Scientology Critical Information Directory

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The McLean Family

The McLeans are ex-Scientologist from Ontario. In the 1970's many McLeans were targets of Scientology's "Fair Game".

Declaration of Nancy McLean (21 April 1995)

4. I was a member of Scientology in Canada from 1969 through October, 1972. During my time in Scientology I observed considerable mistreatment of people and other organizational illegalities. I wanted Scientology to thrive and brought my concerns about these activities to the attention of seniors in the organization, all the way up to Scientology's founder, L. Ron Hubbard. My concerns were ignored, I was lied to, and I left. I subsequently became a critic of Scientology's antisocial and often criminal practices. As a result of my criticisms I was declared an " enemy" and "fair game." The "fair game" policy, which was written by Hubbard, calls for people designated as "enemies" to be tricked, sued, lied to or destroyed." I am intimately familiar with this obnoxious policy. [...]

CBC (November 1985): "The Fifth Estate - Scientology"

Excerpt of CBC (1985): "Fifth Estate - Scientology"

Hana Gartner (voice over): Nan McLean of Sutton, Ontario, has kept her own records on the Church of Scientology. She was a member for over three years before she left in 1972.

Hana Gartner: You're an analytical woman, you're a clever woman. You're a tough woman. Nobody dragged you kicking and screaming into Scientology.

Nan McLean: Oh no... I just walking in and put my money down, said I want it.

Hana Gartner: What did Scientology want from you?

Nan McLean: My soul, my money and my energy. My life, completely.

Hana Gartner: And what were you willing to give them?

Nan McLean: All of it. I did a lot of things for Scientology. I broke the law for instance for Scientology.

Hana Gartner: How did you break the law?

Nan McLean: I was ordered to go to a bank and falsify my income, falsify my employer in order that I would be acceptable as a guarantor for two separate Scientologists' loans. I signed my name to that falsification of records. And the loan was granted, the Scientologists.

Hana Gartner (voice over): What troubles Nan McLean more than anything is that she brought her husband, two sons and a daughter in law into the Church with her.

Nan McLean: My daughter will tell you a very interesting thing she told me, she is the one and only that didn't come in. She said "Mother, I have always known you to be the most honest person I have ever known, and now you're telling me it's ok to lie for Scientology." That's when a began to look. God that still hurts. [...]

The Reader's Digest (May 1980?): "Scientology: Anatomy of a Frightening Cult" by Eugene H. Methvin

In 1969 Mrs. Nan McLean of Sutton, Out., joined the church, attracted to it by friends. Later, she became an ordained Scientology minister, at the first such ceremony in Canada. Working out of Toronto headquarters, which took its orders directly from Hubbard, Mrs. McLean was one of 15 staff members, many of whom worked up to 13 hours a day on church programs and helping to raise funds for Scientology.

In 1971, Mrs. McLean persuaded four other members of her family to join. Her son John, 18 and a high-school student, signed a “one-billion-year contract” with the Scientologists and joined the Apollo where he worked under Hubbard's command. Husband Eric, a teacher, joined the church later, albeit reluctantly.

In 1972, convinced the organization was “corrupt and using coercive methods,” Mrs. McLean quit. But that wasn't the end of her involvement.

“I became ‘fair game,’ a person who is an enemy to Scientology,” says Mrs. McLean. “Our lives have been threatened and some harassment goes on to this day.” Their cars were tampered with. Neighbors were telephoned and told the family were embezzlers. And in 1974, Scientologists held a mock funeral for the five McLeans who had belonged to the church, parading a large coffin along the main street of Sutton and distributing pamphlets denouncing the family. Today, Mrs. McLean is involved in several lawsuits with the Scientologists.

Toronto Globe & Mail (January 23, 1980): "Cult harassment, spying in Canada documented" by John Marshall

A great deal more attention was paid to two other Canadians in Florida, Nan McLean and her son, John, who with other members of their family had defected from the movement and campaigned against it. They had been invited to Florida to brief journalists and politicians about the cult. John had served with Mr. Hubbard aboard his flag ship, and one item submitted to the Washington court said that he helped the U.S. tax men with information.

Mrs. McLean was a Scientology minister in Toronto, but quit in disillusionment in 1972, along with the rest of her family.

Now dedicated to getting people out of the cult, she finds that documents from the court case help her persuade them.

She was the only Canadian beside myself who worked through masses of the files after the court ordered them released.

She was particularly delighted when she found documents referring to Scientologists' efforts to break up her family and to harass family members in other ways since their defection.

One was a report written in May, 1975, by a U.S. Guardian called Flavian, suggesting an agent planted in the McLean household could help break up the family.

Mrs. McLean said in an interview her family had taken in a young man who claimed he was also a defector (a favorite cover story, according to court documents from the U.S. cult offices describing how agents should be trained). He lived a month with them and later tried unsuccessfully to get police to take some kind of action against the McLeans.

As I reported in July, 1974, there had been numerous hate calls from the McLeans to neighbors and others. Members of the family were accused of everything from embezzlement to sexual immorality. The article prompted a nine-page written denial by Mr. McAiney of the Toronto Scientologists.

St. Petersburg Times (January 9, 1980): "'Priority' critics of church faced special handling" by Charles Stafford

That March 19, the open face of Scientology announced that it was selling the church's seagoing flagship, the 3,287-ton Apollo, because it had established a new "land base" in Clearwater.

But the secret face was plotting. Eleven days later Mitchell Hermann (who was also known as Mike Cooper), southeast U.S. secretary, wrote Lisa: "Attached is a list of ops customers in order of priority. Please begin (actually please continue) sending up ops on these folk. Robert Snyder, Mayor Cazares, Poynter/Patterson, Steve Advokat (unless he shifts off the heavy entheta)/Mike Pride/ Stuart, Orsini/Andy Barnes, Nan McLean..."

Eugene C. Patterson was editor and president, Bette Orsini a reporter and Andrew Barnes the managing editor of The St. Petersburg Times. Ron Stuart was the managing editor, Mike Pride the city editor and Steve Advokat a reporter for the Clearwater Sun; Nan McLean was a disaffected church member.


Affidavit of Nan McLean (23 November 1978)

5. During the period of 1960 to 1968 scientology under L. Ron Hubbard's direction took a different course from it's earlier beginning. Hubbard initiated a series of Ethics Orders and Policy Letters to deal with attacks on Scientology by both the outside world and by persons who left Scientology. He also developed an internal system of tribunals to deal inter alia with Scientologists who left the organization and then disclosed information concerning Scientology to outsiders. Such persons if found guilty by the tribunal were declared "Suppressive Persons" and made subject to the "Fair Game Law" by an ethics order. To declare someone "fair game" meant that a Scientologist could do anything to the person or property of the "suppressive person" without fear of sanction from Scientology or it's members. The document attached hereto and marked Appendix "B", is a true copy of page 26 of the Basic Staff hat Book #1, by L. Ron Hubbard.

Los Angeles Times (August 28, 1978): "Scientology Critics Assail"

[...] Forty miles north of Toronto, in the small community of Sutton, Ontario, a 55-year-old housewife named Nan McLean has been an equally vocal critic of Scientology, and her conflicts with the church have been intense.

Mrs. McLean joined Scientology in 1969 and for several years worked full time at one of the church's counseling "franchises" -- now called missions -- in Toronto. Before she left in the fall of 1972 she had brought her husband, two sons, and daughter-in-law into the church.

One son, John, now 26, dropped out of high school in his senior year to join Scientology and spent nearly two years aboard the church's flagship, the 3,280-ton yacht Apollo.

But when the McLeans became disenchanted with Scientology and sought refunds for some of the counseling courses they had taken, conflict erupted with the church -- and escalated as the McLeans began publicly criticizing the church in new articles and on radio and television.

In a little more than five years, the Church of Scientology has filed nearly a dozen lawsuits -- most of them for libel -- against various members of the family in the United States and Canada, instigated criminal charges alleging harassing phone calls from the McLeans, and conducted a mock funeral for the family down the main street of Sutton.

A judge dismissed the criminal charges after testimony that three of the calls actually were placed by Scientologists to the McLeans.

On April 25, 1974, a Canadian court ordered the church "not to carry on public demonstrations against" Mrs. McLean, distribute literature describing her as a "lost soul," or otherwise refer to her previous association with Scientology.

Mrs. McLean in turn was ordered to cease impugning Scientology on radio and television until a church suit against her (to reclaim a $1,300 refund it paid her) is resolved.

Amid these legal battles, two Toronto men were arrested on April 17, 1974, in what police said was an aborted attempt to break into an attorney's office. The office was that of Nan McLean's attorney. The following day a court hearing was scheduled in one of the suits the Church of Scientology had brought against her.

The two men later pleaded guilty to possession of burglary tools and were sentenced to two years probation.

Although a police search of their apartment found material on Scientology, neither man acknowledged affiliation with the church during interviews with police or with probation officials.

Asst. Crown Atty. Brian McIntyre, in a letter to Mrs. McLean dated Nov. 3, 1975, said a police investigation revealed that both men were members of the Church of Scientology.

There is no evidence the men were acting at the direction of the church.

[Note: Less than two years later, it was found that the Church of Scientology ran 'ops' against the McLeans, see St. Petersburg Times (January 9, 1980): "'Priority' critics of church faced special handling" by Charles Stafford on this page. Thanks to Ron Sharp for bringing this to my attention. — Raymond Hill]

Affidavit of John McLean (15 May 1975)

On or about July 14 while standing on the quarter deck of the ship just outside L. Ron Hubbard's dining lounge, I overheard a conversation between L. Ron Hubbard and his wife Mary Sue.

This conversation dealt with one Paulette Cooper, the authoress of an anti-Scientology book, "The Scandal of Scientology". Mary Sue was telling Ron of the fact that Paulette Cooper would be hit from all fronts with lawsuits from Scientology. Mary Sue stated that she felt that Paulette Cooper talked and wrote too much about Scientology. Mary Sue stated that she would totally destroy her credibility and that no publisher would ever touch her again, and resultantly, she would never get another book published. It was also stated by her Scientology would sue, and keep suing Paulette, until she broke.

She also said that Paulette Cooper would be sued everywhere the book was published. Mention was also made of a suit, either instituted at that time, or to be started in England re her book.

Toronto Globe and Mail (July 1974): "Probe of religious sect’s practices sought by ex-members" by John Marshall

In Ontario, the McLean family of Sutton — Eric and Nan and sons John and Bruce and the latter’s wife, Dawn — have the feeling that they have been declared fair game.

The left the organization in October, 1972 — Mrs. McLean was an ordained Scientology minister and son John was a third mate on the Hubbard flagship and things immediately began to happen.

A mock funeral was held on Sutton’s main street by Scientologists. Pamphlets were handed out that called the McLeans "lost souls … who harass religious people with their irreligious attitudes".

Neighbors began getting phone calls from unidentified persons charging members of the family with everything from embezzlement to sexual immorality.

MacLean's (June 1974): "Fear and Loathing in Sutton: The McLean family's fight to escape Scientology" by John Saunders

Shortly after the McLeans left Scientology, their rural neighbors had received calls from "credit investigators" suggesting that Eric McLean was guilty of embezzlement and from an anonymous "outraged husband." At one stage, a former Scientology colleague stayed with the McLeans for a month, claiming that he, too, had abandoned Scientology. When he left, he tried unsuccessfully to have police lay criminal charges against his hosts.

Nan McLean at

Nan McLean is an ex-Scientologist from Ontario. In the 1970's she was a major target for Scientology Fair Game. Because of a "gag order" settlement Nan signed with Scientology (after being Fair Gamed for some years), she can't speak out about Scientology any more. So, here's some information about Nan McLean from various sources. Hopefully, these items will provide a clearer picture of what Nan McLean went through at the hands of the Scientology cult.

I'm thinking that when Scientology was trying to get Nan McLean to sign a "gag order" settlement agreement, they never dreamed that in the future someone would find this information about Nan and post it to one place on the internet.

So, even if Nan can't speak about Scientology today, someone like me can use these articles to keep her voice alive.

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