Section 4 of Part 8 – Abuses and Outright Cruelty
I never met Don Jason but I knew who he was because I used to see him a lot at Flag. I knew his first wife who, after he was no longer married to her anymore, became the Qual Sec FSO. Don was a high-up exec at the FSO.
His testimony was the first one I saw on the road toward my leaving. He told about how he wanted to leave and he was being held on the Freewinds, not being allowed to leave. He actually had to make a secret escape plan to leave. He built some kind of wooden rolling device with a handle on each end and, just at the right time, he held on to each handle with the device on top of a mooring over his head, and he rolled down the mooring to the dock and ran off and caught up with a cab. He was chased by security who tried to keep him from getting into the cab. He finally had to yell at the cab driver to take him to an airport, stating that he was being held against his will. As the Freewinds does not allow passengers to keep their passports, he had to figure out a way to talk the airlines into letting him travel back to the US without a passport. He finally did. There is much more to this story — none of it complimentary toward the church.
Regardless of any justifications you may be thinking, such as that he must have had overts, the point is that he wanted to leave and he wasn’t allowed to. He had had many “handlings” attempted to get him to change his mind, and he was just exhausted and defeated and just wanted to get out of there. That is his right. If he wants to leave he has the right to leave and if he was physically being detained and prevented from leaving then he was being held prisoner and that is all there is to it!
Don Jason’s story, the first of all the stories for me, did have an effect on me. It was real to me. I hadn’t known that things like this happened to this extreme until I saw Don’s testimony but I absolutely had a reality on high-ranking Scientology officials dictating to me where I had to be, when I could leave and when I couldn’t, when I could and could not talk to my family and my wife, and a very high degree of difficulty of being allowed to leave Flag. Don’s story seemed more extreme to me but what I’m saying is that I just knew that he was telling the truth and he wasn’t embellishing! I could definitely relate.