I stumbled across this when I was looking for something else – it’s an interesting article about the Church of Scientology Mission of Riverside from 1977.
Riverside Mission is where my father, a young drafted military doctor, was first recruited into scientology in 1974. Since it was just me and him as a little family, naturally I had to come along and check it out. You know, all innocent-like.
This is a pic of my friend Christy, taken in the reception area of the Riverside Mission in December of 1974 (or could have been 1975).
And this is, me, the dastardly Virginia <snort> around that same time – pictured with Christy out camping somewhere.
It’s interesting to me to see the picture of Riverside Mission from so close to when that was. It looks so much smaller to me, but every bit as creepy.
Yep, I said creepy. And yes, I knew what this place (scientology) was in my first pervasion of the place ie: seeing it. It was a slavemaster zone.
Aha! says I. Right up my alley.
And so began my personal vision quest of sorts, my intentional self-immersion within this latest-and-greatest attempt by the slavemasters to reform people like me. Sometimes, it’s appropriate to take them up on their “challenges” and let them fall flat on their faces.
This, was one of those times, and as you can see, it didn’t work out too well for them. That’s always your first clue, by the way, that something is rotten in River City with these we-know-you-better-than-you-do types of slavemaster operations. They do not see YOU as you are.
Now we’re off to the races…
Come and “save” me
I need you to teach me how to live…
Or maybe not.
Here’s the article.
Here’s the article in PDF form –
And here’s the text –
Scientology: The Expensive Freedom, by Kerry Larkin, Paw Print, October 4, 1977
Scientology claims to show Man how to set himself free. According to John Ashton, CHC student and former Scientology member, he felt anything but free. “I was too scared to say no. They drove me all the way from Riverside to Redlands to my bank for the necessary $90 to join Scientology.”
Scientology claims the key to all of Man’s problems is “Understanding.” combining both psychology and technology.
In 1950, L. Ron Hubbard, former science fiction and movie script writer, founded the Church of Scientology, with the publication of his book, “Dianetics.” One of his former wives, Sara Northrup Hubbard, told reporters that “competent medical advisors” has pronounced her husband “hopelessly insane.”
Scientology, at this writing, has about 4 million followers in the world, and many of these prospective followers are approached in shopping malls and urged to come find out about it.
Counselors, called “auditors,” will audit or listen to troubled people. They use a machine called an “Emeter .as a confessional aid in Scientology processing.”
One drill which is supposed to improve “communication” is entitled “Dear Alice.” The counselor reads a portion from Alice in Wonderland and the new member repeats it back verbatim. The counselor says, “Thank you.” and the process continues indefinitely.
Every unhappy experience must be “erased” with the aid of the “E-meter” and counseling. If the “E-meter” records a stress response to a certain area of questioning by an examiner, the individual is then bombarded with repetitious questioning in that stress area until a response is no longer noted, wrote a reporter. The “Engram” or problem is then considered erased.
Many courses are required to reach the final plateau, “clear.” Achieving this final plateau can cost as much as $10,000 or more. Just the first course, “Communications,” will cost $90. Even though Scientology claims to be a religion, its validity has been questioned many times. In 1963, the Food and Drug Administration claimed that their literature was “labeling containing therapeutic claims charged to be false.”
Since Scientology calls itself a religion it is protected by the Freedom of Worship clause in the first amendment of the Constitution, and was saved from paying taxes and from living up to licensing standards required of a profession.
But on September 12, 1977, the Church of Scientology was denied general welfare exemptions from property taxes this fiscal year for six of their churches, including Riverside County.
A report in the Riverside Press Enterprise states that, “The Board of Equalizations recently sent county assessors instructions concerning the Church of Scientology which said, in part, in light of the manner in which the (Scientology) churches promote and conduct the religious training, we believe that they are operated for profit and, hence, ineligible for the (welfare) exemption.’ ”
Among the fees listed by the three year old Riverside Mission, the story said, were $624 for 12 1/2 hours of “auditing” or pastoral counseling, and $3,000 for 12 1/2 hours of “introspective rundown.” The Mission made $1.3 million in 1976, but ended the year with only $91,087 in net income. Listed is the breakdown of the money spent by the Mission in Riverside for the year 1976:
$49,542 – inter-organizational transfers
$62,459 – ads, publicity and printing
$95,715 • refunds
$8,772 – returned checks
$2,962 – commissions payable
$100,451 – fixed assets
$41,357 – “purchase for resale”
$391,835 – wages and salaries
$52,073 – telephone, cable and Telex
$18,750 – legal and professional
$59,271 – traveling and motor expenses
$25,774 – “account contras”
[Note: There’s a couple hundred thousand missing in that accounting, as you’ll notice if you tally it up]
Ten percent of each mission’s annual income is tithed to the mother church, said a church official.
Scientology apparently doesn’t lack for funds. They just recently purchased a hospital building in Los Angeles for $5 million in cash, and in 1976 bought a 10-story downtown hotel In Florida for $2.3 million to be used as a Scientology center.
Scientology promotional literature states, “L. Ron Hubbard has received awards for his work from the Mayors of many cities.” Included are the cities of Redlands, Riverside and San Bernardino.
When the Mayor’s office in Redlands was questioned about their participation, a spokesman said, “We cannot find any written record of an award to L. Ron Hubbard, and no one remembers it.”
The Scientology Center in Riverside reported the award was a “Key” to the city. Mr. Jack Cummings, former Redlands mayor said, “I have no record of it. Since it is my job to give out awards, I would have remembered it. We only gave out four that year.”
The Mayor’s office in Riverside was questioned on their award, “Honorary Citizenship,” to L. Ron Hubbard. Their response was: “A man saying he was a professor from U.C.R. came into the office late one afternoon urgently requesting honorary citizenship for “Three distinguished English visitors.”
As a service, the awards were granted without checking.
The Mayor’s office in San Bernardino said someone requested an “Ambassador of Good Will” award for L. Ron Hubbard. It was granted, but “it is merely a token. It really doesn’t mean anything,” said a representative from the mayor’s office.
In that month, September ’75, Scientology received grist for its publicity mill through such use of the government offices.
The L.A Times reported on .July 9, 1977, that the Church of Scientology offices in Hollywood and Washington D.C. had been raided by the FBI, looking for more than 150 documents claimed stolen from the U.S. Courthouse in Washington in a series of burglaries last year.
The FBI agents executed search warrants based primarily on information supplied to them by a onetime high-level official of the church who had admitted taking part in the burglaries in May and June, 1976.
In a 33-page affidavit based on the informant’s account, the FBI indicated it suspected high officials of the church of not only planning the burglaries, but plotting to infiltrate the IRS, Justice Department and other agencies to steal other documents, said the Times.
A Federal Grand Jury investigating possible charges of conspiracy, obstruction of justice and theft of government property already has convened in Washington.
Michael Meisner, the one-time national secretary of the church, went to authorities June 20 claiming that he had been under “house arrest” by the church since April but that he had escaped, continued the Times report.
[Virginia Note: here’s a possible current photo of Michael James Meisner, not verified yet]
A sworn affidavit by the FBI, continued the Times, stated “Scientology doctrine ‘requires the church (to) attack and destroy its enemies . . . and those like Meisner who leave the church.”
However, a church spokesman said the raid was “pure vindictive harassment.” Vaiughn Young, a church spokesman, suggested that Meisner may have been planted into the church as an agent provocateur, continued the Times.
The church recently filed multi-million dollar damage suits against the government after the Federal Bureau of Investigation raids.
Locally, “I got out because of the fear that they were using hypnosis on me,” said John Ashton. “I was always pressured to be there all the time. They were so friendly when I came in but so unfriendly when I wanted to leave. It was the biggest hassle I’ve ever had in my life. I was so happy when I got out of there.”
When Ashton was asked of his opinion of the church now, he said, “1 do not believe it is a religion, but I would say that it is a number one rip-off though.”
Allyson Lewis, a student at CHC, went to one of the free lectures that the Church of Scientology in Riverside offers. “I waited a long time for the lecture to start. I thought it would be in a lecture hall or something, but it turned out to be only seven of us attending the lecture in a small room of the Mission,” said Lewis. “A counselor came up and asked me if I was stoned. I said no, but asked him if he was. His eyes looked glassy.”
“After the lecture I was taken into a room for a long time and told that I was fake and had a lot of problems. I felt like punching her out. I was really upset by the experience for a few days after that, said Allyson. “I got the feeling that they were trying to take control. I wouldn’t recommend anyone going to that place, unless they enjoy pain.”
People who oppose Scientology, Hubbard says, are afraid of it because a Scientologist can “find out.” He adds: “The secrets of a person who is evilly-disposed toward his fellows are not safe around a Scientologist.”
A scary report is that of a midwesterner, whose son owed a New York Scientologist $350 for “processing” at $22 an hour, complained that the treatment was worthless and wouldn’t pay. He received a 2-page letter on the letterhead of the Founding Church of Scientology with the written signature of Rev. Andrew Bagley, Organization Secretary. The letter, as quoted In the “Saturday Evening Post,” states:
“If you want to start a donnybrook, buddy, wail away. To use the argot of the streets, I’ll just start my people to work on you, and then before long you will be broke and out of a job, and broken in health. Then I can have my nasty little chuckle about you . . . You won’t take long to finish off. I would estimate three weeks. Remember: I am not a mealymouthed, psalm-chanting preacher. I am a Minister of the Church of Scientology. I am able to heal the sick and I do. But I have other abilities, which include a knowledge of men’s minds that I will use to crush you to your knees.“
EDITORS NOTE: Portions of this article were originally printed in the Crafton Hills College newspaper the Dustcloud.
Well, how interesting, eh?
The Bagley letter mentioned above, was released as part of the documents seized by the FBI during the court case of the nine Guardian’s Office people who were indicted.
Of course, scientology is claiming he’s a “bad guy” that was removed years ago…and the usual “we don’t do that” crapola.
Unfortunately for them, both of scientologys Auditor and Ability magazine records show Mr. Bagley to continue to be embraced by the Mother Church until at least a decade later.
So much for that excuse.
Also of interest, is the part about the Church claiming false awards for Hubbard. This is exactly like what the MRA – the other religious front group being used by the CIA – was well known for doing. Hubbard and scientology being the other CIA choice in 1955.
Did you notice the part about saying that Meisner may have been an agent provocateur (a plant)?
Well, right next to the article about the Andrew Bagley letter in the St. Pete Times, was also this:
The line “…it appears that around 1957 there was an upper echelon plan or decision to “do something” about scientology” is fricking hilarious – considering that Hubbard had already been a CIA asset for 7 years by that time.
But, hey, gotta keep the faithful nice and misdirected, right?
By Virginia McClaughry