Imagine a church so dangerous, you must sign a release form before you can receive its "spiritual assistance." This assistance might involve holding you against your will for an indefinite period, isolating you from friends and family, and denying you access to appropriate medical care. You will of course be billed for this treatment - assuming you survive it. If not, the release form absolves your caretakers of all responsibility for your suffering and death. Welcome to the Church of Scientology.
In September 2003, one of these Scientology release forms surfaced on the Internet. The form, which describes itself as a "contract," states that the signer opposes psychiatric treatment for anyone, particularly him or herself. Should some mental illness befall them, they authorize the Church of Scientology to "extricate" them from the clutches of psychiatrists who might seek to treat them. In lieu of psychiatric care, the contract says they agree to be placed on the "Introspection Rundown," a Scientology therapy invented by the Church's late founder, L. Ron Hubbard.
The release form reads: "I understand that the Introspection Rundown... includes being isolated from all sources of potential spiritual upset, including, but not limited to family members, friends or others with whom I might normally interact. As part of the Introspection Rundown, I specifically consent to Church members being with me 24 hours a day at the direction of my Case Supervisor." In addition, "...the Case Supervisor will determine the time period in which I will remain isolated..." And later in the same paragraph: "...such duration will be completely at the discretion of the Case Supervisor." The form ends with: "I further understand that by signing below, I am forever giving up my right to sue the Church... for any injury or damage suffered in any way connected with Scientology religious services or spiritual assistance."
Critics of Scientology refer to the legal waiver as "The Lisa Clause," because the events described there, from extrication to isolation to injury or damage, closely parallel the horrifying story of Lisa McPherson, a Scientologist who died in the Church's custody in 1995. (The release form can be read in its entirety at LisaClause.org.) Scientology has tenaciously fought the wrongful death lawsuit filed by McPherson's family, and so far has prevented it from getting to trial.
In 1995, Lisa McPherson, a beautiful young blonde Scientologist, was under considerable pressure at the Scientologist-owned company where she worked. She was also spending a fortune on Scientology counseling services: $58,000 that year alone. But Scientology's vaunted "spiritual technology" wasn't working for her. She spent most of the year undergoing church-ordered "handlings" meant to correct her lack of progress toward the enlightened state known as "Clear."
By September, after 18 years in Scientology, she was finally certified as Clear, but was still unhappy with her life. In November, McPherson telephoned Kelly Davis, a childhood friend in Dallas, and said she was coming home to stay Ð by Christmas at the latest. In a sworn deposition, Davis said she interpreted Lisa's remarks to mean that she was leaving the Church.
On November 18, 1995, Lisa stepped out of her Jeep Cherokee, removed her clothes, and walked naked through rush-hour traffic on a busy Clearwater, Florida street. "I wanted people to think I was crazy, because I want help," she explained to paramedics a few moments later.
The paramedics took her to the emergency room at nearby Morton Plant Hospital for a psychiatric evaluation. Within minutes, half a dozen Scientologists appeared at the hospital, monitoring the medical staff's every move and listening in the doorway while Lisa was examined. Doctors found Lisa to be coherent and stable, but advised against removing her from the hospital. Scientology staff members from the Office of Special Affairs (the Church's intelligence and public relations department) saw things differently, and removed her from the hospital against the doctor's advice, giving assurances that they would take her home but bring her back if she worsened. The Scientologists then whisked her away, not to her home, but to the Church's spiritual headquarters: the nearby Fort Harrison Hotel.
The Fort Harrison is one of 40 buildings in Clearwater that form Scientology's "Flag Land Base," or "Flag" for short. It is heavily promoted around the world as "The Mecca of Technical Perfection," meaning it's the best Scientology has to offer. People who have recently gone Clear at Flag, like Lisa McPherson, are not supposed to act out by shedding their clothes on a busy street. Her naked cry for help threatened a public relations problem of the highest order. Annie Mora, one of the staffers who came to "rescue" Lisa from the hospital, put it this way: "If she had to be institutionalized... and had went [sic]... to the media... this is like the worst thing. It [the media] could then interject lies... that... Scientology hurts people or causes them to go insane."
Seventeen days later, on December 5, 1995, Lisa McPherson was pronounced dead at a hospital in New Port Richey, 20 miles away. Church staffers called Lisa's family in Texas to say she'd died from meningitis. That was the first of many "stories" from Scientology.
The following day, the Clearwater Police Department opened a suspicious death investigation and an autopsy was performed. Church staff told police that Lisa had been staying at the Fort Harrison for "rest and relaxation" when she suddenly fell ill. The investigation stalled after three staffers closely involved in McPherson's care suddenly left the country. Meanwhile, several Scientologists flew to Texas for the funeral, where they prevailed upon McPherson's family to cremate the body, eliminating the possibility of a second autopsy. There had been no news reports of her death. A year later, all that remained of Lisa McPherson was dust and silence.
The Church of Scientology is the brainchild of the late science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, who first put forward his theories on mental illness in his 1950 book, Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health. In it he argued that all mental and psychosomatic illnesses spring from a single source: moments of previously experienced pain or loss called "engrams." Hubbard told readers they could "clear" themselves of engrams through a crude form of psychotherapy he called "auditing." People who attain the state of Clear were said to be free from all mental problems, plus the pains of arthritis, migraine, ulcers, allergies, asthma, coronary difficulties, bursitis, poor vision and even the common cold. It was quite a bargain for the price of a book, and Dianetics quickly rose to the top of The New York Times bestseller list.
Based on the book's success, Hubbard opened a "Dianetics Foundation" in Elizabeth, New Jersey, where students could learn auditing from the master firsthand. But rather than go Clear, several "Dianeticists" committed suicide. By 1951, the New Jersey State Board of Medical Examiners accused the organization of teaching medicine without a license. The Dianetics Foundation soon went bankrupt, and Dianetics, which had briefly been a national fad, sank into obscurity.
Broke and despondent, Hubbard sought various ways to breathe new life into his failing enterprise. In 1953, he wrote to a friend, "What do you think about the religion angle? I sure could make it stick!"
He did. Hubbard founded the Church of Scientology in 1954. There were no Sunday sermons in Hubbard's version of a church. Instead, the faithful paid to learn how to use an "E-meter" (a device akin to a lie detector that measures skin resistance) to audit away their mental traumas. Scientology was basically the same old Dianetics quackery combined with a belief in reincarnation, but by calling his business a church, Hubbard sought to use the First Amendment right of freedom of religion to shield himself from government scrutiny.
He was not entirely successful. In 1963, the US Food and Drug Administration seized hundreds of Scientology E-meters as unlicensed medical devices, citing Scientology's own literature claiming to cure many types of physical illness through E-meter auditing. After eight years of litigation, the E-meters were returned to the Church, but Scientology was ordered to stop making unsubstantiated medical claims and affix a disclaimer to each meter stating that its only use was in spiritual counseling.
Mental health experts have long seen Scientology as quackery. The Anderson Report, filed by a team of Australian mental health professionals in 1965, describes Hubbard's counseling procedures as "authoritative hypnosis." "Because of serious risk of harm to the patient," the report states, "it is only in rare and exceptional circumstances that authoritative hypnosis is used in medical practice." Ex-Scientologists claim that some of Hubbard's spiritual technology amounts to brainwashing.
Many judges have seen Scientology the same way. In 1984, British Justice Latey ruled, "It is dangerous because it is out to capture people and to indoctrinate and brainwash them so they become the unquestioning captives and tools of the cult, withdrawn from ordinary thought, living and relationships with others."
Whether it's a brainwashing cult or a religion, one thing is certain: Scientology continues to recruit streams of new members (called "raw meat" by the sales staff). Their sales gimmicks include offering "free stress tests" on street corners, promising to rid people of drug habits through their front group, Narconon (spokesperson: Kirstie Alley), teaching kids how to study through their World Literacy Campaign (spokesperson: Isaac Hayes) and a host of other schemes.
Scientology frequently claimed to have eight million members worldwide, until CBS's Diane Sawyer got Church President Heber Jentzsch to confess that this number included everyone who had ever taken a course since 1954. Ex-staffers have revealed that there are actually only about 50,000 hardcore "Lifetime Members" (they estimate total membership at well below 100,000).
Once inside Scientology's doors, "registrars" (salespeople) extract huge sums of money from believers. "Make Money," Hubbard once urged his staff. "Make more money. Make other people produce so as to make more money." How much money do they make? No one knows for sure, but it is estimated that a person can spend a cool $365,000 to make it to the top of Hubbard's "Bridge to Total Freedom."
Unfortunately for the Church of Scientology, its activities are constantly monitored by a loose collection of ex-members and free speech activists who call themselves "the critics." In late 1996, critic Jeff Jacobsen found a request for information about the Lisa McPherson case on the Clearwater Police Department's website. He noticed that Lisa's last known address was the Fort Harrison Hotel. Jacobsen realized there was a story here, and began contacting local media. Critics informed the Clearwater Police Department that Church staffers had probably lied when they'd said McPherson was only at the Fort Harrison for rest and relaxation. It was more likely she had been held in isolation as part of an Introspection Rundown.
The police stepped up their investigation and The Tampa Tribune ran a story publicizing the search for the three missing witnesses. Scientology spokesman Brian Anderson responded that the three had no connection to McPherson's death, but police already knew they worked directly with Dr. Janis Johnson in the Flag medical liaison office. Johnson had voluntarily surrendered her medical license in Arizona some years earlier, and was not licensed to practice in Florida. When the paper reported critics' accusations that Lisa had been on a "baby watch" (Scientology's nickname for part of the Introspection Rundown), Anderson said there was no such thing and threatened lawsuits against anyone who said there was.
The Church had isolated Lisa to prevent PR problems, but now the isolation itself was becoming a problem. Scientology attorney Sandy Weinberg sent a letter to the state prosecutor complaining about the investigation, and stating, "Lisa was not at the hotel for services and therefore there was no auditor or case supervisor from the Church in charge." And Scientology's chief counsel, Elliot Abelson, appearing on TV's Inside Edition, said: "She rested, she slept a lot, nothing unusual, really, until the end of her stay." Abelson went on to say that there was no one at the hotel capable of realizing the seriousness of McPherson's condition when she suddenly fell ill. But on a follow-up program, when asked about the role of Dr. Johnson, an unlicensed physician, the Church's attorney refused to answer questions.
In January 1997, Lisa's mother, Fanny McPherson, hired Tampa attorney Ken Dandar to find and hold accountable the people responsible for Lisa's death. Scientology had by then dropped the meningitis story. The new story: McPherson died from an embolism to the lung, a delayed and unforeseeable result of a minor traffic accident before the paramedics took her to Morton Plant Hospital.
Then, in an unexpected development, police obtained access to internal Church records of McPherson's care. The tale they told was horrifying.
According to the records, Scientology had placed Lisa on an isolation watch (possibly a prelude to the Introspection Rundown) at the Fort Harrison. She was quite lucid when first brought to the hotel. Church security staff took her to a room and locked her in. She was assigned a team of non-medically trained caretakers that included a librarian, a secretary, a file clerk and a personnel director, all supposedly supervised by Dr. Johnson and Alain Kartuzinski, the senior case supervisor at the Mecca of Technical Perfection. She was watched around the clock by this rotating team, but per Hubbard's teachings, they were not allowed to speak to her.
Under constant watch in a locked and darkened room, McPherson deteriorated both physically and mentally. She refused to eat, either vomiting or spitting out her food. She did not sleep and paced the room constantly. When she tried to leave, she was brought back by her watchers. To control her, Johnson gave her the sedative chloral hydrate, a controlled substance whose side-effects can include both vomiting and mental confusion. As McPherson worsened, she pounded the walls, locked herself in the bathroom, crawled on the floor, and kicked, hit and gouged her caretakers, giving one a black eye. In another botched attempt at treatment, several Scientologists held her down while another force-fed her concoctions of herbal remedies, Benadryl and aspirin by sticking a turkey baster down her throat. When this failed, she was given injections of liquid Valium, without benefit of a doctor's supervision. Finally, the records indicate that she was reduced to babbling incoherently and soiling herself.
When Scientology staffers finally decided to return McPherson to a physician's care, they did not call an ambulance to make the two-minute drive to Morton Plant Hospital. Instead, they bypassed the four closest hospitals and drove her 50 minutes away to a hospital in the next county, where fellow Scientologist Dr. David Minkoff was on duty. Two of the Scientologists in the car that night claimed McPherson stopped breathing during the drive, but forensic evidence suggests she may have been dead before she ever left the Fort Harrison. In any case, she arrived at the hospital with no pulse or vital signs, and with cuts, bruises and sores all over her emaciated body. Minkoff pronounced her dead shortly thereafter. He later described her condition as, "Horrible... terrible... [and] shocking." Lisa had lost an estimated 40 pounds during her 17 days in isolation.
When CBS's Public Eye covered the investigation in 1998, reporter Kristin Jeanette-Meyers asked Scientology executive Mike Rinder if McPherson's gross deterioration showed that the rest and relaxation program wasn't working. Rinder blithely replied, "No, I don't think that that's clear at all." What was clear was that Scientology would not accept responsibility for what happened to Lisa McPherson.
With the collapse of the rest and relaxation story, Scientology changed tactics again. Now the Church claimed that Lisa had indeed been on the Introspection Rundown, but since this was a religious ritual, its actions were protected by the First Amendment's guarantee of religious freedom.
Scientology retains an army of lawyers and private investigators to wage war against its enemies. According to IRS records, the Church spent over $30 million on legal and professional fees in one year alone. Shortly after Ken Dandar filed the wrongful death suit, Scientology counsel Elliot Abelson called to say, "We will bury you."
But Dandar, a lawyer who spends almost as much time leading his Catholic "Renew Your Faith" group as he does in court, was not intimidated. He called in forensic experts to validate the autopsy results reported by the coroner, Dr. Joan Wood. Highly respected medical expert Dr. Calvin Bandt analyzed the post-mortem chemistry. He said it showed McPherson was severely dehydrated and in a coma during the last several days of her life. He termed the caretaker reports of her being active up to the last day "unreliable and pure fantasy."
Dandar brought in board certified forensic entomologists who testified that sores on Lisa's body included 110 cockroach-feeding sites. The bites had occurred both before and after death, indicating that Lisa was kept for several days in the dark and immobile, either while in a coma from severe dehydration, or as a corpse. An independent expert retained by Inside Edition went on to say, it was Scientology's cocktail of drugs and herbal potions that caused Lisa's hallucinations and the dehydration that led to her death.
The legal battle intensified when State Attorney Bernie McCabe filed criminal charges against the Church for practicing medicine without a license and abusing a disabled adult. Stunned, Scientology leader David Miscavige complained to McCabe, "These are virtually the first charges ever brought against any church." vScientology counter-attacked by bringing in their own team of forensic experts to dispute Dr. Wood's autopsy findings that Lisa had died of "bed rest and severe dehydration." They soon buried Wood in reams of forensic reports.
But Scientology's attacks were not confined to legal filings. According to Lee Strope of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Church placed Dr. Wood under constant surveillance. As a result, Scientology discovered something about the coroner that Assistant State Attorney Doug Crow described as "extremely damaging to Wood's office and her career." Finally, under pressure from the surveillance and a lawsuit filed by the Church, Dr. Wood began to change her autopsy results. First she changed the cause of death from "undetermined" to "accidental," then to "homicide," but then back to "accidental." When asked to explain her changes, she contradicted herself within a few sentences.
Wood's waffling forced State Attorney McCabe to drop the criminal charges, as the coroner no longer made a credible witness. A few months later, Wood resigned.
With the State of Florida knocked out of the box, Scientology concentrated the full force of its firepower on Dandar and the McPherson estate.
"The purpose of a lawsuit is to harass and discourage rather than to win," Scientology's late founder once wrote. "The law can be used very easily to harass, and enough harassment on somebody who is simply on the thin edge anyway... will generally be sufficient to cause his professional decease. If possible, of course, ruin him utterly." Hubbard later wrote a "Fair Game Policy" which states that Scientology's enemies "may be deprived of property or injured by any means by any Scientologist... May be tricked, sued or lied to or destroyed."
The Church's Fair Game campaign against Dandar began when a team of private investigators started contacting Dandar's former clients. One PI, during a visit to client Linda Herrington, accused Dandar of being "involved" with Herrington's 16-year-old daughter. Both Herrington and her daughter denied the allegations. The PI, who gave a false name (he was later identified as Brian Raftery), admitted he was working for the Church. On learning this, Dandar filed a bar grievance against Church lawyers, but Herrington died, in a still unexplained car accident, two weeks before she could testify at the hearing.
The Fair Game campaign continued when Scientology detectives began constant surveillance of Jesse Prince, a former high-ranking Scientologist and Dandar's expert witness on the inner workings of the Church. Prince was befriended by a man who called himself Rinzy Trinidad. Trinidad brought bottles of liquor to Prince's home, and smoked marijuana with him. In reality, Prince's new friend was Scientology PI Barry Gaston. When local police, using Gaston as an informant, busted Prince for possession of marijuana, Scientology PI Brian Raftery was on hand to videotape the arrest. Raftery later testified that he was paid $187,200 in one year for his work against Dandar's witness. But Scientology paid a much higher price when the frame-up came out in court. Prince was set free and the Church was charged with witness tampering, which resulted in Judge Susan F. Schaeffer promising "severe sanctions" against Scientology for its activities.
The Church has learned to take the long view of setbacks in court. Some of its legal battles have lasted decades. In one landmark case settled in 2002, former member Lawrence Wollersheim collected an $8.7 million judgement for pain and suffering caused by the Church's treatment of him, but only after 22 years of legal warfare. To reach his victory, Wollersheim had been forced to sell all of his assets and go $900,000 into debt.
Dandar took the McPherson case on a contingency basis, which meant he was funding what looked to be a long, arduous battle himself. Just when it appeared Scientology was succeeding in its attempt to financially bury him, an angel stepped in to help.
The angel was Bob Minton, a retired Boston investment banker who first learned about Scientology, and its battle with the critics, on the Internet. He began funding the case, eventually providing Dandar with more than $2 million. (By comparison, Scientology has spent over $20 million.)
Minton's funding of the case turned him into Scientology's enemy number one. A Fair Game campaign of unparalleled harassment was launched against him. As Church PIs dug into his financial dealings, Scientologists followed his two young daughters on their walks home from school and on vacations. When Minton flew around the US, Scientology picketers met him at every airport. He was hauled into court by Scientology attorneys, who demanded far-reaching discovery into every aspect of his life. The legal onslaught lasted for several years, until he was finally forced to throw in the towel.
When Minton entered into secret settlement negotiations with Scientology executives and their attorneys, they demanded, among other things, that he make the Lisa McPherson wrongful death suit "go away." Dandar's angel now turned into his devil. In April 2002, Minton, appearing in a Clearwater courtroom to defend against criminal contempt charges filed against him by Scientology, stunned everyone by accusing Dandar of being a "lying thief." As if on cue, Scientology filed an immediate motion to disqualify Dandar and noticed the court that Minton would be its star witness.
Dandar hired First Amendment attorney Luke Lirot, and together they spent 40 days defending against what Judge Schaeffer described as Minton's perjured testimony. The Judge's ruling stopped just short of accusing Scientology of extortion in its manipulation of Minton. She denied the motion to disqualify Dandar, but that motion was only the beginning.
Dandar has persevered through a seemingly endless barrage of legal attacks. There have been nine attempts to disqualify him, and four attempts to remove Lisa's aunt, Dell Liebreich, as executor of Lisa's estate. Scientology attorneys have filed bar complaints against both him and Lirot, lawsuits against Lisa's family, and motions to remove judges and move the case to other venues. When asked how going up against Scientology compares to normal litigation, Lirot replied, "It's like comparing LSD to orange juice."
As of this writing, the wrongful death case has gone through four judges in seven years. A trial date has still not been set.
Still, attorney Dandar has not tired of the fray. "When I'm done with this case," He says, "I'm going to see if I can get their IRS tax exemption revoked. How can a church use its tax exempt donations to harass and destroy people's lives?"
Scientology may have escaped a criminal conviction, but they could be ruined by the subsequent civil suit. The wrongful death case threatens the Church with far more than monetary damages. Because Scientologists believe their technology to be infallible and mankind's only hope for survival, a ruling that "the tech," properly applied, killed Lisa McPherson, could trigger a crisis of confidence among the faithful. If the case gets to trial and the rumors of Court TV coverage prove true, Scientology's chances of recruiting new members would be difficult.
The Church's apparent defense strategy now rests on a freedom of religion argument, a risky gambit because the Introspection Rundown says nothing about withholding medical care from a gravely ill, mentally incompetent adult. That would be illegal. Scientology cannot lay claim to such a practice without imperiling its tax exemption. Hence, the Church's real defense strategy is to delay the trial by attacking Dandar and the estate, until either McPherson's relatives are exhausted or Dandar runs out of money.
Has the Church learned anything from McPherson's death? A parishioner in a psychotic state still cannot be brought to a hospital without attracting unwanted media attention, leading to inevitable accusations that Scientology's own treatments caused the psychosis. With the press and a legion of Internet critics watching every move the Church makes, Hubbard's isolation policy must seem the only route open to it. So one should not expect Scientology's "religious" practices to change. As the new release form indicates, the Church knowingly anticipates future Lisa McPhersons. Hubbard himself states at the beginning of each Scientology course pack, "We'd rather have you dead than incapable." To protect the Church from those who will learn that lesson the hard way, there's the Lisa Clause.
Scientology's critics fall into four categories: ex-members still troubled by abuse they suffered while in the Church, free speech activists opposed to Scientology's efforts to censor critical information on the Internet, persons who have lost family members to cults, and those who are concerned about Scientology's attacks on the mental health profession.
Ida Camburn of Hemet, California, lost a child to Scientology. In 1975, her criticism of the organization led her son Ronnie to write her a "disconnection letter," a common practice in Scientology, stating that he was cutting off all contact. Camburn began a correspondence with Congressman Leo J. Ryan of California, who was investigating Jim Jones' People's Temple cult. Ryan, who lost his favorite nephew to Scientology, described the organization in a 1976 letter to Camburn as "jackals" and "20th Century Fagins."
Ryan was planning to meet with Camburn upon his return from a visit to the People's Temple facility in Guyana in 1978. But Ryan and four reporters were murdered at the airstrip, and Jones and his followers committed mass suicide. Since then, Camburn has written thousands of letters to congressmen, reporters and religious leaders, warning them about Scientology's destructive effect on families. She has suffered a stream of harassment from Scientology staffers and private investigators for her efforts. Now 80, Camburn shows little sign of slowing down. She corresponds with the many friends she's made in government and media circles, and with other parents who have lost children to cults. She is also active on the Internet. The critics call her "mom."
Scott Pilutik is a web developer turned law student who first became aware of Scientology in 1998, when the Church coerced Amazon.com into removing a critical book from its online catalog. After a public outcry, Amazon quickly restored Jonathan Atack's A Piece of Blue Sky: Scientology, Dianetics and L. Ron Hubbard Exposed, but Pilutik was outraged and began researching the Church. With help from other critics, Pilutik maintains ScientologyWatch.org and three other websites exposing various aspects of Scientology's activities. A Manhattan resident, Pilutik is planning to focus on intellectual property law, an area undergoing rapid change since the arrival of the Internet. Some of those changes have been catalyzed by the Church of Scientology's inventiveness in using copyright, trademark and trade secret law to suppress speech it doesn't like.
Scientology's most favored members are celebrities such as actors Tom Cruise, John Travolta and wife Kelly Preston, Kirstie Alley, Jenna Elfman, Juliette Lewis and Anne Archer. Other celebrity members include Fox News analyst Greta Van Susteren, Nancy Cartwright (voice of Bart Simpson), jazz musicians Chick Corea and Isaac Hayes, and singer Lisa Marie Presley and her mother Priscilla.
Scientology promotes itself through front groups purporting to address various health, education and human rights issues. Most have celebrity Scientologists as spokespersons. Stories about these celebrities and the good works they do through Scientology are continually fed to the press by Church PR staff and featured on TV programs like Entertainment Tonight. Promoting its celebrities lends Scientology an air of glamour and legitimacy, diverting attention from its reputation as the most litigious "religious organization" in the world.
"A civilization without insanity, without criminals and without war, where the able can prosper and able beings can have rights, and where man is free to rise to greater heights, are the aims of Scientology." Ð L. Ron Hubbard
"I would say that Scientology put me into the big time."
"Scientology is sanity and if people who aren't in Scientology knew just how sane their lives could be, they would run to find out about it."
"Scientology is about regaining total cause over your own life."
"Scientology is the gateway to eternity. It is the path to happiness and total spiritual freedom. Until one has experienced the technology of Scientology it's unlikely that one will ever experience these wonderful discoveries. I know because it has worked for me. The more time and effort I invest, the more I receive. I highly recommend it."
"Scientology has been my road out. There is nothing about my life that I feel apathetic or unhappy about. Scientology gives you hope and the certainty that you can improve any condition. This, to me, is priceless."
"Life is at my fingertips, and with Scientology, I've found I can have or be whatever I want."
"Without Scientology, I would be in an alley somewhere, looking for dope."
"Ron Hubbard researched man and has carefully and precisely mapped a route out of the madness, misery and unwanted conditions one can encounter in life. When applied exactly, the technology produces incredible results. Those results are very definite and eternal."
"I am no longer stuck in the bottomless pit of despair and apathy. Having achieved the state of Clear is the single most important thing that I've done for myself. It has allowed me to experience life in a way I only imagined."
"I wish that he [Elvis Presley] knew what Scientology was before he died."
"I think people speak out of not knowing what they're talking about, basically. That if you pick up a book and you read about it, there's so many different tools that people can apply to their lives to make them better instantly. And I think the criticism comes from Ð you know, it's a group that doesn't pull punches."