I ran across some more interesting dox in the recently obtained FDA declassified records – this time about my neck of the woods, Northern Idaho/Eastern Washington.

I’ve often wondered about the choice of this area for various things, the SERE training, the private military services organizations, a Mafia center and money-processing point, the Jesuits and other right-wing orthodox Catholic groups – it just seems odd to me. But then again, we got put here too so hey – must be something strategically interesting about this place. Must be those mountains…

Scientology has never done well in this area, be it “official” or break-away groups – they all come and go in the blink of an eye, historically.

It surprised me to find out that yet again, out-of-the-way Spokane,Washington was chosen as one of the very first centers of early Dianetics and Scientology.

And, with some pretty colorful people staffing it, to boot.

Let’s start with this document, found on CD #2, p. 233, doc #AF41-126; February 7, 1963; in the Vol 4 of 18 PDF, of FDA declassified records.

This document starts on p.229 of the PDF – here’s the first page:

page 229 AMA files  from Vol 4 of 18

It starts out talking about going to the AMA to ask for their files on Hubbard etc., and being unprepared for the massive amount of information in the AMA files, taking much longer to have it all copied than the investigator was anticipating.

The document begins listing out various organizations and groups of Scientology and on page 5 of the document (p. 233 of PDF) is the following:

WALTER E. HANAN, Secretary-Treasurer Institute of Scientology
W. 1117 10th Avenue, Spokane, Washington

What? says me, that’s interesting.


Note: Full name is Walter Eugene Hanan, he was born in Scotland (1905) and died 5 February 1973. He was married to Gertrude Maud Lees on October 18, 1950.


On the same page, it notes that there are letters about licensing, as far back as February 13th of 1953.


The next page shows that Washington took exception to what was said on Hanan’s incorporation papers.


the cure, relief and release from all human ills and ailments” – one can certainly see why that would raise some eyebrows.

Two other people are listed together with Hanan as incorporators:

  • Frank A. Schindler
  • Herman Wattenford

– both of Spokane, Washington

The Spokesman-Review  in an article from August 16, 2000, actually noted this early Institute of Scientology and its startup time of 1953.


Herman Wattenford became divorced and then remarried in November of 1954, in Couer D’Alene, Idaho, to a hairdresser named Audrey Lucille Carter (1911-1992) – her Obituary. I wonder if they were both involved in Scientology with Hanan?


On page 240 of the PDF, just a year or so later, Hanan and his Institute gets disavowed by Hubbard!


Followed on the next page, by a mention of a BBB letter by Hubbard, and some sort of discussion of a woman who was committed having “given” the franchise to Hanan. Wow. I said this was colorful.


And then Volney Mathison (inventor of the e-mete) warns Hanan about “inquiries” to the BBB. Hubbard fails to return property of Wichita, Kansas in a bankruptcy proceeding, loses the Hubbard Dianetic Research Foundation and Virginia Piggott bought it. Next thing we know, Virginia Piggett (aka Piggott) is a supposedly now conveniently insane person – Hubbard then goes about tarring Piggott, Walter Hanan and his Spokane charter with the same brush, it seems.


Note: The above attachments start on page 121, in a different PDF called Folder4, on CD #1, FDA declassified records.

For example – here’s the one about the licensing questions:

olympia question spokane licensing scientology

Ok, back to the PDF we were on, which was: CD #2, Vol 4 of 18 PDF –

Next, there’s the story of Roy Justin, (real name Roy Burstein) which there are a number of documents in this PDF about. On page 261 of the PDF, an investigator is talking about how Roy had been labelled a “sex psychopath” and committed to St. Elizabeth’s mental hospital in 1958, who then escaped and was last known (late 1950’s) to be headed to Spokane, to hook up with Hanan and Scientology. Lovely.

Spokane also happens to be one of the places that sex-offenders are released.


An interesting point is that in the 1957 issue of scientology’s Ability magazine (Issue #43) – just a year prior to his committment to St. Elizabeth’s, Roy and his father are listed as having some sort of scientology center in Philadelphia!

Linc Burstein and Roy Justin, Philadelphia, Penna. write:

“We’re happy to know how closely Washington is working with us. ”
just because we followed up their need fast • • • so now we’d best
confess our sins. We’ve been moving into the building next door
– outgrew just one building – and in the move some letters seem
to have gotten lost. If you’ve not been answered, write again!

Considering the sex-crimes his son keeps getting mixed up in, there’s a certain amount of irony in that a couple years later in October of 1958, Lincoln Burstein wrote a book called “Juvenile delinquency; a revolutionary plan to solve the problem.

A. Lincoln Burstein, owner of the Scientology Center Of Philadelpia, is still active in Scientology in 1959. He’s mentioned in Ability #92. as having attended Hubbard’s 21st Advanced Clinical Lectures (ACC).

This is him in 1926, nicknamed “Red” and “Ted” during his U Penn days.


The disavowal documents (of Walter Hanan and his Spokane Institute) are on the same CD#1, but in a different PDF called Folder 3.

I extracted them for you to see, although they aren’t very good copies unfortunately.

Here they are:disavow hanan 1954 1 disavow hanan 1954 2 disavow hanan 1954 3 disavow hanan 1954 4 disavow hanan 1954 5Schindler, one of the original incorporaters actually even “disconnected” from Hanan. It’s funny, but these letters from this Barbara Bryan for L. Ron Hubbard might as well be like the type of communications one can expect from the current Church of Scientology management towards those it has deemed anathema. They haven’t changed at all, in over sixty years!

For more on what disconnection in Scientology means (it’s carbon-copied from the Catholic Church) see my article Catholicism and Scientology – Satanic Cults.

In the Spokane City Directory of 1954, Walter Hanan is still listed with at the same address as his Institute of Scientology.


Walter sure went from being in-like-flint to “Condemned with Anathema” in a hurry – don’t you think? Methinks there’s more to that story.

Herman Wattenfod seems to have drifted on to other woo-groups, ending up supporting the Edgar Cacye movement, which someone else didn’t like too much.

Quad City Herald (Brewster, Washington)



There’s another name that shows up in declassified FBI files, as being involved with Scientology in the Pacific Northwest area – Dave Cysewski, another very colorful character.

Joseph David Cysewski


FBI File No.: 47-56689, Founding Church of Scientology Inc. v Clarence Kelly (Kelley) U.S.D.C., D.C.; Civil Action No. 77-0175, June 3, 1977, archived by Gerry and Caroline Armstrong here.

The first page is what mentions Cysewski.

FBI doc 1977 - dave cysewski

I think the reason they may have had an interest in him, is due to his activities with the Lemurian Fellowship around that time period of this doc – 1977. Yep, you heard that right. Lemurian, as in “I Remember Lemuria” – See my article – Amazing Stories – The Resurrection of Lemuria

So what we have is a religious brotherhood created from a sci-fi fanzine, no less. But I’m getting ahead of myself –

Let’s get back to his scientology days.

Dave’s son Stephen, actually remembers being at Walter Hanan’s Institute of Scientology in Spokane, with his parents. He hated it, but he says he liked the tractor (lol).

cysewski - lived at institute of scientologyphoto taken at the Institute of Scientology, Spokane Washington
– Stephen’s website

You can see the Chart of Human Evaluation (from the Book Science of Survival) on the wall in the background. (back right)

This looks to be a pic of Dave from his scientology days, perhaps?

Dave was in the Merchant Marines during WWII, serving as a deck office in the Pacific, just prior to getting into Scientology in the early 1950’s.

(Dave Cysewski – right)

By 1951, Dave was in Scientology.

A rush order for 50 of the new books, “8-80,” from the Hubbard Associates of Puget Sound, has been put on the spike pending publication. Dave Cysewski, who recently took over as secretary-manager, has a drive on to get this Associate School functioning at optimum.

– Issue 4-g Journal of scientology

And as we already know from his son Stephen, he then went to Spokane to the Institute of Scientology.

Issue 19G still shows Walter Hanan listed under Doctoral Schools; Associates.


Issue 22G of the Journal of Scientology has a comment from Dave Cysewski, as being from Spokane, Washington.

” •••••• Your communications have been the most wonderful experience of my life to date, For
me they have resulted in some of my ‘impossible dreams’ coming true.” Dave Cysewski, Spokane,

An interesting point is that Issue 22G, shows the sudden shift of L. Ron Hubbard moving the HASI to Camden New Jersey, away from Philadelphia. This is perhaps part of the “break-up” of scientology organizations occurring in the 1954 time period.

It carries a picture of Mary Sue and Ron Hubbard, and baby Diana in front of the first location of the Dianetics organization in 1950.


– – –

A recent ebay auction actually had books of Dave’s, that someone was trying to sell at too-high prices. They are first editions however, and are apparently from Dave’s time in Spokane/Idaho, judging from the Dianetic College of (Nampa) Idaho Teacher’s examination.



From the description:

On Auditing.  By Martha E. Courtis, H.D.A.  1953.  With Fold Out Chart.  Lithoprinted by Edwards Brothers, Inc.

This copy belonged to, and is inscribed with the name of, Dave Cysewski, whose writing can be found in a 1955 edition of The Compleat Aberree (the article can be found online at The Compleat Aberree website). Inside the book is the original copy of a strange, intelligently-written and amusing letter typed by Dave Cysewski.  Also enclosed is an original typed poem by Walter Russell, a copy of “Dianetic College of Idaho Teacher’s Examination” with check marks penciled in to mark “correct” answers and, finally, a typed essay entitled “Tono Therapy” by Jack Beever.

This book was reviewed in a 1954 edition of the journal Scientology published by the Hubbard Association of Scientologists.  The review reads: “…Martha E. Courtis…has been awarded the honorary grade of Fellow of Scientology by the Hubbard Association of Scientology in recognition of the value of her book…Charming, witty, happily married, Martha Courtis is one of the better human beings on Earth.  The fact reflects itself in her book—a must for every Dianeticist and Scientologist…”

After the implosion of Scientology Spokane, Dave shows up about twenty years later, involved with another woo-group.

Found on the internet –

In 1969 Kieninger used $7,000 of his followers’ money to set up a wood working shop in Chicago. Richard would later claim that as he spent more time working at this shop his young wife Gail became “endeared” to a David  (identified as David Cysewski[77], a man even older than Richard who was one of the Stelle Group’s trustees.[78])  It seems likely that Richard used Gail’s growing indifference to him as an excuse for his seductions at the Chicago house[79]; a very very “new age” way of saying that his wife no longer “understood” him, so to speak.

  • 77 Interview with Kelly Greenlee
  • 78 Richard Kieninger, The Ultimate Frontier, 10th printing, The Adelphi Organization, Quinlan, Texas 2000, page 257 et seq.
  • 79 Interviews with Carol English, Walter Cox, Rob Frothingham, Kelly Greenlee

I then was…what the heck is “The Ultimate Frontieer”??

Well, that’s where we run into the Lemurian Fellowship, the Stelle Group, and the “Ultimate Frontier”.

The same source tells us more – it’s a bit of a doomsday cult apparently.

… By 1970, 77 people had moved to Chicago and joined Richard’s Stelle Group, and the original core members, his “Lemurian Builders” became the Stelle Group’s trustees. Richard knew it was now time to move them to the location outside of Chicago where they would survive the collapse of the United States after its 200th anniversary in 1976, the nuclear “Armageddon” between Israel and the Moslem nations in 1999, and the “pole shift” of the year 2000.

Whites fleeing from Chicago’s growing African-American population and moving to its suburbs had flowed to that city’s north and west, as there was a lake to the city’s east side and black folk on its south side.  Beyond the ghetto to the south of Chicago crop prices were low and farm prices had fallen. Further, there had been a general depopulation of the farmlands there as modern mechanical farming required only one quarter of the people it had in the days of the horse.  Many of the small farm towns in that area were dying, if not already dead. In short, real estate there was cheap.

In January, 1971 the Stelle Group purchased crop land on the plains of Illinois from a failed farmer for $69,000 and two years of back taxes, land in the northern tip of Ford County, a location well away from the Ford County police headquartered in the southern Ford County town of Paxton. They then had the farm land rezoned, and Richard Kieninger was now in the real estate development business. His followers provided the labor to build the sewers and roads for the new community, while Richard sold individual house lots to his followers for what he had paid for the land as a whole.

Richard’s followers built their community buildings, along with a wood working plant for the manufacture of picture frames and spice racks – after all, not only was Richard a woodworker, his father been a woodworker, just as Jesus had been the son of a carpenter. In March, 1973 some 200 members of the Stelle Group moved to the new community which Richard named in honor of Lemurian Fellowship founder and Dr. (of osteopathy) Robert D. Stelle.  Stelle himself had died twenty years earlier and could no longer object.

I think it’s worse than that though, from reading other documents.

I’d call it more of a sex-cult UFO group – which happens to also do “expulsions” and scientology-like disconnections.

The Ultimate Frontier has a website, with a little Timeline.

I assembled a little PDF of screenshotted web pages from it, that detail that Dave Cysewski was not only involved right from the beginning, he was on the Board! He and others expel the original guy, then Dave and friends get voted off the board, then the original guy turns around and sues them all for trying to get rid of him!

Cysewski Ultimate Frontier Lemurian Fellowship – PDF


The Daily Leader (Pontiac, Illinois) September 18, 1975

Quite the story.

Dave’s obituary doesn’t even mention either of these two milestones in his life.

Inter-County Leader, March 2, 2011, Amery Wisconsin



He wrote a book Silent Conversations2003, in which he mentions L. Ron Hubbard, p. 255 “Look, don’t think.”, and another one in 2008, also apparently influenced by his time in Scientology. The title is A Bridge Across.

Dave Cysewski


And that concludes our early history of Scientology in Spokane.

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Article researched and written by

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Join the conversation! 1 Comment

  1. I stumbled on your amazing research. Thanks for doing this!


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