All of them, those in power, and those who want the power, would pamper us, if we agreed to overlook their crookedness by wilfully restricting our activities.
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Former scientologist, left after 20 years.
Library: “Peter N. Alexander”
Greenway and Alexander have steered clear of downtown Clearwater for several months and fear that if they're spotted in the area, the Church will unleash private investigators on them (as they claim it has in the past), and that a new wave of troubling phone calls and attempts to meddle with their business will commence. This strikes me as paranoid. Eventually, we park the car and get out. Alexander points to a Greek-columned stone building that once housed the town bank. It is now the headquarters of the Office of Special Affairs, the Church's public relations arm and current incarnation of the Guardian Office, which was the epicenter of the black-bag hijinks for which Scientology is famous—infiltrating the Department of Justice, hatching schemes (which were never fully realized) to blackmail critics, bugging IRS offices, and so forth. A discreetly posted security camera peeks out from atop the building. "They've got 110 cameras downtown," Alexander says. "Just wait."
Within minutes, a paunchy middle-age Latino man with a pencil-thin mustache, wearing khakis and a white golf shirt, emerges from the adjoining parking lot. He walks silently to a spot a few feet away from us, points a digital camera, and begins snapping our picture. I say hello. He says nothing. I ask him if he's a member of the Church. He stares, grim-faced, at the camera's LCD screen. Alexander and Greenway are casual; they've been through this before.
As we continue down the sidewalk, a bus with tinted windows passes by. Greenway explains that it's a Scientology bus. The Church leaders don't trust the staff to own cars, she says, and they don't want them walking around with entheta, either.
Greenway points across the street. The venetian blinds in the storefront opposite have been opened to reveal an office with at least half a dozen people inside. One of them, a clean-cut young man, is standing by the window, pointing a video camera, and slowly pivoting to keep us in the frame as we make our way down Cleveland Street. [...]
He saw results immediately. He quit smoking, a habit he'd kept for 10 years. His chronic bronchitis disappeared. He felt euphoric.
''I thought, Wow, this stuff really works,'' said Alexander, now 58 and a theme park designer in Tampa. ``It seemed very high-minded. It was all about communication and freeing people.''
Nearly 20 years and $1 million later, Alexander wondered what he'd gotten into. The counselling sessions, which involved a Scientologist asking Alexander question after question in a hypnotic repetition, took a bizarre turn. As he progressed to the highest levels of Scientology, Alexander said he was trained to communicate with dead space aliens, called body thetans.
''The fact that I couldn't find any space aliens started to bother me,'' Alexander said in a series of interviews with The Herald. ``That kind of broke the bubble.''
Even then, Alexander said it took three years for him to leave Scientology.
PETER ALEXANDER: Well, actually, one of my employees,
Patricia Greenway, got interested in Scientology, and she got on
the Internet and she found out the truth.
I was impressed by L.
Ron Hubbard's background, I thought he was a nuclear physicist;
it turned out he flunked out of college. I thought he was a
naval hero; it turned out he was removed from command of every
command he was given and he was kind of a mess-up. And so
once I started to learn truth after truth, you know--I believed
that the processes were some sort of advanced science; then I
learned they were hypnotism. And once the whole story began to
unravel, I thought, "Uh-oh, this is bad, this is a cult; what am
MAN #1: How much money did you give them personally?
PETER ALEXANDER: I gave them a million dollars--
[Interview with Peter Alexander: MP3 (8.3 MiB)]