Jesus Magazine

Faith or Fraud

May 2001

The Lisa McPherson Trust has been fighting against Scientology for years. The Trust takes the name after a woman who died in Clearwater, Florida in 1995.

Her death was suspect. The medical report stated that Lisa (in Scientology for 18 years) had been restrained, had bruises all over her body and hadn't eaten, drunk and slept for days. The McPherson case became the symbol of Scientology's cruelty in the world.

Ron Hubbard and his followers have had legal troubles in several countries throughout the world. Tax fraud, manipulation, violation of civil rights are the more frequent charges against them. Among the most famous cases, the decision against Hubbard's wife, Mary Sue, and other eight members of the Guardian Office (the inner secret service) for conspiracy against US Government and obstruction to justice, in 1979.

In 1984, in his decision confirmed in appeal of 1991, Judge Paul Breckenridge stated that

"the organization is clearly schizophrenic and paranoid, and this weird combination seems to be a reflection of his founder, LRH. Exhibits portray a man who was virtually a pathological liar about his background, history and achievements."

Jesus Magazine interviewed a priest who runs a call center for victims of cults.

Father Cadei says that disconnection is confirmed by inner writings. They also interviewed Dino Michieletto, an "historical enemy" who lost his wife and 3 children in Scientology. He says he has had no contact with his (adult) children since 1986.

In 1991 Michieletto got a historical decision in his pre-divorce case (separation). The judge said that

"The material and spiritual community between the parties ceased; on one hand this was due to the wife's behaviour. The wife is integrated into the Dianetic association and puts its activities over any other interest, also the family interests (as it is intended by the Scientology "scheme"). On the other hand is the the husband's reaction: originally he was also part of the organization and then, realizing the usefulness of such a behaviour for the reconstruction of the family unity, he got out "opposing", also at an economical level, his spouse and his children.

"The separation must be intended without fault as the behaviour of the parties seems to be on one hand the effect of the circumvention operated by the "staff" of Scientology, and on the other hand the reaction due to the (husband's) awareness of a danger, also at a psychological level, the wife was running into by participating in the Dianetics organization".

The wife tried to assign fault to the husband, saying he was beating her etc. One of their adult daughters (a Scientologist) confirmed this thesis, but the judge didn't believe it.