Maria Pia Gardini Interview


Part One

Video Interview - January 20, 2001


Transcript of Part One

Stacy: I'm Stacy Brooks with the Lisa McPherson Trust. And I'm very happy to be here today with Maria Pia Gardini from Italy. She contacted us after she was defrauded by the Church of Scientology of over two million dollars. Unfortunately, we get calls like Maria's nearly every day. Scientology is trying to convince the world that it's a benevolent, caring religion that's being discriminated against unjustly. Listen to this woman's story and decide for yourself what is the true face of Scientology. Maria Pia, why don't you start by telling us how you got into Scientology.

Maria Pia: Well, I got into Scientology in 1985. My daughter was doing a little bit of drugs so I was concerned about that. And I was very scared. So somebody was talking to me about the Narconon program. So I brought her to Narconon and that's the way I met Scientology.

Stacy: So, after she did the Narconon program, did you then decide to get into Scientology yourself?

Maria Pia: Yes. When she came out, you know, I was very alone. So she said, "Why don't you start?" And she presented me to somebody, they were talking to me about the Purification Rundown. And they pressed a button, like, a push a button in every woman, "Your skin will become better. You will be okay. All the dirty things in your body will come out."

Stacy: Sort of as a facial?

Maria Pia: Yeah. So, I bought that package-the Purification plus one intensive of Dianetics auditing. It is called Book One in Scientology. You know, I was scared because to be five, six, I don't know how many hours in that sauna. So hot! And I wasn't young. I was over 50 at the moment. So, I was really scared so the second day, I blew. I went away. I said, "That's it with this."

Stacy: You just didn't go?

Maria Pia: I took off my telephone. And, okay, I had people and the doctor of the sauna come to me explaining…

Stacy: They came to your house?

Maria Pia: Yeah, sure. I think I've done a short purification rundown. It lasted one week and a half.

Stacy: But how did they get you to back to do it?

Maria Pia: They put some people inside. I had music in the sauna. I had people just to talk with, you know? It wasn't bad. There was an old man who was older than me. That's why I said, "Okay. I'm not so old. I can do it." You know, I was very depressed regarding my father's death. So, I was talking to a friend about that and she said, "Oh, you have to do that Book One auditing." So, I said, "Oh, I padi for it. Let's try." The Book One auditor was the best one I ever had. She was a lady with a lot of affinity for me and a very good communication. So, she put me through my father's death. It took almost eleven hours to do that. And I was so happy that I went to the Registrar, the guy that sells programs. And I say, "Hey, I want to stay more with that lady. I want another 12 hours." And he said, "Oh no, you must buy a pack."

Stacy: A package.

Maria Pia: At the time it was about $11,000 then. Eleven or twelve thousand.

Stacy: For ten intensives.

Maria Pia: Ten intensives, yes. I was there with her at 9:00 in the morning until 2:00 in the afternoon. And at the same time in the afternoon, I would study in the academy.

Stacy: The academy is where you go to do training in Scientology to become an auditor.

Maria Pia: Yes. And I became a Class IV auditor.

Stacy: So, you paid for your auditing training as well.

Maria Pia: Stacy, I paid for everything. From the beginning to the end of my Scientology journey, there's not one hour auditing or anything I have done without paying. That must be clear since the beginning. So, when I attested to Book One, they say, "Oh, you have to do the grades."

Stacy: Grades are Scientology auditing rather than Dianetics auditing.

Maria Pia: To grade 4, there's 5 and all the steps, you know, to behave better, to rise your responsibility, all those kinds of things. To see what you have done wrong in life. I paid for it and I started. But the beginning was a drama.

Stacy: Why?
Maria Pia: There is a procedure, you can explain it, called Oprobydup.

Stacy: It's called "Opening Procedure By Duplication." Otherwise known as Book and Bottle.

Maria Pia: Yeah.

Stacy: What happens in this procedure is that the auditor puts a book on a table at one end of the room and a bottle on a table at the other end of the room. And then, the auditor gives these commands to the preclear. "Look at that book. Walk over to it. Pick it up. What is its color? What is its temperature? What is its weight?" So the person has to go over, pick up the book, and tell the auditor what is its temperature, what is its weight, what is its color. And then the auditor says, "Thank you. Now, look at that bottle." The person walks to the other end of the room. "Pick it up. What is its temperature? What is its weight? What is its color?" And the person has to do the same thing with the bottle. And then they repeat this procedure for hours and hours and hours, sometimes for days at a time. And it can become very, very, very maddening for the person.

Maria Pia: You know, after one hour, an hour and a half, I was out of my mind! (interviewer laughs) I took that fucking bottle and I threw the bottle! Happily, it was not a glass bottle. It was a plastic bottle. I threw it on the head of the auditor! Then, I picked up the book and the book was in a thousand pieces. And the auditor tried to physically keep me there. So, I slapped her! And I put on my shoes because I was without shoes. I opened the door and I went straight home! (interviewer laughs) So, I had four people that night at my home…

Stacy: They came to your house?

Maria Pia: Yeah, they came to my house just to say, "Okay. Not all the auditing is like this." Okay, then we went down to grade 1, grade 0, grade 1, grade 2…it started with sec check, security check, you know? It was a long sec check-I don't know…

Stacy: This is when they ask you about all the crimes that you have ever committee din your life.

Maria Pia: Yeah, I didn't feel I had committed so many crimes. And the auditor tried to tell me, "Go in your past lifetime." I said, "I don't know anything about past lives." So, I attested to grade 2, 3, 4. Then, they started to put me on NED, New Era Dianetics. But I had done 132 hours of Book One that is Dianetics, too. The Case Supervisor said, "No. She cannot do it. She's clear." I did 25 minutes of NED but I paid for the whole intensive! (laughs)

Stacy: Wait. You paid for a whole intensive of it but you only did 25 minutes?

Maria Pia: Sure. They couldn't put me on NED so, what?
Stacy: So then, did they give you your money back for the hours that you didn't use?

Maria Pia: Oh, you believe this? No!!

Stacy: They didn't?

Maria Pia: No! I had already paid! They didn't refund you what you pay!

Stacy: But you didn't use the hours!

Maria Pia: Yes, but it isn't written in Hubbard Policy that they refund you the money-they didn't. You paid for NED, okay, you couldn't do NED. Thank you.

Stacy: Thank you for your donation.

Maria Pia: Yeah. So, at that moment, they said…there was a mission of Copenhagen there. So, they say, "Well, you have to go attest to clear."

Stacy: Now, in Copenhagen and Europe, that's where people have to go…

Maria Pia: In Denmark, yes. It's an advanced org for Europe and Africa where you go to do your CCRD, which is the rundown to verify if you are clear.

Stacy: It's Clear Certainty Rundown.

Maria Pia: Yes. Clear Certainty Rundown. And you can do OT Levels to OT-5. But the pack I bought was CCRD and the eligibility.

Stacy: And an eligibility is a security check…

Maria Pia: A security check and to see if you are eligible to stay in an advanced org.

Stacy: To make sure that you don't have any crimes?

Maria Pia: At this point, I must have been Al Capone with all the security checks they did on me! (interviewer laughs) Anyway, and so I went to Copenhagen. I was a Sea Org member.

Stacy: How did you get into the Sea Org?

Maria Pia: When I was doing the grades, there was a mission from the CLO Continental Liaison Officer…

Stacy: Which is a management organization.

Maria Pia: Management elite. They came down and they convinced me that, you know, "The Sea Org, we are a huge group. We are friends with each other. You will never be alone. You will have your free auditing. You will have your bridge. You are trained. You can become this and that and that…" They were talking, talking, talking.

Stacy: And you'll get all of this as part of your…

Maria Pia: No, I didn't get anything.

Stacy: But they were telling you that you'll get this as part of being a Sea Org member.

Maria Pia: Yes. Yes. Yes.

Stacy: That you won't have to pay for your auditing and you won't have to pay for your training?

Maria Pia: Yeah. Yeah. So, I arrived to Copenhagen…

Stacy: Since you had already paid for your clear package, they said go ahead and pay for that but then, after that, you won't have to pay?

Maria Pia: Mm-hmm. Happily, I arrived to Copenhagen with pockets full of money because otherwise, I would have slept in the garden there or under a bridge.

Stacy: Why?

Maria Pia: (laughs) I arrived to AOSH…

Stacy: Advanced Organization of Saint Hill.

Maria Pia: Mm-hmm. They have a huge building there-beautiful-on one of the main streets of Copenhagen. The girl at reception said, "Where are you sleeping?" I said, "I don't know. I'm a staff member. What do you think? Where am I sleeping?" "Oh yeah, but you are from another org. You have to pay for your accommodation."

Stacy: Isn't your org supposed to pay for it?

Maria Pia: Yes. I went to the LRH Comm, the communicator of LRH. I said, "Why?" They say, "You know, CLO has debts with us not money in deposit." So, okay.

Stacy: So you pay.

Maria Pia: So, they bring me to the Northland Hotel. It's a pig place. A pig sty. It was dirty because the Sea Org was cleaning it. The carpets had holes like this (indicating). So, they showed me some room, and they gave me one room and I paid for that room. And for the food.

Stacy: So, you're supposed to be getting this as a student.

Maria Pia: I didn't get anything but I was in Copenhagen. What was I to do? Go back? No. I started the CCRD cycle. That was terrible! Because there was only one auditor auditing in Italian but he was Swiss German. So, he was speaking German and so-called Italian that was not Italian! I didn't understand what I was saying. He didn't understand what I was responding. He was writing something that was not exactly what I was saying. The estimation was two weeks to stay there. I was there two months! So, at the end, there was this Spanish auditor-very good one-that was speaking very good Italian. And I did the CCRD with him and I attested to clear. When I made the speech after clear, I didn't know what to say. I didn't feel so expanded! I didn't feel something come up, up, like that, from my head.

Stacy: You didn't feel any change from being clear?

Maria Pia: I felt happy because I was in Copenhagen. I met a lot of friends. And I remember I have this picture of LRH, the one where he's sitting on the ship with the finger like that, in front of me, a giant picture. And they make you do the speech in front of that. I was looking at that man. I was saying, I wanted to tell him, "Hey guy! I'm not getting what you promised me!" I don't feel so expanded. I was just happy. But most of all, I was happy because I had finished! (interviewer laughs) So, for me, the only thing was to put on a silver bracelet and I was clear. So, I can go back to Italy, see my daughter. So, I went back to Italy.

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