes me glad that I am no longer in the Sea Org or involved with Scientology and makes me love my boyfriend even more (a wonderful Anon who opened my eyes and got me out of Scientology).

I saw many things while I was there: people, very sick people going without medical care and I was told that the only reason they were sick was because they were PTS to an SP and that almost always ended up bad for the person.

They were either disappeared or disconnected from family or loved ones.

Lisa and the many who are kept prisoner behind those walls are who I protest for.

I protest against Scientology not only for myself, but for them as well.

So that one day they will all have justice.

So that one day they will be free and so that someday no other is caught in the trap that I was.


Mimi Parrow:

As a non-Scientologist, I stumbled across the subject in a religious studies class in college. With a paper due and all mainstream religions already being covered,I decided to Google controversial religions. Scientology was first on the list, I Googled that next. Lisa McPherson's name displayed in bold letters in front of me.

Eager to learn all I could, Lisa's tragic death captivated my interests. I holed up in my room, devouring every source of information available and found myself obsessed with knowing more. How could this happen in our country, the land of the free?

I could never imagine how profoundly Lisa's life and untimely death would affect my life. Years later, I'm far from an expert on Scientology but I have educated myself in its teachings and beliefs.

In this journey, I have met others like me who desperately want to help those that are trapped in Scientology. I've made a friend that I consider family, she is a former Scientologist currently suffering the effects of the dehumanizing policy of disconnection. Without Lisa's gut-wrenching death at the hands of Scientology, so many would remain ignorant of the CoS's abuses. I will never forget you, Lisa, and we will always fight in your memory.


Hartley Patterson:

Her death demonstrates the continuing ethical bankruptcy of the organization and its members. It was OK to ignore her growing mental illness, it was OK to cover up how she died, it is OK to obey orders, because being a Scientologist (TM) is more important to them than anything else.


Clearly, Lisa McPherson has been a major inspiration to many Scientology watchers, who tend to believe that the more Scientology tries its best to be secretive, the more it must have to hide.

In our comments section, please tell us what Lisa has meant to you. We look forward to reading your words.


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!] | [Scientology vs. South Park]

FEATURED INVESTIGATIONS

[Scientology spokesman Tommy Davis secretly recorded discussing "disconnection"]
[Tom Cruise and Baby Suri embarrassed by news item, so someone must pay]
[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]
[Australian farmer blamed for giving Tom Cruise a bad shrimp, loses her friends, family]

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]


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143 comments
Eric
Eric

I see we've come off the mark. So, here is my tribute to Lisa McPherson.

In my time I have come across people who were members of one sect or another: Mahikari, Bahai, some weird Buddhist community, and a few more. I also crossed a couple of Scientologists in the late nineties through my work - I actually found one of them in Kirsti Wachter's database later - and, by comparison they were suave movers: they gave the appearance of knowing more than your average person, of having the edge, and of wanting to help beyond their call of duty. No giving the light and no hands on head for some spiritual enlightment there! Just who are you and how best to move the world. Hubbard's Dianetics had found its way into many a reputable household during a time when self-improvement was high on the agenda of people of a certain standing. I have always been a natural sceptic and so my tactic invariably is to stay aloof even when intrigued: how is it possible that a third-rate science fiction writer was able to devise a philosophy about life that has no compare? But then, even blind chicks occasionally find a grain of corn.

Come Yuletide 2010, I watched a program called "Un jour, un destin" on French television dealing with the life and times of Tom Cruise. And somehow my long-dormant intrigue was peeked. I started researching Scientology on the net and seredipity would have it that I typed "un-funny" into Scroogle Scraper (most likely in relation to Tom Cruise being somehow connected to the term "un-funny"). In the results page, charted at number 6, a video called "The Un-Funny Truth About Scientology"posted on YTMND looked interesting, and so I clicked on the link. I have read and seen many a vile thing about what humans do to other humans in recent times (Brian Keenan's "An Evil Cradling", Michael Herr's "Dispatches", and Paul William Roberts's photos of injured and dead children taken during the 2003 Iraq invasion spring to mind) but nothing could have prepared me for what I saw in this video and THAT was my introduction to Lisa McPherson.

Suitably appalled, I have since visited Jeff Jacobsen's Lisa memorial pages, and read and watched everything I could lay my hands on about Scientology and other cults, on the internet and elsewhere (there are libraries, you know). I have learned about Anonymous and other supporters of freedom of speech and have become a staunch supporter of Freedom of Information.

As far as Scientology is concerned, my conclusion is: there is nothing good or beneficial about Scientology because it's a scam of the highest order devised by a first-rate con-man and ridden by a third-rate sociopath and therefore deserves to crumble and die out. All because of Lisa.

Andycab
Andycab

I think she worked hard for this and gain what ever she need fame or some thing. if that would help any one in survival. Orlando airport transport

MarkStark
MarkStark

Let's contrast the process of Catholic confession, to reaching "Clear" through auditing and other TRs.

Confession is a short fix. You tell your sins, ask for forgiveness and are forgiven. You feel good about getting the sins off your chest, and resolving to try to not pile up so many sins the next time, but if you do, you'll be forgiven again. They don't expect you to reach sainthood through the process and it is free.

You don't pay for each sin. The church doesn't make a commission on the people who sin the most, as long as they aren't selling indulgences. They don't use "files" of your sins against you when you leave.

Scilons pay every step of the way, and then when they reach this exalted state of "clear" they are supposed to feel like super beings, and most members feel pretty good about it, for a while anyway.

Then they get hit with the body thetan thing. I seriously think the OT levels set up fragile people for mental illness, as Dr. Lottick said, "a school for psychopaths." Lisa didn't even make it that far.

Hubbard went from wanting to make the insane sane, to claiming a "clear" was to a non-clear as a sane person it to a psychotic person. So, everyone who wasn't a Scilon at least working toward clear was basically insane.

But they wanted to make the able more able, and screen out people with mental problems. What they really want is to make the rich richer, and if that doesn't work out, just get as much money from everyone as they can.

Sharone Stainforth
Sharone Stainforth

Lisa's death to me is the epitome of being a scientologist.It is the death of a human being, the unshakable certainty that L. Ron Hubbard held all the answers, when he did not.

Scientology swallows human beings into an endless pit of all that is good in the world and twists it and taints it to a point of inhumanity.

Scientology is sacrilege.It turns good human beings into death, it kills the spirit of a human being.Scientology takes away all that is good and turns it into some obscene justification of life. Lisa is not the first, nor will she be the last to fall prey to this hideous philosophy that calls itself a religion, based on a mad mans words.

That you should be so obsessed with one man's words, when all he really wanted was your money.What if you don't have any money? NO problem, we'll take your life.

Playing with the devil. Scientology in a nutshell!

I remembered something a couple of days ago. It was Christmas and I was about seven years old.I wanted to get my Mother something pretty for Christmas, but my Father was adamant I had to get her a dictionary, she needed it to word clear.

So, what word wasn't she clear on "CLEAR?".

My dictionary says; Clear -easy to understand,not complicated or ambiguous.

I think Lisa McPherson was beyond CLEAR, she realized just exactly how she had been conned. 

Strelnikov
Strelnikov

Lisa McPherson: the case that launched ten thousand protests....to this day AnonSparrow and RadioPaul protest the DC org with her living and dead face on picket signs. If people know anything about Scientology beyond the celebrity wackiness, they know about the Lisa McPherson story because the photos are too gruesome to be laughed at. 

What they did to her must never be forgotten, even after Miscavage flees for South America and all the missions and Orgs become TGIFridays franchises, while Rinder and Rathbun run auditing sessions through Ventrilo.

Never forget.

SP 'Onage
SP 'Onage

What are you the blog monitor? You say you're not lecturing but yet you are.

No where in Tony's blog did I read, 'please keep it lite people' or 'don't show any anger or pain toward Lisa's tribute.'

You act like you're his personal messenger and we should all be lighting candles while singing "Kumbaya." instead.

Bradley Greenwood
Bradley Greenwood

I am probably like most... left with the image of the dead Lisa stuck in my brain. Maybe someday, I can replace it with an image of the cadaver of Davis Missavage. David, there are millions of us giving you the finger; more in numbers than the deluded fools who hold you in high regard. If you are not afraid yet, you'd better soon be.

Frolix8
Frolix8

I have thought long and hard about what I wish to say about Lisa McPherson's case. I am a former prosecutor as well as a former public defender. I was a prosecutor just shy of thirteen years. A public defender for a bit more than four.

I saw excellent cases collapse because of a single witness getting cold feet, being threatened, or changing his/her mind. On one occasion I had a child sexual assault victim who was so angry with the length of time it took to get to trial that the child made it clear if the child's tesitmony didn't start at 2:30 p.m. there would be no testimony (I juggled to get the testimony in on time -- we won).

In some cases the lab or a tech team would contaminate the evidence. Once a lab failed to report critical information until the day of the trial. It was so damaging the case had to be dismissed. Had we received the full report when we should have, it would not have been dismissed.

There are many cases where it goes sour. Ethically a prosecutor cannot take a case to trial that he/she doesn't believe can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Whether or not the prosecutor is certain as to the guilt of the defendant is irrelevant. The critical issue is whether the necessary evidence is available and whether it will be admitted. If it can't be done, then the case should not go to trial.

Myself and others in the office had to dismiss cases because we knew we wouldn't be able to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. It is horrid. It is horrid to dismiss cases which you are certain happened. It is most horrid when it comes to a death. You will spend years with the pain of the dismissal. You will have seen the pain of the family and friends who were hurt and will continue to be hurt, knowing you could do nothing else.

The horror of Lisa's case was that a key witness essentially recanted. The medical evidence was critical to a successful prosecution. News of a witness going backward (pissing backward we'd say in private) was always a kick in the gut. How does one explain to the family that, yes, we know the defendant is guilty, but . . .

There is no explanation which is sufficient. There can't be. The defendant walks and the family and friends are in pain for the rest of their lives. It is being ethical. It is playing by the rules. It is not pleasant.

My mentor said that we as prosecutors were collectors of souls. We were. The souls of those whose cases where justice could not be done are forever with you.

candace6
candace6

I didn't become a critic of Scientology because of Lisa; but I stayed a critic because of her senseless, horrific death.

Mimi The Great
Mimi The Great

The simple fact that new parishioners are required to sign "the Lisa clause" should be a profound indication that something is awry with the organization.

It is a warning. Lisa's life won't be forgotten.

NE Mom
NE Mom

I think we all feel passionately about this topic for one reason or another but Tony Ortega said:"... we hope in the comments section, you'll do us the honor of adding your own tribute."

Some of these remarks are hardly a tribute and do nothing to show respect to Lisa's memory, to Tony and team for keeping the dialogue open and interesting, and for one another. I'm not lecturing, so don't take it that way. I enjoy a good debate but this post and the follow up comments from readers is supposed to mean something to Lisa's memory. You all are better than that or you wouldn't be following Tony. 

robinlandseadel
robinlandseadel

Scott Braden—

Why did you jump in here now? Do you approve of what happened to Lisa McPherson? Do you just want to argue? Or are you another Sci-Bot sent to distract us?

MarkStark
MarkStark

One thing that is lacking in members who suicide or die from other causes, like Lisa, is a diary.

Scilons who were inclined to want to keep a diary of all they were doing, thinking (in and out of auditing) would probably be discouraged from doing so. They would be trained to believe the auditor was handling their case, and it might hurt their progress if they tried to introspect about it, especially writing things that happened in session, or expressing doubts or fears.

Who would have time? Scientology keeps people busy with studying, touching walls, erasing the reactive mind, auditing, recruiting and fund raising.

One of the fears for the cult would be a diarist who is prone to depression, and who kept detailed diaries years before Scientology, and then for all the years they did Scientology until their death. That would be devastating. Another significant diary would be a member who comes down with a life-threatening disease. I don't know if it is true, but I read today on WWP that Tommy's wife Jessica Feshbach is suffering from a serious form of leukemia. Has she kept a diary?

NE Mom
NE Mom

There's a challenge to paying tribute to Lisa without treading on her beliefs or those who (in good faith) are trying to make the world a better place. These people are not to be blamed. Lisa believed in Scientology until her death as far I can tell, so we should respect those people who believe and do no harm to others in the pursuit of those beliefs. 

I will remember Lisa as a human rights icon in a crusade for truth. No one's human rights should violated in the name of a church ore religion. I pray for her soul, and the souls of all those who continue to give up their freedom in the belief that slavery in God's name is the path to redemption and immortality. I hope she becomes a symbol for people to recognize the  difference between the freedom of faith and the slavery of a cult.

SP 'Onage
SP 'Onage

I was surfing you/tube and came across a Anon video about the death of Lisa McPherson. I was in utter disbelief after viewing it...so, I started investigating further into her death.

I Googled her name and up-pops her full autopsy photos...I was confused, disoriented, literally floored from these shocking photos and what was written in this comment:

Forensic entomologists identified over a hundred cockroach feeding sites on her body, and three nationally prominent forensic pathologists opined that the manner of death was "homicide". Pathologist Werner Spitz, M.D. wrote in his affidavit that "the insect bites appearing in the autopsy photographs of Lisa McPherson, and in particular on her hands and feet, are antemortem and peri-mortem/postmortem."

In other words, bugs were feeding on Lisa before she died, while she was dying and after she had died. Perhaps it is for this reason that they found it necessary to bath a dead Lisa McPherson before they drove her to a hospital 45 minutes away so she could see an emergency room doctor who is a Scientologist, passing four other hospitals.

And in any case, Scientology argues that postmortem cockroach bites are irrelevant, since Lisa could not personally experience the bites and trauma from it.

Imagine this ^^^ response actually came from a so called religon full of pedophiles and perverts.

In a billion years I will never believe she wasn't murdered and for a billion years I will continue to suppress David Miscaviage and anyone else involved in the cover-up of her murder...you know who you are.

Mike
Mike

Isn't it amazing that there is no mention that: (1) Lisa's "family" was an aunt who hadn't spoken to Lisa in over 15 years (from her own deposition); (2) That Lisa's mother refused to sue the church and the lawsuit could not be pursued until after Lisa's mother died; (3) That one of the original benefactor's funding the legal costs, Bob Minton, later turned against those he was previously supporting; (4) The cororner at the time admitted to falsefying her reports regarding Lisa's death (most of the accusations you read about are from this false report) and she had to resign in disgrace.Yes, Lisa died and yes it was tragic.  But she died from a blood clot and there is no guarantee that she would have lived.  My own brother had a heart attack in his hospital bed surrounded by doctor's and nurses.  He died and they couldn't do a damn thing.This story will never be legit as long as the writer's keep misrepresenting exactly what happened.

NE Mom
NE Mom

SP'Onage, you're right. I'm not the blog monitor. Have at it.

Surplusgirl
Surplusgirl

I don't think any of her comments were out of line, if maybe a bit naive.  But I would say this. Tolerance is only acceptable to a point, understanding why someone is racist, homophobic etc. is fine, allowing that they have the unwavering right to practice those beliefs in a way that impacts others is not

SP 'Onage
SP 'Onage

NC MOM, I meant this ^^^comment for you. I am responding to the comment you made below:

I think we all feel passionately about this topic for one reason or another but Tony Ortega said:"... we hope in the comments section, you'll do us the honor of adding your own tribute."

DisQus is acting up again it placed my post at the top instead of under your comment.

ShellyMiscavige
ShellyMiscavige

There's always the thought of L Ron Hubbard, having been injected with a lethal dose of Vistaril, possibly administered deliberately by David Miscavige (who knows?) screaming about body thetans and dying in agony. He became a victim of his own sick delusions.

Scott Braden
Scott Braden

You said:  Myself and others in the office had to dismiss cases because we knew we wouldn't be able to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt.   It is horrid to dismiss cases which you are certain happened. 

Knolwedge is based upon credible and reliable evidence.  Therefore, if there isn't enough reliable and admissible evidence to even warrant a GJ indictment (much less a conviction), how can you claim to "know" that someone is guilty?

Unless we are talking about the rare cases where a confession or other dispositive evidence gets kicked out due to Miranda violations or illegal searches, it would appear that your "knowledge" is nothing more than a "hunch". 

ShellyMiscavige
ShellyMiscavige

Screw the rules. The law is flawed.

That is why Anonymous exists, because the system is clearly not working.

NE Mom
NE Mom

Your job was not easy! Thanks for sharing your wisdom and obvious sadness at not being able to do what you were tasked to do when witnesses and legalities hinder your case. We don't always consider mitigating factors that get in the way of justice - more than likely because of fear. I was just about to log off for the night when I saw your post. Your post reminds me there are many perspectives, and the one probably most overlooked is that of a prosecutor who has information NONE of us have, but is limited in what they can say or do in the courts.That doesn't mean it's impossible. There's optimism in knowing that even attorneys have restless nights over this stuff and comment on the Village Voice :) Well done!

wannabeclear
wannabeclear

I'm with you NE Mom.  

My brother's best friend had become a scientologist a couple years before Lisa McPherson's death, and while we thought his involvement was kind of silly, we never for a moment thought it would be dangerous to him or to anyone else. However, in the wake of her death, I became much more informed about the "tech," the controversy, and the tactics that were being used by those in power within the organization to silence any investigation and any criticism.

And what I came away with is this: The first amendment is a beautiful thing and I will fight vehemently for an individual's right to believe as they see fit even if their belief is in opposition to mine. And I will fight equally as hard for someone else's right to criticize those beliefs.  You can't use the first amendment as a shield, while suppressing the rights of those who criticize you through litigation, intimidation, and harassment.  

Criticism is not hatred and a difference of opinion is not suppressive.  If scientology means "knowing how to know," and if "what is true for you is what you have observed yourself and when you lose that you have lost everything" (a quote by Hubbard), then wouldn't the ability to have those conversations with others only help you grow? What kind of organization doesn't want you to know?

Surplusgirl
Surplusgirl

Tolerance is only acceptable to a point, understanding why someone is racist, homophobic etc. is fine, allowing that they have the unwavering right to practice those beliefs in a way that impacts others is not.  That being said, I admire your spirit of open mindedness, and acceptance of others. 

SFF
SFF

I think he just wants the internet to know how smart he is.

Ken
Ken

NE Mom a very respectful post.However, I believe that Lisa  stripped off her clothes after the accident cause she was trying to get away from the Cult and she no longer believed in it. That is my opinion however if you know the degree of fascist fanaticism that is demanded by the Cult's founder in "Keeping Scientology Working #1" ..then you would understand how the cult drove Lisa away and then captured her to safe her from Professionals.

«When somebody enrolls, consider he or she has joined up for the duration of the universe—never permit an "open-minded" approach. If they're going to quit let them quit fast. If they enrolled, they're aboard, and if they're aboard, they're here on the same terms as the rest of us—win or die in the attempt. Never let them be half-minded about being Scientologists. [...] We'd rather have you dead than incapable.» — L. Ron Hubbard, "Keeping Scientology Working Series 1", Feb. 1965.

ShellyMiscavige
ShellyMiscavige

Lisa believed in L Ron Hubbard, the child abuser and fraud.

So no, she was a victim of her beliefs, but I cannot even begin to respect them as they were the work of a thoroughly disgusting man.

StabbyMcStoo
StabbyMcStoo

I'll say it because I don't have nearly the tact that you do.  The friend of the Indies, Mark "Marty" Rathbun, covered up this murder and many other criminal acts on the behalf of David Miscavige.

HOW DOES IT FEEL, INDIES to get auditing from someone who covered up a murder?

Radio Paul
Radio Paul

What is even more amazing is that you are here shitting on a dead woman. Fuck, even her own family did not care so why should we huh? You are pure evil Mike. Fact number one the cult practices disconnection number two the family did sue and the cult caved in  Three the cult waged a war against Minton and we are finding out now a lot of what they did was illegal four is a total lie by you, your cult harassed her till she changed it but any idiot can see the photos and know your cult butchered her and not a blood clot. But clearly you are such an idiot you can't get that. Why not talk about how Hubbard died with Psyc drugs in his body??? WE WILL NEVR STOP TELLING THE WORLD WHAT YOUR CULT DID TO LISA< NEVER! YOU WILL PULL IT IN FOR EVER ON THIS ONE PAL

Clarkle
Clarkle

Did they fake the roach bites?

Scott Braden
Scott Braden

Mike.  Which is why I say that neither scienos or anti-scienos should be trusted until claims are proven in a court room ... which rarely ever happens because ex-scienos are allergic to courtrooms.

sketto
sketto

Mike,

Someday I hope you find a way to live happily in this world without defending the actions of bad people doing bad things. Lisa's death is directly due to Scientology. Far too much is known about it now for you to try such an obvious lie. Please stop.

SP 'Onage
SP 'Onage

I almost died from a pulmonary embolism/blood clot which was brought on due to dehydration. (like Lisa)

Because I was able to go to the hospital unlike you, my life was saved.

Lisa was denied medical treatment which could have saved her life. NO EXCUSE!

SFF
SFF

Whether or not she had a blod clot, she went into Scientology care at a normal body weight and appeared in hospital 17 days later severely emaciated. She might not have lived had she gotten medical care -- she might have been hit by a bus the next day -- but her caretakers failed to get her proper medical attention despite the fact that she obviously needed it.

Until you can explain that, PFO.

Yeppir
Yeppir

You keep telling yourself it was a blood clot, Mike.  You ever seen her autopsy photo?  Explain how a bloodclot can cause THAT kind of damage and neglect.  She was kept captive for 17 days.  Cockroaches made those marks on her face. 

You have two choices - keep reading to find out the truth, or keep believing what your cult handlers are telling you. 

You will not convince people here that your cult is anything but a dangerous money-grubbing organization that cares nothing for its adherents and has the attitude of "oh well, people die." Have a good life.

NE Mom
NE Mom

The naive girl likes :)

Frolix8
Frolix8

Anonymous' public street protests against Scientology are successful because they follow the law so well. The Scientologists are at an utter loss at what to do to deflect the criticism heaped upon them by Anonymous and at an utter loss as to what will make Anonymous go away. Anonymous is doing well against Scientology. KAW!*

*Keep Anonymous Working

NE Mom
NE Mom

I don't know anyone who is a Scientologist (or admits it) but that's got to be hard to stand by and watch. I think we should fight for freedom, no matter who the oppressor is. The rules of engagement should be the same. I don't think criticism is hate, but I do think some of the name calling and nasty remarks back and forth in this comments section don't advance the discussion in a productive way. I just wanted to encourage folks to take a moment to honor Lisa without all that, because I'd like to believe she's in a peaceful place, and that is where we should all be when honoring those who have passed.

NE Mom
NE Mom

Thanks Surplusgirl. I guess I'm showing my age with my posts. When I was young there wasn't a thing anyone could say to me to sway my thoughts or opinions. If challenged I'd call names and fight back. I believed in what I believed, and that was that!

For the record, I've always had a tough time with the word "tolerance". Is it because I'm a woman, or because I'm over 40, or because I'm not Caucasian? I don't know. I don't accept anyone's "tolerance" of me. I am a creation of God and I am as magnificent as any of other God's creations (or whatever folks may believe is the cause of our being here). In spite of my societal "handicaps", I'm professionally successfell, married, and a mother. I am where I am because I chose my path and did not need validation from anyone. It wasn't decided for me. I decided.

I am a spritual woman and believe in God, although I do not believe in the Church. I believe in the will God gives us all. I believe God gave us brains, logic, conscience, and awareness of mortality for a reason. Because of that, I want to learn from others. Be respectful, but take a stand against corruption, slavery, and dishonesty. With tht said, it's not my intention to shut Scientology down. I'd rather see people make informed choices before engaging with any individual or organization that puts itself before family, security, health, friends, profession, et al. Faith should enhance your life, not take it over or destroy it.

NE Mom
NE Mom

Hey Ken, I hear what you're saying. You're right - I'm trying to be respectful. I wasn't there so what I know is based on several versions of Lisa's last moments. What I do know is she's deceased. She was in the company of Scientologists, her condition in the autopsy photos was horrific, and that decisions made about how to treat her and how long it took before she was taken to the hospital have raised many questions. Aside from that, I know nothing.

Every day we lose loved ones to crime, drugs, neglect, religious fervor...whatever it is, and we should learn from that. As human beings we were given this amazing ability to analyze and reflect. What did we learn from the death of Lisa? Can we express the idea that no one should have the ability to shackle us physically or spirtually without saying it with hate? Can we formulate a plan for ending or preventing exploitation and addiction without schoolyard bullying? 

I'm not a Holy roller or anything like that but maybe another lesson I've learned from Lisa McPhearson's death is that the solution is not in spewing hate. Hate from "SP's" is expected and only strengthens the resolve of people who find their strength in playing the victim or are being told the world is against them. I'm wondering if most of the anti-Scientology posters here want to save the victims or just crush Scientology. If it's the latter, then it will be a long, bumpy road. If it's to save people from suffering then there might be a chance with less anger and more open arms. My point is, there's a lot of love and concern for these victims. Let's show more of that, and less anger.

NE Mom
NE Mom

I understand what you're saying ShellyMiscaiage but my comments were intentionally general. I'm not singling out Scientology, any other religion or individual. Faith is very personal. It's a journey. During that journey you may find salvation, or become disenchanted. If we are fortunate, we have the opportunity to change course in our lives. The tragedy for anyone (not just Lisa) is when you enter into something in good-faith and become enslaved, and before you know it do not have the ability to change course. My heart goes out to anyone who finds themselves in that position, and I will offer respect to those, as I said, "do no harm to others", in their pursuit of  a better world.

The CoS tried to recruit me in my college years. I thought they were an odd bunch, but I didn't need their validation or their encouragement, and I didn't feel lost. But there are lots of vulnerable, sad people in the world and these people are targets for more than just the CoS. I'm saying we should have empathy for the prey, not the predator.  

Shawn
Shawn

Absolutely Stabby and not a word about the anniversary of Lisa's death on Marty's blog.  He's covering the Fairman lawsuit which must be way more important to him and his indie buddies than the senseless death of a young woman that he helped cover up!

ShellyMiscavige
ShellyMiscavige

Absolutely.

Rathbun has blood on his hands. He knows it, we know it, and independent scientology isn't worth a crap until it can acknowledge that fact.

Roggy McGee
Roggy McGee

Solid reasoning Scott.  By such logic, all of the published information about the Global Financial Meltdown with its housing bubble, predatory lending, and mortgage backed securities should be disregarded because nobody on Wall Street has been brought to justice.  Courtroom or it didn't happen, amirite?

ShellyMiscavige
ShellyMiscavige

Nothing to do with creepy parasites like Kendrick Moxon (and look what happened to his young daughter Stacy!) sending PIs to harass the family and friends of the ex-scieno, to threaten to reveal personal stuff from auditing confessions, sexual stuff that they know will maximize embarrassment, and if you want to talk about cowardice - how come David Miscavige has been hiding from the TV news and media since 1992?

Just wait until he is forced to go to court. That nasty little piece of shit is going to be overwhelmed.

robinlandseadel
robinlandseadel

KAW! Indeed. It just adds to the Squirrelly flavoure of the Anti-CO$ mythos.

KAW!

SP 'Onage
SP 'Onage

I concur. KEEP ANONYMOUS WORKING

KAW = win

NE Mom
NE Mom

ShellyMiscaiage, You sound like a real warrior - I want you on my side in a fight ;) I hope you stay passionate, and continue to stand up for those who may not be able to protect themselves, but be fair and balanced - keep a cool head. Don't let your outrage take over. We have enough pissed off people in the world, don't we?

Forums like this let us share our thoughts (whether we agree or disagree), and let us know we're not alone in our thoughts. It's thanks to great investigative reporting that keeps these topics in the spotlight. Keep the faith and be positive.

ShellyMiscavige
ShellyMiscavige

Well I absolutely agree with all of that.

Given that this is about a victim of scientology (notice NO capital letter to denote meaningfulness) and the cult of abuse that the US government is too worried about to shut down - and it could do so overnight by removing the fraudulently obtained tax exemption status, it is the belief system that was drilled into her that I am treading on, stamping on, even, and I will continue to do so until every one of their "orgs" is closed down and David Miscavige is jailed or otherwise banished from society.

The respect I have for the dead victims of this cult manifests threefold in the determination I have to shut it down forever.

Scott Braden
Scott Braden

Those things aren't CRIMES.  At the time of the subprimate mortgage crises, predatory lending and financial irresponsibility by bankers were not crimes.  Why those practices may have been unethical and maybe tortious, they don't trigger criminal prosecutions.  It was a highly unregulated field at the time, which is what spawned new legislation and government oversight.

I urge you to understand the difference between unethical conduct and illegal conduct.  When it comes to proving a crime, the burden of proof is MUCH higher.  Well, unless of course you are a anti-scieno sheep that brainlessly believes every single world that spews out of the mouth of a bitter ex-scieno with an axe to grind.  Then crimes are proven just because an ex-scieno says so.

Don't get me wrong, I don't think all ex-scienos are complete liars.  But I do think many are delusional and re-characterize the past because they are bitter and broke.  If crimes did occur, then prove them in a courtroom.  Otherwise, stfu.

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