Disconnection? Really?? Is That All There is to Scientology “Criminality and Abuse”?

Scientology DisconnectionBack in the day, there was an old guard critic named Joe Lynn who got very very angry when Marty Rathbun and Mike Rinder got out of the Church and became Independent Scientologists. Marty and Mike were ranting and raving about how bad David Miscavige was, while also saying that going to the FBI about anything in Scientology was a waste of time. Mike and Marty said they’d already been to the FBI and the FBI was not interested in Scientology.

Then Mike and Marty told people that when they were running the dirty tricks operations from OSA and RTC (respectively) that they had been very careful not to commit any felonies. And, of course, they had no felonies to confess to anyone, either.

This made Joe Lynn bust a neck vein. He was positive that Marty and Mike were part of a “controlled opposition” false flag operation, which was not an unprecedented dirty trick for either Marty or Mike. Joe Lynn believed that the two of them had been sent out to distract critics and law enforcement from the real crimes that Scientology had committed.

Over the years, Marty and Mike have moved away from all forms of Scientology and they have been very effective at exposing the cultic abuses in Scientology – if not the crimes. They have shown clearly that David Miscavige was not the only thing wrong with the subject. But in all these years, I am aware of no evidence of felony-level criminal activity committed by the Church of Scientology that has emerged from anyone.

We critics used to think that there were murders, and rapes, and felony-level fraud, and kidnapping and false imprisonment, and human trafficking. This list of crimes going through most critics’ heads fueled massive outrage and weapons-grade finger typing to bring the whole “criminal organization” of Scientology crashing down.

And we believed that fully exposing the evidence for these crimes would finally produce the Holy Grail of all Scientology Activism: The David Miscavige Perp Walk.

Over the years, you would think that at least some evidence of at least a few criminal acts would have emerged, right?

I am aware of nothing. If someone else is aware of evidence of felony-level criminal activity by the Church of Scientology, then please place whatever evidence you’ve got that Scientology truly is a “criminal organization” in the comments section. Wait – better yet: Go to the FBI and get it reported to law enforcement, THEN put your evidence in the comments section!

After all these years of “exposure”, what we do have real evidence for is enforced Scientology disconnection. In Scientology, it officially remains a “high crime” to be in communication with anyone deemed to be an SP by the Church of Scientology. And this has ruined many careers, and broken up dozens of families.

It’s horrible. And very cruel.

But, as with just about every form of Scientology cultic abuse, disconnection is legal.

Moreover, there are contingencies to Scientology disconnection – even the enforced kind – that make it very hard for me, personally, to have the same level of energy that I used to have about “taking down” Scientology – if disconnection is really all there is to Scientology “criminality and abuse”.

As part of their militant tribal moralizing, I have seen Scientology critics demand that every Scientology family stay connected to each other, whether they want to or not. I have seen the hypocrisy and the self-righteousness for intrusion into other peoples’ lives reach moon-shot status just because, after all this time and energy and protesting and exposure – Scientology Disconnection is the only “smoking gun”; the only “crime” that remains visible after all the activist outrage dissipates from your brain.

The main thing wrong with Scientology is that you might end up disconnecting from someone in your family?

Really??

After all this time, is that all we’ve got?

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39 Comments on "Disconnection? Really?? Is That All There is to Scientology “Criminality and Abuse”?"

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The Oracle
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There was more criminality. And I went to the F.B.I. well within the statute of limitations. In the midst of the criminal activity, which were financial crimes. We could not even get the victims of the swindle to come forward as a witness. It was just me. The problem is, you have all of these people coming out and giving testimony years later. While they were in, they were part of it. They contributed to it. Or they condoned it by looking at a wall somewhere. Or, it did not bother them when it was all happening to “someone else”. And only became an issue for them when they became a target. But by then, they just went the effect of a culture they had helped to build. Many, are out here torturing people full time still.Dan Larsen, Marty and Mike at least own their part. The rest position themselves as holy the entire time, while devoting their lives still, to investigation witch hunts and comm evs. False findings and recommendations are published frequently. Google my name. I called a “holocaust survivor” a slut? Never happened. This was taken from a conversation identifying a person as a journalist and in a legal suit. If you knew how many of my family died in WWll and the impact this had on my generation, we all qualify as Holocaust survivors. Now whenever my kids or someone in family or a potential client Googles my name, this is what they find. My kids pay, my family pay. Now that years end accounting is done, my literary agent and attorney have figured out they are paying too. Now they are getting all unholy. There is a consistent basic need in some people to set others up for losses. Or to profit off of others losses. And it will be that way a thousand years from now. Cross town traffic.

Zane X
Guest

“Disconnection” has and continues to be a classic case of anti-Scientologists making a mountain out of a molehill. For heavens sake, “disconnection” happens between Scientologists in good standing and quite frequently. One of the best examples is that of Tom Cruise and Michael Doven. Doven was Cruise’s personal and professional assistant for many years, beginning with “Far and Away” in 1992 and ending during production of “Collateral” in 2004. He even got himself producer credit on some of those films and a cameo in “Eyes Wide Shut”. But like most “production” assistants, he mostly ran daily errands. The guy literally did Cruise’s laundry and dry cleaning. But something happened (which may or may not have something to with allegations of Doven spying on him for Miscavige) and Cruise became sufficiently pissed off at Doven to not only fire him, but disconnect from him completely to the point that Cruise will not allow Doven to be anywhere near him. The “Freedom Medal of Valor” awarded to Cruise in 2004 was a direct result of this situation, as was the secret “scholarship award” that Miscavige granted to Doven to allow him to study the Basics, Congresses and ACCs full-time at Celebrity Centre and become the first Golden Age of Knowledge completion. I put that in quotations because it wasn’t really a scholarship award; Doven not only did not have to pay for the massive number of courses to complete the entire Golden Age of Knowledge line-up, but he was actually paid a generous living allowance since he had to be on course full-time 7 days a week and Doven isn’t exactly wealthy.

That’s just one example. There’s many others, like the dozens of Scientologists I know who disconnected from Grant Cardone and consider him a vulture and charlatan. Like the Cruise/Doven flap, as long as they keep their grievances on the downlow and don’t air them publicly (including within Scientology itself) and limit them to proper terminals, it’s considered a legit action. Why? Because according to Church policy, a Scientologists has the right to communicate or not communicate with anyone they choose.

Anti-Scientology zealots like Ortega, as you’ve so clearly indicated, deliberately ignore the fact that the Church does not and cannot put a gun to anyone’s head. They can’t “force” anyone to do anything. They can sure as hell try to coerce people, but that’s as far as they can take it and the worst thing they can do to someone who refuses to disconnect from an anti-Scientology family member is not allow them to continue in Scientology. And if they’re refusing to disconnect from someone who hates Scientology, they’re already on their way out, whether they’re aware of it or not.

I think you might actually be the first person I’ve encountered among all the former Scientologists who write a blog that raises this basic issue, that the bizarre zealotry of Ortega and his ilk in demanding (!) that Scientologists must maintain connections with their Scientology-hating parents or relatives is beyond irrational. They also ignore the fact that Ethics Officers always go out of their way to keep the peace within families and advise disconnection as an absolute last resort. That’s Hubbard’s own policy, right there. Hubbard even did a recording, “Can We Ever Be Friends?” to that effect. I was in the Sea Org for years and each and every case that I observed or was involved with where disconnection was a possibility, it was always the anti-Scientology family member that refused to compromise in the name of keeping the peace.

Case in point, the recent obsession Ortega has with Phil Jones and his billboard campaign. I personally know Mike Jones and I know for a fact that he doesn’t want anything to do with his parents. According to Mike (who isn’t “missing”, just like Shelly Miscavige isn’t “missing” — what is it with Ortega and his idiot fans?), his parents hate Scientology with a passion and insist that he and his sister leave. According to Mike, and he’s told me his sister concurs, his parents have consistently refused to shut the hell up about their problems with Scientology and every time they talked with him or his sister, they would always keep demanding that they both leave Scientology.

If Phil Jones could actually have a civilized conversation with his son and daughter without constantly, obsessively dumping on Scientology and demanding they leave the Sea Org and even worse, join them on their anti-Scientology crusade, there’d be no problem and no disconnection! It’s that simple.

But Ortega is a mentally sick individual who hates Scientology to such an extreme that he would never in a million years even acknowledge the possibility that Phil Jones and his wife are actually the problem, not Scientology or David Miscavige or L. Ron Hubbard.

Let me be emphatically clear: Mike Jones, who is not missing and who does not wish to leave the Sea Org, does not want anything to do with his parents, and he has the absolute right not to communicate with them.

I’m certain this is also true of most other Scientologists who have chosen to disconnect from their anti-Scientology parents or relatives. They have every right to leave Scientology, but they sure as hell don’t have the right to subject their kids or family members who remain Scientologists in good standing to a constant barrage of anti-Scientology propaganda and demonizing.

So, to those parents who keep crying and whining to Tony Ortega, the formula to use in avoiding the possibility of disconnection is this: have enough respect for your children to shut the hell up about Scientology when you’re talking with them, and also have enough respect for them as Scientologists in good standing to not be in contact with a bigot like Tony Ortega. That’s all. Agree to disagree on the subject of Scientology and just avoid discussion about it, and don’t hang out with mentally sick losers like Tony Ortega.

Like most things in life, it really is that simple.

Gimpy
Guest

What is frightening to me is that scientology has created a mindset in families that encourages them to be at complete odds to one another. I look at it quite simply – if they had never encountered scientology, the family would be together today, would they be better people for this? That could only ever be speculation,
In my opinion the people of the world could benefit from something to wake them up, this is what I thought scientology would do for me, it didn’t, it was just enforced compliance to a new set of rules, seemingly designed to deliberately teach the opposite of everything we have been taught.
Before I got involved with scientology I was very concerned about environmental destruction, along with a lot of other good sense I may have had this thinking was switched off by scientology, I some how got the delusional belief that a theta environment would solve everything without having to lift a finger, this thinking was rife throughout everyting I did for many years, So yes I do understand that when people wake up to the reality of scientology they are keen for their loved ones to see it for what it really is rather than leave them there to waste their lives. It would be cruel and irresponsible to not have tried.

Zane X
Guest

Wanting to see your loved ones wake up and stop drinking the Kool-Aid is one thing, but to associate with an atrocious and hateful personality like Tony Ortega and going so far as to put up billboards to air one’s frustrations concerning their children is an entirely different matter altogether.

From my own observations and experience, “good roads and fair weather” go a long way in keeping families together and on speaking terms with each other. That kind of peaceful coexistence is a hell of a lot more productive in the long run. Most end up quietly walking away from Scientology in time anyway, usually because they just lose interest in it when it becomes too tedious to continue with or they become fed up with being on staff or some other such situation.

The “shock-and-awe” tactics advocated by Ortega and the ESMB crowd isn’t constructive at all and just makes things worse.

Claire Swazey
Guest

No. CofS disconnection is enforced coerced shunning where members are blackmailed into ceasing communication with their families or friends. It’s how many members are cowed into staying in CofS while they’re mistreated, exploited, bankrupted and sometimes even beaten.This isn’t a case of someone opting to no longer talk to an asshole parent.

CofS, in events leading up to my 2nd and final expulsion threatened my marriage. They said if I did not stop what I was doing, I’d be expelled. And that’d mean my husband coukd no longer see me. That’s coercion and blackmail.

I have friends who were told they couldn’t be in contact with a family member. They literally begged the cult to kept them be in touch, promising no problems or flaps. They were told no, they had to do it. They were made to do it.

And what you say about the Jones isn’t true, either.

Fact is, ALL expulsions in CofS are accompanied by a decree tgat tge persons a suppressive and members are forbidden to talk to an alleged suppressive. They can’t talk about how to drywall, they can’t talk about the weather, they can’t talk about the latest Xmen movie. Per policy, the declared person’s only contact is the IJC. Period.

I have read and been examined on the whole Scientology ethics book and I know the policies.

I’ve even seen people get declared for not disconnecting from someone who, herself, wasn’t even declared- but the cult was all pissed off at this person and that was enough to kick off a chain of disconnections and expulsions.

If a husband and wife were in CofS, and one was expelled but the other wasn’t, the expelled parent would not be allowed to see or talk to his or her spouse or their kids. Fact.

statpush
Guest

This aligns with my personal experience, Claire. Part of the problem of getting your head around this type of manipulation is that I’ve never encountered this before – ever. In my life, CoS has been the only agency I’ve been associated with that possessed the power to breakup my marriage and destroy my family. Not with another religion, not by the government or state, not by an employer – only by my “church”.

My spouse was put under heavy, heavy duress to divorce me – on many occasions. An incredibly stressful time. There are no winners in playing this game. You either keep your family together and “lose your eternity”, lose all of your “friends”, possibly lose your job; or, dismantle your family unit, devastate your finances with alimony and child support, completely alter the lives of your children (for the worse), for what? So you can “keep your eternity” and continue to give them your money and time.

It may not be a “crime”, but it sure as shit feels like one.

Claire M Swazey
Guest

Yah! And other cults have been raided with leaders arrested for this type of thing.

There could be legal grey areas there but aside from the moral issues- I think coercion is illegal.

Did you see the Headleys’ interview on Remini’s show? They experienced some if that divide and conquer stuff and when Claire Headley left, they came after her. That’s harassment and intimidation-also illegal.

statpush
Guest

Zane X wrote:

“They also ignore the fact that Ethics Officers always go out of their way to keep the peace within families and advise disconnection as an absolute last resort.”

I will have to respectfully disagree with this statement, based on my own experience and observations.

While it is policy to always attempt to “handle” before resorting to disconnection, in practice this is done for relatively minor PTS Type A situations (e.g. a parent raising concern about one’s involvement, a snarky co-worker, etc.). However, when it comes to declared SPs there is NO attempt to handle. I spoke to a couple of friends on the eve of my declare and told them I have nothing against their involvement, and would not suddenly start giving them shit about Scn. In other words, I was “handled.”

This was unacceptable to the church and everyone soon disconnected from me.

The church does not view connections to a declared ex-Scnist as simply a PTS situation. An aspect of Disconnection which is often overlooked, is that it is used by members as a kind of “tough love” against the offender. “Do your A to E; until then we can’t have a relationship.” They honestly believe they are doing you a favor. Applying pressure to you, so you get your shit sorted out. They are withdrawing their valuable ARC, in an effort to get you to get your ethics “in”.

When used this way, Disconnection actually serves to CREATE antagonism. Prior to my Comm Ev/SP Declare, I was ambivalent about Scn, afterwards I was a full-blown ENEMY.  

Gimpy
Guest

Aren’t you ignoring the proven criminal actions of the Guardians Office? How about the stalking and harrassment of Marty and other exes? I’m pretty sure that if you were to apply the letter of the law to scientology’s actions you could have a field day with their violations, some very simple examples comes to mind – the local org, and many others have film nights where they show dvds for entertainment, this requires a public display license, which is quite expensive, so you can guarantee they never held one. Another example – compliance with electrical safety standards, just didn;t happen. More than once there were portable heaters in the courseroom which started smoking and if no one had been there could have caught fire. No these are not felonies but examples of scientology’s arrogant disregard to anything not covered by their precious policy.

Claire Swazey
Guest

Disconnection isn’t the only abuse, nor are any of the exes who are speaking out saying that it is. It is a biggie, though, and I covered some of my thoughts on this in my response to Zane x.

Another abuse that’s come under fire is CofS interference in members’ lives. And another is mistreatment of staff.

I read Tony’s site on and off though I often do read his Facebook Scio critical group posts. He covers many different things. While I may not agree with everything he says (why would I? I don’t agree with everything anybody says. It’s impossible to do that.) I find his material well written, painstakingly fact checked and, as I say, he does cover a lot of ground.

Zane X
Guest

Do you sincerely, honestly consider Tony Ortega to be “well written” and “painstakingly fact checked”? Really? His blog is written in a pandering, unabashedly tabloid manner. He’s the kind of writer you’d find on Page Six of the New York Post. Mostly uninteresting gossip and speculation, usually based on hearsay and innuendo from so-called “anonymous” sources that cannot be verified at all. Given the nature of his blog and the lack of verifiability and editorial oversight (you know, like with real reporters working for real editors in real news organizations) Ortega would never be acceptable as a credible source even on a crowdsourced project like Wikipedia.

Given that the bulk of his output mostly consists of unverifiable rumor, speculation and gossip, do you genuinely believe his work is “painstakingly fact checked”?

It’s true that once in and awhile he does put out actual news, usually items of a legal nature and his lawyer friend Scott Pilutik is an actual lawyer who knows what he’s talking about (Pilutik’s extensive coverage of the Reed Slatkin scandal was very good, though this was years before the Bunker and it didn’t have any involvement from Ortega), and he does upload actual court documents, but that’s a very small fraction of his overall output, and even in this regard, he is never able to provide any insight, relying instead on others like Pilutik and occasionally the person claiming to be a lawyer from Texas.

On Scientology matters, for a guy who claims to be an expert on Scientology (since 1995!) he is totally dependent on actual former Scientologists for insight. On those rare occasions where he does attempt to figure something out on his own, he makes glaring mistakes. Without Jon Atack, Chris Shelton, Marc Headley, Mark Rathbun, Mike Rinder, Jefferson Hawkins, Amy Scobee, etc his blog would have zero credibility and unable to sustain any interest. His blog at the Village Voice didn’t gather steam until he actually began consulting all these former members and providing a vehicle to channel their frustrations and grievances. So, I can certainly accept that his blog serves a purpose in providing those views and opinions, but that doesn’t make him a journalist.

Journalists report the news, and news is about facts. Ortega doesn’t provide facts, he peddles gossip.

Claire M Swazey
Guest

I’ve seen quite a few hard facts in his blog entries with names, dates, places, etc.

statpush
Guest

I would be surprised if real hardcore felonies were revealed (e.g. murder, rape, kidnapping, etc.). I believe Mike and Marty when they say the church operates on the fringe of the law, avoiding actual commission of felonies.

That said, pinning actual crimes on the church may prove to be difficult. Things like: financial ruin, broken families, questionable financial practices, while all immoral, may not actually be crimes. In addition to First Amendment protection, the church wields undue influence over its members, instructing them to do things they would not normally do. Such as, assuming large amounts of debt, divorce spouses, lie to financial institutions to obtain money. Theoretically, members could simply say “No”, and that would be that.

About all you could accuse Hubbard or the church of, is influencing its members to make bad decisions, which results in very real harm and destruction. Again, not a crime.

I think Disconnection is trumpeted not because its a “crime”, but because its the church’s PR Achilles Heel. The public find it offensive. Nothing wrong with that. If one Disconnection story told results in one person out, it was worth it.

Just because CoS have managed to avoid criminal prosecution does not make them any less dangerous.

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