Pia Gardini Interview
Interview - January 20, 2001
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.
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.
So, after she did the Narconon program, did you then decide
to get into Scientology yourself?
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."
Sort of as a facial?
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."
You just didn't go?
Pia: I took off my telephone. And, okay, I had people and
the doctor of the sauna come to me explaining
They came to your house?
Pia: Yeah, sure. I think I've done a short purification rundown.
It lasted one week and a half.
But how did they get you to back to do it?
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."
Pia: At the time it was about $11,000 then. Eleven or twelve
For ten intensives.
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.
The academy is where you go to do training in Scientology
to become an auditor.
Pia: Yes. And I became a Class IV auditor.
So, you paid for your auditing training as well.
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."
Grades are Scientology auditing rather than Dianetics auditing.
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.
Maria Pia: There is a procedure, you can explain it, called
It's called "Opening Procedure By Duplication."
Otherwise known as Book and Bottle.
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.
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
They came to your house?
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
with sec check, security check, you know? It was a long sec
check-I don't know
This is when they ask you about all the crimes that you have
ever committee din your life.
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)
Wait. You paid for a whole intensive of it but you only did
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?
Pia: Oh, you believe this? No!!
Pia: No! I had already paid! They didn't refund you what you
But you didn't use the hours!
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.
Thank you for your donation.
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."
Now, in Copenhagen and Europe, that's where people have to
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.
It's Clear Certainty Rundown.
Pia: Yes. Clear Certainty Rundown. And you can do OT Levels
to OT-5. But the pack I bought was CCRD and the eligibility.
And an eligibility is a security check
Pia: A security check and to see if you are eligible to stay
in an advanced org.
To make sure that you don't have any crimes?
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.
How did you get into the Sea Org?
Pia: When I was doing the grades, there was a mission from
the CLO Continental Liaison Officer
Which is a management organization.
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.
And you'll get all of this as part of your
Pia: No, I didn't get anything.
But they were telling you that you'll get this as part of
being a Sea Org member.
Pia: Yes. Yes. Yes.
That you won't have to pay for your auditing and you won't
have to pay for your training?
Pia: Yeah. Yeah. So, I arrived to Copenhagen
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?
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.
Pia: (laughs) I arrived to AOSH
Advanced Organization of Saint Hill.
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."
Isn't your org supposed to pay for it?
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.
So you pay.
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.
So, you're supposed to be getting this as a student.
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.
You didn't feel any change from being clear?
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.