Section 6 of Part 8 – Abuses and Outright Cruelty
I’m pretty sure most people know that Debbie Cook was the Captain of FSO for about 17 years. She is known by many on a personal level and as a very well-loved leader. I knew her back in the 80s as an Academy Sup who trained auditors and then as the Senior Intern Supervisor when I was training at FSO. In my view, she was a very kind person who at the same time was tough as nails. You didn’t want to mess around with her but you also knew that you could communicate with her (which was certainly not the case with everyone there by a long shot) and get some real genuine help. That combination of personality was always something I admired.
I remember in about 2008 or 2009 or so seeing that there was a different Captain FSO and wondering what had happened to Debbie Cook. Nobody had said what had happened to her, it was just that now that the guy who had been her deputy was now the Captain.
I finally found out what had happened to her after I had started to read the blogs on the Internet that were were written by former Int execs. The story of Debbie Cook was written by Marty Rathbun on his blog in about February 2009. Where he got the data from I don’t know but I gather that it was from someone who had left the Int base more recently than Marty Rathbun had, as Debbie was still the Captain when he left in 2004. But just now at this writing, in February 2012, due to a series of events starting with Debbie communicating to many Scientologists by email, pointing out some of the extreme off-policy actions being run by David Miscavige, she has testified in court confirming exactly what Marty Rathbun had reported in his blog years earlier, and then some.
Here is what happened in a nutshell. You can easily get all the details that have ever been published to date on the Internet but here is what affected me the most.
Debbie had been pulled up to Int by David Miscavige, though she was still the Captain FSO. He briefed her on how incompetent everyone at the Int base was, according to him. They had all been removed from post and put onto very harsh, never-ending ethics handlings. Debbie was made into the new savior of Int and she was made sort of an assistant to COB.
At first, she was COB’s pet and could do no wrong and was his way of showing others how incompetent they were. Soon enough, however, he was getting on her case about how she wasn’t getting certain things done that she couldn’t get done because of his own cross-orders of his own orders. At one point he had her back at Flag and she was supposed to get events set up for huge fund-raising while still having upstat completions or having to edit videos or some other totally off-hat action just because that area was said to somehow be flapping. When one flap was being worked on by her, she’d get a phone call from COB yelling at her for not handling some other totally new “flappy” area.
One time, back at the Int base, she was visibly upset at being forced to lead others to the lake and force them to be dunked in the water, fully clothed.
There is this infamous location at the Int base, which many of these former Int execs who have spoken out have told about. It is called the “SP Hole” or just “The Hole”. This is the name given to the double-wide trailers I have mentioned earlier. I think it used to be one of the main offices of the Exec Strata, the Watchdog Committee and other management groups. This is the place where David Miscavige sends people who he feels underperformed in some way. Usually, per many former execs, his idea of underperforming is some arbitrary whim that is totally unpredictable and impossible to avoid no matter what you do – a very suppressive situation because there is no way to win. When Debbie was sent to the Hole, there were over 100 people there.
Miscavige indiscriminately declares these people SP. No justice actions are done. Even though they are declared, they are not expelled, they are sent to the Hole and forced to suffer disgustingly degraded (and degrading) conditions.
When someone is in the Hole, they are locked up there with security guards at the only entrance, making it impossible to leave. There are bars on the windows. They are not allowed to go anywhere else and I mean, not at any time, even at night. They have to sleep in sleeping bags on an ant-infested floor. They work there all day and get very little sleep. They are served the same horrible disgusting slop that tastes awful (while COB dines on his New Zealand-imported lamb in his $70,000,000 office nearby, which he had built on your donated money) every meal. One time while Debbie was there, for two weeks, the electricity was purposely turned off and it was over 100 degrees (Int is in the desert) including in the night.
Debbie spent two months in the Hole until she was needed back at Flag for something that she was deemed as the solution to. Virtually everyone you have ever known of in the upper ranks of Scientology has been in the Hole, including Guilliaume Lesevre, Marc Yager, Greg Wilhere, Marty Rathbun and Heber Jentzsch. Mike Rinder says that he was in the Hole for two years!
Now here is the word-for-word account that Marty Rathbun wrote in his blog about the peak of the torture that Debbie had to go through at the Int base. As to its credibility he says he had it confirmed with multiple sources, and now two years after this writing by Marty Rathbun, Debbie has just testified, telling much of the same story, in front of a court judge. I hope you can stomach it:
“One day DM announced to the assembled in the Hole that Marc Yager (one time CO CMO INT/WDC Chairman) and Guillaume Lesevre (one time ED INT) were homosexual and were engaged in a gay relationship … . DM had been alleging this to the entire crew for ten years. But, for Debbie, Kristie (exCO FCB) and Heber, it was news.
“Debbie was there when DM announced that Tom Cruise would come the next day to ‘punch you guys out’ if the one hundred Holee’s failed to get a confession out of Guillaume and Marc.
When DM left, Jenny Linsen Devocht, Angie Blankenship, and Lisa Schroer (who were DM’s pets at the time, sort of in charge of the Hole while being Holed themselves) decided that the Holees collectively will ‘give some people some black eyes before Tom has to.’ Russ Bellin (once CO CST) lead the charge of the bigger and stronger men in the hole who began the beat downs of Yager, Guillaume and Ray Mithoff (once Snr CS INT). The crew battered Marc, Guillaume and Ray. In the psychotic frenzy even Norman Starkey and Heber sustained some collateral damage. Debbie managed not to participate in the carnage.
“When DM returned for a report, Lisa Schroer (who remained a DM pet throughout, given her position as CO of Gold, that handles the only product he gives a damn about, Events) in her inimitable fashion, started embellishing the forced confessions allegedly gotten from Guillaume and Yager while under legally recognized conditions of torture. Lisa dutifully reported that Guillaume and Yager had in fact confessed to having a homosexual relationship.
“Debbie tried to correct the report, interjecting that they never really confessed as Lisa was reporting. DM shut her up in a heartbeat. Once DM left, Lisa Schroer , who was a little more in charge of the Hole at the time than Jenny and Angie, briefed the Holees what a treasonous ‘bitch’ Debbie was for ‘defending’ Marc and Guillaume. She was accused of being ‘mutual out ruds’ for having sided with the victims of torture. That included loud accusations from Lisa, Angie and Jenny that Debbie ‘must be a lesbo’.
“For the next twelve hours Debbie was made to stand in a large garbage can and face one hundred people screaming at her demanding a confession as to her ‘homosexual tendencies’. While this was going on, water was poured over her head. Signs were put around Debbie’s neck, one marked in magic marker ‘LESBO’ while this torture proceeded. Debbie was repeatedly slapped across the face by other women in the room during the interrogation. Debbie never did break. Fittingly she was rewarded with what turned out to be a break in another sense of the word.
When I confirmed all of these facts with multiple sources, I knew without a doubt there was no turning back for me.”
There’s no turning back for me either. The lengths that this group has gone to to totally lose all decency and everything they got into Scientology to accomplish, in fact they have accomplished the exact opposite of that, is unspeakable. I am totally disgusted. I will never support such a group for as long as I live and I will celebrate the day when this whole scam is exposed to everyone for what it is, a sadistic, psychotic cult!
There is more to the story. Debbie also testified that there was one Int exec at the time who protested the existence of the Hole and said there was no policy supporting it. His punishment for his “counter-intention” was to be physically beaten for two hours and to be forced to lick a bathroom floor clean with his tongue.
I think I’ve written enough here to get my point across as to what I found out that caused me to never want to be associated with the Church of Scientology again. I did read and hear about far more than what I have written here. I also wanted to know what was going on at other places than the Int base. What I found was that the further you go down the “command chart”, the less horrible it is but still, there are some pretty bad stories and there are literally thousands and thousands of them.
At the middle management level (Flag Bureaux, etc) I have read of similar gross injustices, virtual imprisonment, suicides by Sea Org members who saw no hope as they were being suppressed relentlessly and were physically detained from leaving. I have read of arbitrary RPF assignments and human trafficking of those people away from their families to places as far away as Australia with similar horrid working and living conditions with people on constant watch by security guards. They can’t leave and they can’t live their lives at all, they can’t see their loved ones, and they have to work like slaves for little or no pay and are allowed very little sleep.
I could go on and on, but it’s time for you to decide to look for yourself and see for yourself what kind of an organization you have been supporting. All of this is hard to believe, I know. It might even be impossible for you to believe anything I have written in this last section on abuses, until you do some more looking for yourself.
If I hadn’t read and been told the overwhelming volume of stories from such a diverse assortment of people, I would not believe it myself. If there’s one thing COB is good at, it is being a con man. I didn’t know that anybody could be so elaborately skilled at fooling large quantities of people as COB is.
In one sense, if you look around you, at all the people at the lower levels of Scientology, you wouldn’t think that it could be this crazy at the top. When I was in the Chicago org, there were many things I disagreed with but I never was in the frame of mind to doubt upper management. The Scientology events I saw had me convinced that they were the most competent, responsible and successful people in the history of Earth! They really manage to put on a good front. It’s utterly astonishing the contrast between what actually is happening in the upper management levels and what is portrayed to be happening by the church’s PR function.
But if you actually get past a couple fixed ideas of how flawless David Miscavige and his management team (which doesn’t even exist in actuality) are, and you can coax yourself to think more objectively, it becomes easier and easier to see past the facade. Just take a look at the major programs that COB is pushing and then compare those things to the policies and bulletins that LRH wrote and the bells and sirens start going off in your head. Then look further. Look at the real stats which portray the really important stats that accomplish the reason for orgs. See whether or not you actually can see the “unprecedented expansion” that gets bragged about at the events. Look at the attitude with which the church speaks of its critics and ask those critics what the Office of Special Affairs does to try to destroy that person’s career and otherwise injure their ability to practice free speech. Find something that you think that COB is doing off-policy and then speak up about it and then observe how that issue is addressed, whether it gets handled or brushed off, or worse, whether you begin to be given a hard time for “counter-intention” to COB’s squirreling.