Disconnected! after 23 years of friendship

Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology
From: ethercat@netcom.com
Subject: Disconnected! after 23 years of friendship
Date: Fri, 3 Apr 1998 05:28:54 GMT

   December 6, 1997 marks a special day for me, and for the city of
Atlanta.  That was the date of the first picket of the Church of
Scientology in Atlanta, Ga. (It's called the Hubbard Dianetics Center
this year.)  I did not participate in the picket.

   It also marks the day that a 23-year friendship began to deteriorate.

   I had not participated in the picket largely out of a sense of respect
for a friend, who is a member (in good standing, I might add) of the Church
of Scientology here.  My friend Wynot was a solo picketer that day.

   On Christmas, I received a visit from my Scientologist friend.  I
detailed it in a post to ars soon afterwards, so I won't detail it again
here now, but suffice it to say, it was an unpleasant and threatening
visit.  I was told to "handle Wynot", make him "quit attacking" the
"church".  I told him at the time that I had neither the power, nor the
inclination, to control what another person did.

   I watched as the number of picketers grew over the next few months, as
the reaction to our stories drew others in our own town out.  The number
of picketers grew rapidly.

   My disconnection letter was mailed on March 13, the day of the third
picket.  I received it on the 14th.  Wynot recieved one also, on the same
day.  He has already posted his.  Here's mine.

                                                      March 11, 1998
Dear Ethercat,
    As you may know, Wynot decided to picket in front of my church
again.  This puts me in an impossible situation and one that I will
not put up with.  I have sent him a letter severing our friendship in
no uncertain terms.
    I have enclosed the information I told you I would give you.  I
would have sent it earlier, but I didn't think the information was
nearly so complete.  From our last conversation I understand that you
believe much the same things that Wynot does in this matter.  I
would like you to read the material I am giving you and give it at
least the same consideration that you gave to the attacks you read on
my church.
    I cannot and will not put up with the antagonism I have gotten
from you directly over this matter and other matters involving my work
in my church.  I have no use for such upset in my life.  Additionally,
as long as Wynot doesn't change his mind and handle this attack on my
church, your connection to Wynot connects me with him directly and
indirectly.  This is impossible for me.
    Because of this I am no longer going to contact you.  I am not
going to call or write or see you.  I hope the materials I am giving
you help.
[signature removed]

   I had been expecting this for a long time.  Much longer than the two
and a half months that had elapsed since the Christmas visit.  I had
heard about them, and asked my friend about disconnections, and had been
told that they happen quite often in the Church of Scientology, but was
also assured that no matter what I said or did, that it would not affect
our friendship.  I didn't believe him, based largely on what I had read
from others here on ars, and on the web.  There were so many times he told
me that everything I read here was a "one-sided attack" being spread in a
"pit of mad dogs".  Yet as I read, I was seeing our future told, and
hoping it wouldn't be true.  But it was.

   It didn't take any words or actions on my part to prompt this
disconnection letter.  All it took was me refusing to try to control
another human being.  I wonder what other parts of my future I have
already seen told on this ng...

   The disconnection letter has had the effect of freeing me.  I don't
have to remain in the background in an illusion of respect, friendship,
or loyalty, anymore.  These are words he's forgotten the meaning of.

   Here's a tip for you, co$, since L. Ron was never very good in physics:
For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.  Just look what
happened after you sent my friend to threaten me. One picketer grew to six
in just three months.  Your actions just affect so damn many people, co$,
you've got a LOT of reactions against you, all around the world.

   The "material" given me was information about Lisa McPherson, the
subject of the first Atlanta picket, and a sore spot between my friend
and I.  He had told me during his Christmas visit that he wanted me to
read it but hadn't brought it.  The purpose was to help me convince Wynot
that this was the "truth" about Lisa McPherson, and to quit picketing.  I
may scan and web some of it later, but for now, here's an inventory of
what I received:

 * A dot-matrix printout called "Church Denounces Outrageous Account by
NY Times" - spin control on the Lisa story, in standard Dead Agenting style.
Rating:  Author and source unknown.  Unreliable.

 * A copy of Page 1 from the deposition of Robert D. Davis on May 15,
1997, along with some assorted copies from something called "2 Federal
Reporter, 3d Series, Church of Scientology v. City of Clearwater", pages
1514, 1516, 1530, 1531, 1533, and 1534, which appear to have something to
do with the City of Clearwater wanting to run the Scientologists out of
town.  Sections are highlighted with a black marker in the margins,
presumably the sections I should pay special attention to.  It is
unfortunate that there is so little continuity between the pages provided,
it is impossible to gain an understanding of the whole proceeding.
Rating:  Incomplete.

 * Another copy of Page 1  from the deposition of Robert D. Davis on May
15, 1997, and what appear to be pages 14, 40, 170, 58, and 62 of that
deposition (listed in the order received), again with highlighted sections.
These appear to have been acquired through Narup, Vouvakus, & Associates,
PO Box 265009, Daytona Beach, Florida, 32126-5009.
Rating:  Quoted out of context.

 * 3 pages of Copyrighted articles, from October 29 1997 - from the NY
Times, "Jury Convicts an Ex-Coroner of Tampering With a Witness; and
from the Orlando Sentinel (actually typed out twice on one page), "Jury
Decides Ex-Coroner Tampered With A Witness".  What these have to do with
Lisa McPherson, I have no idea, since they seem to revolve around
something that happened in New Jersey.
Rating:  Irrelevent.

 * 2 pages of what appear to be reduced size copies of pages 1, 2, 3, 4,
and possibly page 5 (on one page) of the deposition of Dell Liebreich on
May 16, 1997.  The section marked Page 5 appears in a different typeface
and format than the first 4 pages; there is another piece of the deposition,
but unlabeled as to the page number of it.
Rating:  Of dubious integrity.

 * A copy of a sales order (?) from "Premier Travel Service Incorporated",
from October 10, 1995 for a trip to the Bahamas, made out to "Freewind3
Relay Office" in Clearwater, with Lisa McPherson's name and ticket number.
Flight dates were December 26 and January 2.  They were flights Lisa
couldn't take.
Rating:  Possibly truth.  Relevence unknown.

 * From December 16, 1997, the Times (not sure where), "Charges Urged in
Scientologist Death", with highlighted section, but missing the section
where it is continued on page 48.
Rating:  Does not help the co$ side of the "truth".

 * A page of a Medical Record Copy from Morton Plant Hospital in
Clearwater, from November 18, 1995, labeled Lisa McPherson, 718248.  At
the bottom, highlighted, is a section called "Review of Systems" which
says, "The patient denied any injury from the accident."  This is
interesting because my friend had said it was a leg injury caused by the
accident which caused the blood clot which ultimately led to her death.
Rating:  Too bad my friend's not here to explain this little discrepancy.

 * A 16-page pack of lies from Freedom Magazine.
Rating:  Hearsay.

   Wow.  Seems the critics have more verifiable and complete truths than
my Scientologist friend could offer.   What a surprise! 
Co$, you had your chance.  You blew it.  You failed to handle me.
Operation Footbullet continues.

   Dream on, my Scientologist friend.  When you decide to wake up and leave
your "church", I'll still be here for you.  And you know where to find me.


      |\__/,|   (\
    _.|o o  |_  ) )
--(((---(((-------------| ethercat |------------ (ascii art by Mike Rosulek)

A scan of the original letter.

For other parts of this story, please see:
Christmas Visit By A Scientologist
To a lost friend...
Disconnection Letter