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Radio Broadcast


WMNF - Tampa, FL
December 3, 1998

Stacy Brooks and Jesse Prince appear on this Public Radio show to discuss Scientology and the Clearwater picket in memory of Lisa McPherson.


Part One

Part Two

Part Three


HOST: There you have some listener comments following yesterday’s show. Now I’m happy to welcome Stacy Young and Jesse Prince, both of whom are former members of the Church of Scientology. They’ve left the church and they’re here this weekend because there are gonna be vigils outside the church headquarters in Clearwater as opponents of the Church of Scientology speak out against the church. Stacy and Jesse, welcome to WMNF, nice to have you here. Thanks for coming by.

JESSE PRINCE: Thank you.

HOST: Jesse, let me start with you. How long were you in the church? What did you do in the church?

JP: I was in the Church for Scientology for 16 years. I started out--well, that’s a story in and of itself. But I became a staff member here at the church in Florida in Clearwater, and I was here from the years of1979 to 1981, at which point "../images/media/video-play56.gif" width="150" height="40" name="wmnf" usemap="#wmnfMap" border="0" href="#">


HOST: There you have some listener comments following yesterday’s show. Now I’m happy to welcome Stacy Young and Jesse Prince, both of whom are former members of the Church of Scientology. They’ve left the church and they’re here this weekend because there are gonna be vigils outside the church headquarters in Clearwater as opponents of the Church of Scientology speak out against the church. Stacy and Jesse, welcome to WMNF, nice to have you here. Thanks for coming by.

JESSE PRINCE: Thank you.

HOST: Jesse, let me start with you. How long were you in the church? What did you do in the church?

JP: I was in the Church for Scientology for 16 years. I started out--well, that’s a story in and of itself. But I became a staff member here at the church in Florida in Clearwater, and I was here from the years of1979 to 1981, at which point I was recruited and promoted for senior executive position within a church corporation called the Religious Technology Center, which is a corporation which holds the trademarks of Dianetics and Scientology and licenses other organizations to use its materials.

HOST: These are the official church secrets, so to speak, or official church philosophy?

JP: Yeah, it is the writings of L. Ron Hubbard, his technical writings as well as his policy writings, as well as their confidential secret materials.

HOST: How high up did you get in the church hierarchy?

JP: Um, corporately I was the second most senior person within the Church of Scientology from the years 1982 to early 1987.

HOST: What attracted you to Scientology? What did you find valuable in Scientology?

JP: Well, in the beginning, I was--I was young. I was 21 years old and confused, I guess just as confused as most 21-year-olds are, and, um, you know, I had an interest in helping people, I had an interest in learning something that would make me an asset to society, and Scientology had many claims of being able to do such a thing.

HOST: Um-hmm. Stacy Young, let me turn to you. How long were you in the church and what attracted you to the church originally?

STACY YOUNG: I was in for almost 15 years, from 1975 until 1981. Um, I think I have to agree with Jesse, when I first got in, I was 23, it was the mid-‘70s, very idealistic times, as you remember. Um, and I felt very strongly that I wanted to do something to help people. I was an idealist and, um, really wanted to feel like I was doing something to change things for the better. And, um, Scientology seemed to offer that possibility and that potential. Um, so I was very excited about getting involved in, in this organization, about which of course I knew very little; um, and I should have found out much more about it before I got involved. But, uh, that was basically why, how it started for me as well.

HOST: How high up or, what did you do while you were there in the Church of Scientology?

SY: Well, the first few years that I was in, I, um--again because I wanted to do something to help people--I learned how to be one of their auditors, which is the term they use for counseling. Um, and I did hundreds and hundreds of hours of auditing on people. And then I moved up to supervising other people who were learning how to do the counseling procedures. Um, so I, I learned really as much as there was to know about their, quote-unquote, auditing technology. Um, after that I did a little stint in their prison camp, which is the Rehabilitation Project Force--if you see these people around the Fort Harrison Hotel in their black boiler suits running wherever they go, those are people who are on the Clearwater branch of their prison camp, basically.

HOST: Why do you call it a prison camp?

SY: Well, because it’s basically a political prison. People are sent there for disaffection, for being critical of management, for disagreeing with the way things are being done in one way or another. Um, and they’re kept on it until they stop being critical.

HOST: What did you--

SY: Just as in any political prison, I suppose!

HOST: Why were you assigned to the--to this?

SY: I was assigned to it because I refused to work with the leader of Scientology, whose name is David Miscavige. Um, I think there was a big article about him in the "St. Pete Times" recently. Um, contrary to the way he was portrayed in that article, I found him to be, um, an extremely vicious, very corrupt, um, very, really fairly psychopathic personality. Um, he really enjoyed degrading people, ridiculing people, you know. He had one staff member get down on his hands and knees and push a pencil down the hall because he was late with a report one afternoon, and he just stood there laughing at him. And, um, I was in a position under him in which I was supposed to be carrying out his orders to treat other people in that way, and I refused to do it. And, um, he got very, very angry at me because I was not agreeing to follow his orders. And finally, one night he became so angry at me that he put me into an office, locked the door and screamed at me until I really--you know, I hadn’t slept in several days because sleep deprivation is a big part of the way they control people at the higher levels in Scientology management. So I hadn’t slept much for about a week. Um, I was feeling very shaky already and his screaming caused me to feel, um, that I was going to lose my mind if I allowed myself to be subjected to this treatment any longer. So I went into another part of the organization the next morning and announced that I was not going to be able to work with him any longer.

HOST: And you were assigned to what you describe as a prison camp.

SY: Well, I was assigned very quickly thereafter. Um, I was up at their secret management compound outside of L.A. at the time and, um, at four in the morning there was a knock on the door and two guards were at the door and ordered me to pack my clothes and come with them. And, um, so I did that and I was escorted physically to a van which drove me down to Los Angeles in the middle of the night, and I was taken to the Rehabilitation Project Force where I stayed for the next eight months until I--

HOST: Are you saying that you tried to leave this or you wanted to leave but you couldn’t get out?

SY: Um, I wanted to leave very badly but I could not get out, it wasn’t--I was not physically kept from leaving all the time that I was in there; I was kept physically from leaving for about four months. I was kept on the seventh floor of the--there’s a big complex in Los Angeles which used to be the Cedars of Lebanon Hospital, um, and the RPF was on the seventh floor of that complex at the time. Um, and I was kept under house arrest on the seventh floor for about four months during my stay in the RPF until I was able to convince them that I would not leave if they allowed me off of that floor.

HOST: Well, how would they prevent you from leaving? What would--what mechanism would they use? Would they--

SY: Well, I was under guard; there were guards at the door. I was not allowed to leave. I mean, Jesse was--Jesse had an even worse experience in being held against his will than I did.

HOST: Jesse, what was your experience?

JP: Um, well, in 1976, again in the ‘70s when I got into Scientology, I got in in San Francisco and then I was recruited into the fra--Scientology fraternal organization known as the Sea Org, Sea Organization. Um, I was in the Sea Organization I guess for two-and-a-half, maybe three months, at which point I, you know, I was being forced to stay awake and work long hours. I was being paid under five dollars a week for working 100+ hours. And I finally went to them and I said, you know, "I’m not doing this, I’m leaving." And they told me, "Well, no you’re not!" And at that point, uh, this same location, Cedars of Lebanon, was fenced in in barb wire because it had not, I guess--the Cedars of Lebanon had moved to a new location and the building was for sale. Um, I was held in that facility, which was surrounded by barb wire--well, a barb wire fence and patrolled by German shepherd dogs as well as other guards, and I was forcefully taken up to the seventh floor in another building in that complex and held there for nearly a year.

HOST: How were you held?

JP: Uh, two to three people were assigned to guard me all the time in case I ever tried to leave. I was constantly supervised by guards, and, you know, there’s no access to any telephone so I was not able to call my family or call the police or do anything. And as I said, this went on for nearly a year.

HOST: Did these guards have guns? Or what would have happened had you tried to walk past them?

JP: I would have been stopped. I mean, and that did happen, you know, they hold you--they hold you down. Basically, they physically hold you down, or lock you in a room.

SY: But you have to understand that the same time you’re being subjected to relentless indoctrination 24 hours a day.

HOST: What kind of indoctrination?

JP: Basically how bad of a person you really are. It kind of starts with the introductory tests that they give a person in Sciento--coming into Scientology, this Oxford Capacity Analysis test, which is a 200-question questionnaire, which then is--the sum of those answers are graphed on a graph, and you have low points and high points. And on the low points they, they explain to you, "Well, this is really bad" or "This is really ruining you and this is why you feel the way you feel now" and, you know, "Read this, read this Hubbard book." You need to read the books whether you want to read them or not. And you participate in the counseling whether you want to or not. And, you know, after a while, after this continuous indoctrination, you--one comes to believe that this is the only way through this experience, which is to comply and do what they want you to do.

HOST: What about your families? Were your parents still alive? Did you have brothers and sisters? Did you have contact with them?

JP: Yes. My family--my father actually thought I was dead because I wasn’t able to contact them or speak to them for over a year. As I said, there was no access to the telephone. Also, Hubbard doesn’t let his followers that are on staff watch television or read the newspapers.

HOST: Why is that?

JP: Well, I can only assume why it is, is because he doesn’t want them to realize the truth. He doesn’t want them to be contacted into the real world and feel a connection because there is so much against Scientology and people that have been hurt, as came up in the 1979 court case against Scientology where L. Ron Hubbard’s own wife Mary Sue Hubbard went to jail for practicing criminal activities against the government and private citizens.

SY: Well, and I have been contacted by many, many people coming out of Scientology who had discovered the other side of the story from reading the Internet. Um, the Internet is Scientology’s worst nightmare because it’s a free flow of information which is, uh, not only positive about Scientology but also critical about Scientology. And so someone getting into or thinking about getting into this organization now has an opportunity to find out what is actually happening within--within Scientology. Um, they definitely, uh, very much curtail the flow of information so that, uh, their indoctrination will work, you know. We’ve been down picketing in front of the Fort Harrison because of, in honor of Lisa McPherson, who died in 1995, on December 5, and there are people that see us doing this and they say things to us which make it very clear to me that they have been told very specific things about me, about Jesse, about the other people that are there, that aren’t true. And they believe it because they have no way of getting any other information.

HOST: Because they’re cut off from any sort of other avenue for information or--

SY: Absolutely.

HOST: Stacy Young and Jesse Prince are our guests today. You’re listening to Radio Activity on WMNF; I’m Rob Lorei. We’re talking about the Church of Scientology. Stacy and Jesse are two former members of the church, reaching pretty high levels within the church, Jesse a one-time Number Two or Number Three person in the church hierarchy. Stacy, you worked for "Freedom" magazine and you described "Freedom" magazine and what you did, um, as the propaganda arm of the Church of Scientology. Why--why do you describe it that way?

SY: Well, um, because it’s a--it’s a magazine which is produced very specifically to, uh, propagate Scientology’s world view to the media, to, um, political figures, to major figures in business to try to change the minds of those particular people about Scientology and get them to think that Scientology is a good thing. And that’s the purpose of the magazine.

HOST: Who is the magazine sent to?

SY: It’s sent to the media and political figures [laughing] and major figures in business.

HOST: You told me a case in which there was a lawsuit in Portland and the Church of Scientology was involved in a lawsuit in Portland, and the magazine was used in a very specific way. How--tell me, tell me that case.

SY: Yeah. There was a woman named Julie Christofferson who was damaged very badly by her experience in Scientology and later sued them for intentional infliction of emotional distress and other damages. And, uh, Scientology lost--the jury, it was a jury trial and the jury found Scientology responsible, um, to the tune of $30 million. And this was a terrible, terrible blow to Scientology, not only financially but also public relations-wise, legally. And so the head of Scientology, David Miscavige, ordered that a--that we produce a special edition of "Freedom" magazine which was, um, basically designed to tell the, quote, true story, unquote, about Julie Christofferson and the various witnesses that had been in that case, whatever. And we, um, were ordered to have it distributed to every single house in Portland. And it cost about $2 million just for that one little public relations propaganda activity.

HOST: But, but how do you know what was in the magazine was propaganda? Why do you, why do you say what you worked on was propaganda?

SY: Well, as you know, uh, a regular journalist, when they’re doing a story, they make sure that they’re telling the truth. They get both sides, they talk to--you know, if they talk to one person who is critical of the subject, then they usually try to talk to another person who’s got a different point of view to make sure that they’re not just, uh, parroting someone’s own agenda. Um, the way the "Freedom" magazine stories are written is not that way, you know, we were fed information by the intelligence division of Scientology, um, or--, ordered to write a story from our seniors or whatever. And, uh, if we questioned the point of view that we were ordered to take in the story, we were considered, um, to be disaffected or, you know, in some way suspect of our motivations for doing so, so--

HOST: What happens to people who are disaffected?

SY: They go to the RPF, which is the prison camp [laughing].

HOST: How many, how many RPFs are there? How many of these--

SY: Well, it’s a Sea Organization thing, so there’s--there’s an RPF unit wherever you find a Sea Organization unit. Um, in Los Angeles there’s a big one. In Clearwater there is also one. Um, there’s--

JP: Europe.

SY: In Europe, you know; in Copenhagen there’s another RPF; and, um--

JP: The U.K., there’s another one, in the U.K.

SY: Yeah.

HOST: Why did you guys leave? What--Jesse, why--what made you leave the Church of Scientology?

JP: Well, there’s very--you know, there’s a very exact reason why I left. There was a point in time where, even after the first two years of my Scientological experience, at the end of that imprisonment at that time, I was told it was a big mistake, you know, "This should have never happened to you" and I was given several thousand dollars and asked to please state, because now you understand what we’re doing, and to help us along. Well, you know, I did--I did that and instead of making $3/week I was raised to $24/week. And then I came here where--you know, at Flag--where I made a better income and I was able to--I went home and I saw my family and told them I was OK and saw my children, saw my brothers and sisters and, you know, kind of explained that there was a mix-up at the beginning but now I’m OK. And, um, then I was drafted to go to the Los Angeles secret location at which point I learned that the hierarchy of Scientology itself doesn’t believe in Scientology and actually is just like any other major corporation whose main objective is money. But the way the church procures money is through deception, um, high-pressure sales techniques; I mean, even the--this poor girl that died at the hands of Scientology, Lisa McPherson, um, was paying X amount of her income every week to the International Association of Scientologists, and she received no services whatsoever. Um, I learned how they pressure people to max out their credit cards, get money, lie to families, get trust funds turned over, and they were just amassing this giant treasure chest of money. They being David Miscavige, Lyman Spurlock, um, Norman Starkey, a South African fellow that’s extremely prejudiced, um, Marty Rathbun, um, a person that is over their, uh, intelligence and legal arms, which are criminal to the point that even as I sit here, there are private investigators calling my children, posing as police officers, saying that I am wanted in Denver, Colorado for jumping bail or leaving because I have some kind of legal action going on; and then they’re explaining to them things that I did in my life earlier because they’d gone through my confidential auditing files and pulled embarrassing things, or, you know, things that could cause trouble; and they’re spreading them around to my father, my sister, my cousins, my friends, business associates, as we sit here.

HOST: So you--so you’re saying the harassment goes on now. Uh, Stacy, I want to ask you about why you left; but first of all, auditing--describe what auditing is. When you say that they keep a file on you, what’s in that file? And what is auditing?

SY: Uh, within that file is all of your, um, innermost secrets, you know; when you’re a Scientologist, you believe that what you’re telling your counselor, your auditor, is going to be held in confidence. Um, and in fact the information is written down in detail in folders; sometimes people will end up with 30, 40, 50 of these folders that have all of their confessionals recorded--

HOST: So, so if you shoplifted, if you lied, if you--

SY: Everything--

HOST: Had sex with somebody, if you did something even worse than that--you’re confessing this all during the auditing process.

SY: Right--

JP: Right--

SY: Right, you are, and you’re--and you’re assuming that you’re confessing it in confidence. Um, but if you leave and decide to try to expose what you’ve discovered is really going on in Scientology--which is what I’m doing, what Jesse’s doing, what various other people are doing--um, you quickly discover that those confessionals are only confidential as long as you’re, uh, willing to, to maintain your loyalty to the Scientology leadership. Um--

JP: And never do you imagine that the information that you’re giving--in an effort similar to other religious faiths where you, you give a confession and you try to change your life--never in your wildest imagination would a person believe that now this information would be taken and given to my family or maybe given to my employer or given to my children or whatever. And it’s--it’s a very spiteful organization. I came to learn from my experience in that hierarchy of Scientology that Scientology truly is no church at all; it’s an intelligence organization masquerading itself as a church and acting in a very Mafia-like way. I mean, I’ve seen Miscavige have staff members held so that he could spit in their face, kick them, punch them, ranting and raving. I mean, he’s, he’s pretty much a lunatic, you know, for lack of a better way to describe his character. But he, and he has many different sides. But it’s a very vicious organization and, um, I left for that very reason.

HOST: Do--I want to get to Stacy and your story, but do we know how much money Scientology takes in every week? Or every year?

JP: Well, I know when I was--worked in Clearwater at 210 S. Fort Harrison at their establishment there, they would often send to Los Angeles $1.1-1.2 million/week.

SY: And that was just from one organization--

JP: One organization.

HOST: Um, Stacy, why did you leave the church?

SY: Um, when I first got in, as I told you earlier, I was very idealistic and I thought I was joining an organization that was gonna be helping people. And that I was gonna be able to have a chance to do so. Um, I left Atlanta, which is where I lived and where I got into Scientology, and went out to Los Angeles, um, and quickly discovered that the--that what I had thought I was going to be doing was not what was happening. In other words, I had thought I was, um, gonna become a part of a very idealistic organization, um, whose interest was in improving the world and helping people and things like that; and what I found was, um, people who really were not very clear about what they were doing, were extremely unpleasant to each other. Um, people were being ordered to report on each other. Um, it was a very paranoid organization; it was very suspicious. I was suspected almost immediately of being an agent for the FBI, the IRS, I mean, this level of paranoia which was--which was incredible to me, simply because I didn’t agree with some of the things that I saw going on and I said so. And I quickly learned that you weren’t supposed to say anything critical because if you did, you got in trouble. So my--my, uh, commitment to this organization was--was so strong that I felt, well, um, it must be higher up in the organization, you know, the--the idealism and the, and where people really understand what Scientology is all about, that must be higher up in the organization than I am. So I, uh, made a decision that I was going to, um, get myself promoted all the way up to the top of Scientology so that I could really apply Scientology the way I knew it should be applied, where it would really help people and where I could start to straighten out all these things that weren’t going the way I thought they should lower down. Um, but by the time I ended up at the top of the organization, working directly with the top leaders, I discovered that the level of corruption was incredible, that these people were extremely cynical about the fact that lower-level people were believing that Scientology was really there to help people. They didn’t consider that that was what they were there to do at all. They were, uh--they were there to take in as much money from the--from the non-profit church organizations as they possibly could, and, uh, they were extremely ruthless about the methods by which they went about doing that. Um, as I told you earlier, their treatment of people, just on a day-to-day basis, was, um, worse than anything I had ever seen in my life. And so, you know, I became extremely disillusioned and I finally had to face the fact that the organization that I had made a commitment to was--did not exist, basically. Um, you know, these people that are in Clearwater, that are basically at lower levels of the organization don’t know what Jesse and I are talking about, so they think that we’re lying and of course they’re told that we’re lying. Um, and I run into this wherever I go, when I, when I--you know, because they always have Scientologists come out to try to harass me and try to intimidate me into, you know, not speaking out or whatever. And I try to explain to these Scientologists that--that the things that I’m saying really are true. And, um, that they really need to look at the other side of things, you know; get on the Internet if they possibly can and read some of the stories of people that did get up to the higher levels and really discover the true nature.

HOST: Do you have some of those Internet addresses that you could refer people to?

SY: Um, yeah. There’s--there’s one called www.xenu.net, that’s X-E-N-U. There’s another one, uh, www.-- excuse me, www.lisamcpherson.org, that’s L-I-S-A M-c-P-H-E-R-S-O-N, dot, ORG. I think there’s another one, www.entheta.net, which is E-N-T-H-E-T-A, dot, NET. Um, and, you know, I think it’s extremely important for people to see the other side of the story, you know. Lisa McPherson is a woman who died as a result of very standardly applied Scientology procedures.

HOST: What do you--what do you mean by that?

SY: Well, Lisa was, um, mentally unstable and in need of some professional mental health care, and instead of receiving that, she received Scientology, uh--she was subjected to a Scientology procedure which is, which is the craziest thing you could ever imagine. She, she first was driven into a state of mind in which she really had lost her mind. Um, as Jesse was saying, one of the really, uh, frightening aspects of Scientology is that they, uh--just the indoctrination procedures--cause a person to feel that they are so, um, bad, that they are so guilty of things, that they are responsible for everything bad that’s happened to them, um, that, uh, you know, that--that, um, that they’ve done very bad things and that’s why their life is not going well in one way or another. Um, Lisa was brought to a point where she, uh, was suicidal. She wished that she was dead, she was begging them to stop giving her the auditing procedures that they were giving her. They were continuing to, to subject her to these procedures until finally she cracked. She, she lost her mind, she didn’t know who she was. Um, she was in terrible, terrible shape mentally and emotionally and she should have gone to the hospital.

HOST: Do you know of other cases where people who were members of the church were treated as Lisa McPherson was treated?

SY: Yes--

JP: Yes.

SY: Yes. Jesse and I both were involved in, uh, what’s called the Isolation Watch, uh, of another individual outside of Los Angeles, and I also--and Jesse did, too--both of us knew about many other people who were driven into basically psychotic episodes by the Scientology procedures, and they were subjected to the exact same treatment that Lisa was. They were held in a room. They were not allowed to leave. Uh, they were guarded 24 hours a day. They were force-fed. They were--they had liquids forced down their throats, and they, uh, ended up with the same kinds of bruises and, and abrasions all over their bodies. And they were kept there until they were no longer possible public relations threats to Scientology. And that’s why Lisa was being held that way and that’s why Lisa McPherson died.

HOST: I--I’ve read a quote from L. Ron Hubbard that says that, uh,--who was the founder of the Church of Scientology--which says that if somebody decides to leave the church, that they should be audited--

JP: Correct.

HOST: Would there be a connection between the McPherson case and that kind of auditing that, uh, that L. Ron Hubbard was talking about? We get--I get, I bring this up because at one point, one of the, uh, one of the reports is that Lisa McPherson called her family in Texas before she died and said that she was planning to leave the church.

JP: Right. Well, what happens, you know, L. Ron Hubbard says the only reason a person would leave a Scientology organization is because they have done something to that organization, or they are withholding something that they’ve done to the organization. And they--because they have criminal acts they want to leave. At which point you’re given what’s known in Scientology as a Security Check, which is a list of questions of many different possible things that you have done. And you--there, you’re made to hold the cans of the E-meter, and if the E-meter reacts, you’re interrogated, um, ruthlessly and--

SY: And relentlessly--

JP: And relentlessly. And I’m--you know, I’ve had it for months and months on end--

SY: So have I--

JP: When I wanted to leave.

HOST: What kind of interrogation? What did they ask you?

JP: Um, "Did you, did you break something? Did you, did you steal from the organization? Are you withholding something about, that you’ve done to the organization?"--

SY: "Are you secretly working for, uh--"

JP: "The government?--"

SY: "The government?--"

JP: "The FBI?--"

SY: "The German government?" Whoever they happen to consider to be their current enemy.

JP: "Have you done something to David Miscavige?" would be a question, you know. "Have you done something to David Miscavige? Have you withheld something from him? Is there something he should know about you?" These kind of--

HOST: And this questioning goes on for weeks, months?

JP: Weeks, weeks. In my case, it went on for months. And you are literally asked, and you’re asked it over and over again, you know. They’ll re-phrase the same question many different ways and it’s just an exhaustive process--

SY: Well, this is--

JP: Which really jangles the, the whole mental process in critical thinking to the point where you’re, you’re sitting there--"God, please just let it be over" at some point.

SY: And you know, you have to understand that I was subjected to this kind of interrogation for months after I was sent to the prison camp for being critical of Miscavige. And this was done by two former Marines, very big, very strong men. I was locked in a room with these two people. One of them was, was pacing back and forth in front of me screaming at me and the other one was sitting, uh, watching this little E-meter, you know, with the dials on it and things like that, to see--to see where my crimes were based on what these little meter needles were doing and things. Um, and it’s a terrifying--it’s a terrifying situation to be in, particularly when you’re not sleeping and you’re not eating, and you’re--

JP: You’re working all day slaving for them, you know. They’ll make you either break rocks or doing gardening or--

SY: You’re doing lots of hard labor and you’re being interrogated like this. I mean, this is, uh,--you know, I think the human mind is not, is more fragile than sometimes people realize, you know. It’s--it puts you into an extremely fragile state.

HOST: We’re talking about the Church of Scientology with two people who rose to high levels within the church. Our guests are Jesse Prince and Stacy Young. They’re in town because there’s gonna be a candlelight vigil to remember Lisa McPherson, the Scientologist who was, uh, who died while in church custody three years ago on December 5. Um, I want to ask you about, uh, some of the groups that the church is affiliated with or has set up. There’s a group in town called the Citizens’ Commission on Human Rights. What’s the purpose of that group and what’s its connection to Scientology?

SY: Well, um, the Citizens’--Citizens’ Commission on Human Rights is there to, uh, discredit psychiatry in any way possible. Um, the reason for this is because early on, in the early 1950s, Hubbard came out with his book, "Dianetics", and he--it became a bestseller because it made some very exciting claims about being able to cure illnesses, um, make people have perfect minds or have perfect memories, whatever. And so a lot of people thought this sounded great and they got into it. But within months it began to be clear that the claims were false and that Dianetics really didn’t do these things that he had claimed that it would do. And the psychiatric community, um, came out very critically against Dianetics, saying that it was, um, it was not backed up by scientific research, um, and that it could be dangerous. And at that point, Hubbard--L. Ron Hubbard, he started this thing--um, became furious with the psychiatric community and vowed to attack them in every way he possibly could, and psychiatry at that point became basically, uh, as far as Hubbard was concerned, uh, the Devil. Um, and so one of the major things that Scientology is trying to do is discredit psychiatry and do away with it. Which is why they wouldn’t allow Lisa McPherson to remain in the hospital when she needed to, because they didn’t want her to be treated by a psychiatrist. And, um, so CCHR basically is there to, um, spread the word in whatever way they can about the evils of psychiatry.

HOST: Well, many, many times over the last few, uh, months and, in fact, years, the CCHR has been on this radio station, uh, talking about, uh, specifically the dangers of Ritalin and they usually go on some of the weekend talk shows here on the station, uh, talking about Ritalin as a way to, uh, hold down the black populations, to, uh, drug the black kids in our society--

SY: Well, you know, there’s--there’s two aspects of that and I think Jesse already addressed the aspect of the black population, but before that, I think it’s important to know that, um, I was there when this Ritalin campaign idea was thought up. It’s a public relations campaign. Um--

HOST: Is it based on any science? You know--

SY: No; it’s not based on any science. Um, it’s based on, uh, several, um, cases in which a child was perhaps put on Ritalin incorrectly or perhaps didn’t do well as a result of being on Ritalin. Um, but it doesn’t take into account the thousands and thousands of other children that have done well on the drug or any other medical studies that have been done, um, you know, and written up in medical journals or whatever. Um, you know, this Ritalin campaign was devised as a way to get media and, uh, gain allies for the Church of Scientology. And it’s that simple; that’s what it was done for. It’s not for the purpose of helping the children who are on Ritalin; it has nothing to do with that. Although I assure you that the people who are in CCHR fervently consider that that is what they’re trying to do. The leadership of Scientology has them doing this campaign purely for the public relations value for Scientology.

JP: You know, and it’s also ironic that they would target the African-American community because the current leader of Scientology, David Miscavige, is a racist, a racist in extremis, as well as his South African companion, Norman Starkey. I was the only African-American that I know of that ever achieved a high position within Scientology. And even then, I was continually subjected to racial slurs by David Miscavige and, um, Norman Starkey to the point where we nearly came to blows about it.

HOST: What kind of racial slurs?

JP: "Nigger", "dumb nigger", this kind of--constantly. L. Ron Hubbard himself is on tape giving lectures speaking about how stupid, uh, African-Americans are, you know, and how they can’t be cleared and the best thing to do is to just put ‘em all on a barge and dump ‘em in the middle of the water, just kill them, you know, genocide, as well as, you know, other--the Arabs, and he found these people to be quite useless. So that they would, you know, put on the facade of that they even care about these people, to me, is just more of the deep deception, just another example of the deep deception and the lengths that they will go to to accomplish their purs--their purpose. They don’t care anything about African-American people.

HOST: What would you say to African-American groups in this town that are working right now with the Citizens’ Commission on Human Rights and the Church of Scientology?

JP: Be very careful because they do not care about you. If, if it’s--as long as they can get press about their actions because, you know, these poor people, whatever--that is the entirety of their intent. They don’t care about those people at all.

HOST: I gotta ask you about this because it’s the most public thing about the Church of Scientology, and that is that many well-known actors and musicians--not many, but a few well-known actors and musicians--are members of the Church of Scientology and seem to function pretty well. Tom Cruise is one, and John Travolta and Chick Corea. They seem to be loyal to the church. Anne Archer, an actress. Why do--what role do these actors and musicians play in the church and why don’t the--these people seem to, seem to view the church the same way that you do?

JP: Well, I can assure you that each and every one of them did at a point in time. The reason being is for the exact reason that I suffered there. They go in, into their counseling, they tell them their deepest dark secrets, and then the moment that they no longer want any association or want to exercise free will, they bring these things up and threaten to expose them. I know that this has happened with John Travolta. I--I can tell you horror stories about, um--

HOST: How do you know it happened with John Travolta?

JP: Because I was personally responsible for making sure that he got counseling on a continuing basis long after he didn’t want it any more. I literally sent people from this project here on the Fort Harrison to where he lived in Florida continuously so that he could be under control basically. And it’s part of a policy that L. Ron Hubbard wrote, to get celebrities in Scientology and use them as inroads into society. So on the one hand, they get this one threatening treatment; but then on the other hand, like in Tom Cruise’s case, they will go through incredible lengths to appease these people and satisfy them to the point where they actually cr--Tom Cruise had a, a fantasy prior to marrying Nicole Kidman that he would just love to have run through a meadow of tall grass and flowers, you know, and that was this fantasy of his. Well, guess what? The prison--the Scientology prison--worked day and night to cultivate an entire meadow, get all the rocks, you know, clean it out, plant grass, plant flowers till it got to a certain height. And then Tom Cruise was invited out to the facility so that him and Nicole Kidman could run through the meadow. Well, little do they know they were running on the blood and sweat of people that had their wills decimated to the point where they were nearly robotic. I wonder how they feel about that?

HOST: Have there been other deaths, do you think, within the Church of Scientology, besides that of Lisa McPherson?

SY: I know there have been--

JP: Oh, yes--

SY: A very dear friend of mine named Roxanne Friend died, um, recently. Um, very--as far as I’m concerned, it was very clearly a result of the Scientology procedures that were--that she was subjected to. She, um, had an experience pretty similar to Lisa McPherson’s which she lived through. But later it was discovered that she had cancer which Scientology had, um, forbidden her to have treated medically because they wanted her to treat it with auditing. And by the time she was able to escape from her guards--they were keeping her in Clearwater in an apartment--um, and get up to her parents and get to a doctor, it was too late and the cancer was inoperable.

HOST: Does Scientology make the claim that auditing can cure diseases?

SY: Scientology doesn’t make the claim publicly because that would be practicing medicine without a license. But they certainly claim that privately and they certainly tell their parishioners that if there is anything wrong with them physically, they need auditing to correct it.

HOST: A few years ago--and Jesse, you alluded to this, that, uh, in the late 1970s and early 1980s, it was pretty well known that Scientology was at war with the government; it had hired people to infiltrate the government and all that--

JP: Right--

HOST: It--it’s now often said by church leaders that those days are behind them, that the church has reformed itself, it does--it no longer engages in lawbreaking and the people that were involved in the lawbreaking were rogues, and that there are not, uh, uh--I read one report several years ago that, that federal judges were tailed by members of the Church of Scientology so that, uh, the church could get the goods on the judges and, and--and blackmail them so that they would come out with the right opinion. But those days, according to church officials, are behind them.

JP: No, that’s--that’s very far from the truth. As a matter of fact, one thing that keeps, uh, the hierarchy of Scientology in such a vicious state is that you are literally required to do criminal acts, be involved in criminal acts--I myself have been involved in, in, uh, electronic bugging, ordered to do electronic bugging, destroying court evidence that has been asked for by the courts, to--you know, and then you’re made to do this and you make other people do it; therefore, we’re all culpable, so we have to stay here and we have to do this because, you know, we’re doing this, but we’re getting--you know, we’re getting paid, we--the hierarchy of Scientology is paid much better than, you know, these guys breaking rocks and making five bucks a week. And so there’s this agreement that, OK, well, we’re all doing these criminal things. And, and I was doing this up until 1987. So--and, and that’s 10 years after that 1977 raid when the FBI went in and discovered, "Hey, look what they do". So 10 years later, we’re doing the exact same things. People are being beat up, people are being bugged, people have false reports, people are getting fired from their, from their jobs because private investigators they’ve hired are sent in to give disinformation or embarrassing--

SY: People are being harassed relentlessly--

JP: Relentlessly, you know, and as I said--as I sit here now, private investigators are calling my family telling them lies, masquerading as the police, saying, "We’re the police. He’s--you know, he jumped bail", as we sit here. So, no, nothing’s changed.

HOST: Uh, Stacy, have you been harassed?

SY: Um, I’ve been harassed since 1993 when I first decided to speak out publicly. My husband and I both have been harassed terribly. Um, and just this morning I was told that one of the cats in our cat sanctuary has been poisoned, and, um, I’m hoping that she’s gonna be OK, but I--a year ago--

HOST: What makes you think Scientology was involved in that?

SY: Um, because of the pattern of harassment that has, um, happened up until this point. Um, Scientology knows that, um, these animals are very important to me, and they go after whatever is important to a critic to try and back them off. A year ago--

JP: They picket your house, too.

SY: They picket my house--

JP: Constantly--

SY: Constantly. They follow me everywhere I go. They’re waiting for me at my gate when I get off of an airplane. I have no idea how they know where I am. The other morning when I was leaving to go see my family at Thanksgiving, they were waiting on the other side of Puget Sound when I got off the ferry to picket and pass out leaflets of unbelievable character assassination about me.

HOST: What do you think the ultimate goal of the Church of Scientology is?

JP: Make money, make more money; that’s what L. Ron Hubbard says.

SY: Well, and to take over, uh, you know. Their stated purpose is to clear the planet, quote-unquote. What that means is for every single person in the world to become a Scientologist. And that is what they are working on 24 hours a day. With their recruitment, with their slick public image, with their--with all the different front groups that they have that are calculated to get people into Scientology before they realize what they’re getting into. All of this is calculated to bring in more and more members of the Church of Scientology so that ultimately Scientology will be able to control entire populations.

HOST: L. Ron Hubbard’s former deputy-at-sea, a woman whose name I can’t recall right now, was quoted one time as saying that Hubbard’s entire objective was to find a place that Hubbard could eventually turn into his own kingdom--

SY: That’s Hana Whitfield--

HOST: With his own government, his own passports, his own monetary system, that he would be the benign dictator of.

SY: Yes, there’s a whole tape called "International City" in which he lays out the plan for piloting, uh, the first Scientology government. And once it’s--once they’ve sort of ironed out the bugs in one city, they’ll start exporting it to other cities and they’ll start taking over.

HOST: So they have a--

SY: So that’s what they want to do in Clearwater, it’s very clear--

HOST: Is that their plan for Clearwater?

JP: Yes--

SY: Of course. Of course it is.

JP: So they have a very slick image, they seem very nice, very personable. But, you know, once a person commented to me that lives in Clearwater that you can almost instantly recognize a Scientologist, be--especially a Sea Org member--because when they’re not at the Fort Harrison and they’re just within society, they have the saddest look. They’re gaunt; they have dark circles under their eyes--

SY: They’re exhausted [laughing]--

JP: And they’re exhausted.

HOST: Well, I don’t think there’s much more we can say right now. Uh, Stacy Young and Jesse Prince, thanks a lot for coming down. There is gonna be a candlelight vigil to remember Lisa McPherson. Where’s that vigil gonna take place? I understand that you’re having trouble finding sidewalk space for this vigil.

SY: Well, it was actually, uh, just recently resolved, um, and there will be, um--there will actually be a protest, um, in front of the Fort Harrison, um, between Cord and Pierce, on, this coming Saturday, December 5, between 3 and 6 p.m., um, and then Sunday, December 6, between 3 and 6 p.m. there will be another protest. Saturday, December 5, at 7 p.m. is when the candlelight vigil for Lisa McPherson is gonna be held, and it’ll be outside the Peace Memorial Presbyterian Church at South Fort Harrison and Pierce.

HOST: All right. Um, and again, those--those web sites for people that want to find out more about the Church of Scientology?

SY: Um, one of them is www.lisamcpherson.org, that’s L-I-S-A M-c-P-H-E-R-S-O-N, and then another one is www.xenu.net, X-E-N-U. And another one is, uh, www.entheta.net, E-N-T-H-E-T-A.

HOST: All right. There’s a whole lot more that I’d like to talk about, but we don’t have time; we’re out of time. Thank you very much for coming down. Jesse Prince and Stacy Young, thank you very much, it’s good having you--

JP: Thanks for having us.

HOST: I’m Rob Lorei; thanks for listening. This is 88.5 FM, WMNF, Tampa-St. Petersburg. If you would like to comment about today’s show, you can call us at 238-8001 and leave a message on extension 18; that’s 238-8001, leave a message on extension 18.

Transcript courtesy of Batchild


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