Peter and Abby Lazarnick

Interview conducted by Ed Hattaway

Part Two

April 1 , 2001


Transcript of Part Two

Interviewer: What actually happened in your life after you did all these services, these high priced consulting services and things? And the auditing and the training. What actually came about as compared to what was going on before you got into the Church of Scientology?

Peter: What came about is we drained our bank account to zero. I mean, every…we had a $150,000 in the bank at that point and time. I mean, just sitting there and accumulating interest. I mean, we're putting $5,000 away per month and then the…not only did we drain every penny from our bank account, every penny, but we also were unable to put that $5,000 plus per month into our bank account anymore. And that was going like clockwork, like clockwork. And then things just went downhill. We just started going downhill and downhill and downhill. And we would try to find other ways of making money. We went into some other things to make money. We tried to do more practices with some other partners and stuff like that. But it just…everything just went down the drain! It was a terrible experience from the time we did our L Rundowns. And this is something that doctors should be aware of. That's a very high priced ticket in Scientology and what they want to do is they want to get doctors because they know doctors have money. But at least they know doctors can get a hold of money because of their credit line. And therefore, they can pay for these high priced services. I'm talking $50,000 for three L's. Now, they're probably more than that! We're going back a few years. So, they know doctors can do it so they prey upon doctors. They prey upon big business men to get ahead and do this and do this through the WISE organization that I mentioned earlier. And they do this through a lot of consulting groups, like chiropractic consulting groups or dental consulting groups. There's a group called Sterling and those people will introduce the L's, these L Rundowns that are very expensive that Scientology offers, to tell the doctor, "Hey, this will improve your life. You're going to have a new life. You're never going to be introverted ever again. You'll be able to communicate to anybody on any subject forever. Don't worry about anything. You'll be able to fly out of your body." I mean, all kinds of weird stuff. And stuff that you would believe, not just crazy stuff but stuff that made sense like communication and, you know, not being introverted and things like that. And then you would go ahead and do the service, pay $50,000 and go, "What am I? An idiot? Am I stupid? I mean, I just did this thing. I sat in front of somebody for three hours or six hours or eight hours or ten hours? At different intervals, you know, one hour here, two hours here, an hour here, and I just paid $50,000 for this? Am I crazy?" You know, you start evaluating yourself, trying to say, "Why did I just do that?" And it was just a terrible time in my life! I mean, I just remember that and I'm going back to that experience. And I'm going, "What the heck was wrong with me?" I mean, why would I pay that kind of money? And then I realized that it was a very sophisticated registration and enrollment procedure that got me to pay the money and it was that I wanted…I wanted to be better! I didn't want to be an introvert. I wanted to be able to communicate on all levels. I wanted to make more money. I wanted to be happier. So, all these things culminated and they are going, "Okay. Well, here's how you do it! Just do these three L's and you'll be…" superman or whatever.

Abby: I remember when Peter came home after doing the L's. It was weird because the communication was off. It was, like, he was two different people because, on the one hand, he knew inside that he really hadn't gotten what he expected from the L's. But on the other hand, he was trying to put forth this façade, you know, that he did! It was like, "What's wrong with me?"

Peter: We had just paid all that money, too! (laughs)

Abby: You know, it's like paying all this money, I should have gotten something out of it! So, it was like he was trying to convince himself…

Peter: That's exactly what it was!

Abby: …that he really did. And quite honestly, when you ask, you know, how it affected our lives, $150,000 in savings! We're talking about college education for our kids! It got to the point, you know, where we started other businesses that all just…and one business was with somebody and we did it because they were Scientologists thinking that this is an ethical thing. And we totally, totally got taken there as well…

Peter: That was Trim Lines. It was a diet center program.

Abby: …to the tune of $50,000!

Peter: Yeah.

Abby: Again, the whole premise of you start this thing and it's a whole system. And this is what you get with it. You didn't get it! No one was ever available when you needed help, when you had questions. But the bottom line is, what it finally came to was a situation sitting in an attorney's office, talking about filing bankruptcy. And that was definitely, for me…now, I was raised in a home where my dad worked three or four jobs, he worked hard. The work ethic was great. You always paid your bills. I am sitting in an office talking to a stranger about the possibility of having to file bankruptcy because, after working so hard for so many years, all of a sudden, we did not have the money to pay our debts and did not know where we were going to go. Because it was, like, each month, it was getting deeper and deeper and deeper in debt. We weren't getting out of debt. And that probably was the most embarrassing situation for me. I mean, I just wanted to cry. I wanted to crawl into a hole and I never wanted to come out again. And it was…that was rock bottom for me.

Pete: I would say for me, too. Really, I think the thing that really hit the nail on the head, so to speak, was when we decided to do a business and it was a network marketing business. A great company called Nutrition of Life International. There was a gentleman associated with the business by the name of Kevin Trudeau. And because Kevin Trudeau had a memory study course and that Nutrition of Life was also associated with Nightingale Conan, which is a self improvement company that would do self improvement tapes for many authors, Zig Ziglar, Brian Tracy, Dennis Watley. You know, very famous authors. Because there was an association with something besides Scientology or besides what Hubbard wrote, then the Church told us that we could not do this business! And, at that point, I just said, "That's it. You can't tell me what business I'm going to get into because you disagree with some of the management technology that Brian Tracy teaches or that Kevin Trudeau and his memory techniques teaches? You can't tell me that I can't do this business!" And they said, "Oh, yes, we can. And you'll be excommunicated," so to speak, "but disassociated from the Church." I said, "Bye!" But, at first, I really…I wanted to remain in good standing with the Church so we wrote many letters. We were advising, writing letters, what they call up-line to the hierarchy at the Church. And we wrote ten letters. I still have copies of the letters in my files. We wrote ten letters. We did not get one response except from a lady by the name of Janet Light from the IAS, the International Association of Scientologists, and she said, "I'm sorry, Peter. There's nothing I can do for you. You need to go ahead and get in touch with the Complaint Group," which is a WISE organization that was complaining, the WISE organization or the business Hubbard Technology portion that was complaining that we were doing these things. And the local church here, the local Scientology Church here was complaining. And I'm going, "Wait a second. I gave you $40,000. I'm a patron! My wife and I are patrons. And the IAS, the International Association of Scientologists. We did not get one service for that! We gave $40,000 cash money to the IAS for their war chest to fight evil people on the planet for trying to destroy Scientology, so to speak. I don't know where the money goes. But anyway, we gave $40,000 to that organization and they wouldn't even write a letter for us or support us in any way? I said, "You know, something stinks here. There is something just not right here." And we went through this. We wrote letters and letters and letters and never got a response except, go back to the complaining body, the WISE organization, a guy by the name of Quinton Strub. And another lady here, (to Abby) what's her name?

Abby: Diane Stein, the ethics officer or somebody or whatever her post was here at the church were complaining about our association with this multilevel marketing company and Kevin Trudeau. So, you know, I was very upset about that. We wrote, wrote, wrote and never got any satisfaction. And then I said, "That's it! I've had enough!" I mean, this is ridiculous!

Abby: Not really. It was more than complaining. It is my belief that Diane Stein made it a personal crusade. She did not have all the facts. She did not understand everything. But some of the people that were in the network marketing company obviously, as Scientologists, a lot of the contacts and a lot of the people that we had were Scientologists. And we enrolled them in this business opportunity. And it was even to the point where we-when we were first, when the whole thing first happened-the mega memory portion in the pack that we got came out with the mega memory, that we returned it. We did not keep it. And it wasn't just these tapes. I mean, the basic thing with nutrition, like most of the products were nutritional products and health care, hair care, and laundry detergents and things that you use every day in your home. So, we took those tapes and we returned them but yet, we were still…I mean, like I…

Pete: Ostracized!

Abby: Diane Stein made it a personal crusade. And quite honestly, my thought was this, that means that anyone cannot be involved in Scientology and work in a bookstore where Hubbard's books are next to some other self help type book. It was the same kind of philosophy. But without understanding. And I really believe that part of the problem was some of the people that we had sponsored into Nutrition for Life knew some of the staff members at the org. And now, all of a sudden, they have these org members who work long hours for very little pay are trying to make a little money to maybe have a little bit more in life…and all of a sudden, it was going to take time away from their being at the org. I mean, I don't know. That's what I believe that maybe Diane Stein was afraid of but she was absolutely fanatical in her attack on…

Pete: They declared us enemies of the Church of Scientology because we were with this network marketing business. And that was the only thing that we were making money from! We were trying to make money at that point and time.

Abby: And that's when we were trying to make the money to put on the bridge. Our whole purpose was to continue to go up the bridge.

Pete: Well, because we'd get better. We figured we would get better. I know it sounds crazy sometimes but when you have the-the carrot keeps being dangled in front of you and you just spent all this money, you've got to figure that there is something. There's got to be a pot of gold of some type at the end of the rainbow and you just keep looking and looking and looking for it. So, I know it sounds a little bit weird but, you know, we were trying our best to really dig out. And we got buried.

Abby: Well, how about the time…let's go back a little, you know? Talking about the support of the organization. How about that time when we were ostracized in the newspaper?

Pete: Oh yeah.

Abby: The Way to Happiness campaign. We had been giving money and money and money away to…

Peter: Thousands of dollars.

Abby: …The Way to Happiness. Every time they called, you know, more money and more money and then we were written up in the paper, which began to affect our business. And when you ask for support, you know, this is an organization, you know, that's supposed to help you. Where were they?

Peter: You know, the Way to Happiness campaign, which is a campaign that the church sponsors. It's another way of getting people involved with the Church. And it's certain presets about living a healthy life. And they're standard things.

Abby: It's to do with the schools, isn't it?

Pete: Yeah, you want to do it with the school system and have your kids in the school, have this book. It's written by Hubbard. And it's not bad. It's good stuff.

Abby: So, we did it.

Pete: Yeah, we…

Abby: They asked-we did it.

Pete: So, we gave thousands of dollars to that campaign and then we were attacked by the local community, newspaper and everything. The articles about us in the newspaper…and that affected our practice too.

Abby: Yes.

Interviewer: Why did they attack you?

Pete: Well, because it was Hubbard. It was Scientology. So, they realized that and that's why the local community attacked us. This was a community we have lived in, we practice in for years and years and years. And then they found out that we were putting Scientology books in the schools, the local schools. Although the Scientology books weren't necessarily bad. I mean, it talks about brushing your teeth, keeping your body clean, don't be promiscuous. I mean, good things. But, because it's written by Hubbard or it's part of the Church of Scientology, that they just felt that they could not go along with that. And then they attacked us and they wrote an article about local chiropractor, Pete Lazarnick involved in Scientology. Cult and all this stuff. And then we had to defend ourselves. It was a mess! A mess! And it affected our practice terribly, definitely affected our practice. And this is something that I would say to any doctor or any business person. You will be, at one point and time, promoted to. If you are with a consulting firm that teaches Hubbard's management technology, you will be promoted to, sooner or later, about doing services with the Church of Scientology. And I will give you a very, very strong caveat: Beware of any services that you are paying these extravagant fees for. I fell for it. I mean, there's a lot of people that fall for it. And it's not because you're not educated. It's not because you're stupid. It's because, I know as a doctor and they know, that one of your buttons-your hot buttons-is to help people. And if they tell you that this is going to help you to help more people that, many times, doctors will do that to be, you know, to have a better life. And to help more people. They keep pushing those buttons. They know which buttons to push. And that's why they go after doctors. And I mean go after doctors heavily. And go after business men heavily. So, be very, very aware that when you're being promoted to about Scientology services, especially the L's, you have to be very careful. Go in with an open mind, do a lot of study. Do a lot of research. Talk to people-not only the people they tell you talk to, but talk to many people who have done the L's. You can go on the website and go to different websites and find out about people who have done it, like myself. If you ask me would I ever do it over again? Never! Never, Never, Never!! I would never do it over!

Abby: We would never have gotten started! Would not have ever started with it!

Pete: Definitely not. So, buyer beware. And, you know, I made a mistake. And I hope that this tape helps others not to make the same mistake that Abby and I made.

Part One xxxxPart Two


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