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Special investigation: Scientology

Title: Special investigation: Scientology
Date: Sunday, 12 June 1994
Publisher: Sunday Mail (UK)
Authors: Marion Scott, Stewart Kirkpatrick
Main source: link (449 KiB)

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TEENAGER David McLaren is in hiding, after breaking free from the Scientology cult.

"I'm the one who got away," said the brave 18-year-old, who came forward to help Scots girl Christine Forsyth.

"I found freedom, now I want Christine to enjoy that same freedom", he said.

Last week we told the shocking story of how 24-year-old Christine, from Kirkcaldy, was "tried" for "treason" by the mind-bending cult.


Christine's distraught dad begged the cult to free his daughter.


And now David says: "I'm terrified for Christine. She must be brought out now before the cult have the chance to move her to another part of the world.

"They will be working on her now to silence her doubts. They'll go to any lengths to divert public attention from the sinister goings on within the organisation."

Kirkcaldy MP Dr Lewis Moonie is demanding immediate action by the Home Secretary to stop the sci-fi cult, which was founded by discredited conman and novelist L. Ron Hubbard.

Scientologists have bombarded our office with calls since we exposed their ruthless and sinister activities.

Today we break another strand in their web of lies and deceit.

Scientologists demanded we print a "statement" from Christine denying that she wants to leave their paramilitary evangelical Sea Organisation.

Christine agreed to meet the Sunday Mail but, within hours, the invitation was withdrawn.

FELLOW Scot, David McLaren, can testify to the tactics they use. He told us: "I know Christine wants out!

"I helped bring her back when she ran away two years ago. I hate myself for doing so now.

"I impersonated one of her ex-boyfriends and lied to her family and friends to track her down.

"We staked-out houses all over Kirkcaldy until we finally caught sight of her, and then we wore her down.

"Site went back with the intention of leaving through proper exit channels. But that is an unpleasant experience, which they can drag out for months.

"By the time she was put through all that, I knew they would eventually change her mind."

Christine, a high-ranking officer in the martial arts trained Sea Org, was stripped of her rank, given hard labour and subjected to hours of brainwashing for daring to run away. David said: "She was put on hard labour, cleaning the moss from the roof. We weren't allowed to have anything to do with her.

"Now she'll say ANYTHING they want her to say. They will use any trick in the book to keep the public from knowing what they really are.


"They will stop at nohing to maintain their clean, smiling public image and will crush any at tempt to discredit them.

"They are ruthless and I know they will be furious that the Sunday Mail has told the truth about what goes on.'

"By now, they will have interrogated Christine for hours on end, using an E-meter — a sensitive lie detector.

"I've been subjected to the same treatment. During religious programming I ended up in a trance. I was taken back into 'past lives' and had visions that I was fighting on an ancient battlefield.

"I've been out for six months now. It's very difficult to fit back into normal life. I was cut off from everything. There was no television, and contact with outsiders was frowned on.

"When I came out at first everything was so overwhelming that I could only lock myself in my room. If it wasn't for my friends, I might still be there.

WHEN the Sunday Mail expose hit the streets, the Church of Scientology swung into action.

There were caIls after calls, some verging on the hysterical, demanding to know our sources.

They also tried to deny that Sea Org members are trained in martial arts and the use of weapons. But David McLaren knows the truth.

"I trained in martial arts and used a heavy night baton. We were trained to disarm. They are paranoid about security", he told us.

"The public areas were always impressive and opulent because they were obsesssive about their clean-cut, smiling image.


"But that wasn't the case for us. We were kept in huge, cold, uncomfortable dormitories. We were constantly being told there wasn't enough money to keep us and we were always starving on a diet of a little rice and beans.

"We were told to supplement our diet with vitamins, but we had to buy them — and that meant we had to sell more books and tapes to raise money.

"The regime was strict and run like a military establishment. There were officers and rankings and orders to be obeyed. If anyone said or did anything they didn't like, they were reported and dealth with. At one time I worked in intelligence for the organisation and we would check out background information on anyone we had dealings with, including any outside companies who did work for us.

"Every detail was logged on files, which were kept under heavy security to be used when needed. Private detectives and government agencies were used to get information"

DAVID said that, after working from 8.30 In the morning until 11pm at night, they were expected to watch films made by L. Ron Hubbard.

He said: "I often felt weak and exhausted from too little sleep and, like Christine, had to steal food from the canteen because I felt so ill and hungry.

"I ended up marrying a Scientologist. But I don't want anything to do with her or anything she stands for now.

"We were only given one morning off every two weeks. I only managed to get an hour with my wife Delphine, so I didn't even get to know her properly.

"I went to Saint Hill two years ago as a sort of holiday break before I started college. They signed me up and I never left. I feel I've lost precious years. Now I'm trying to get my life back.

"All my friends now have qualifications and jobs. I'm left trying to pick up the pieces.

"When I saw what was happening round about me, I decided I had to get out. I saw how they dealt with Christine, and I realised that if I was to get away I couldn't show the slightest sign or confide in anyone.

"I saved for weeks to get my travelling expenses. All the time I had to work hard and concentrate on acting as normal.

On New Year's Eve I bolted and came back to Scotland. I want the public to know just how dangerous Scientology really is and I'm prepared to go to the Home Secretary and give him my testimony."

IT is David's belief that the Government must act against Scientology. He said: "The only way to protect society is to hound them out of the country.

"Every day they are spreading their influence and brainwashing their prey. Because my aunt and young cousins are still involved in the organisation, it was hard to leave. But I had to get away.

"Now they are forbidden to speak to me. This has caused all sorts of problems, but I had to make a choice ... either my freedom or my family.


[Picture / Caption: FREE ... now David wants to help Christine]
[Picture / Caption: INTERROGATION ... with an E-meter]
[Picture / Caption: SCIENTOLOGY CENTRE ... the cult's Saint hill Manor HQ in East Grinstead]
[Picture / Caption: BEHIND THE OPULENCE ... the stark interior of a cult classroom]
[Picture / Caption: BOOK CHOICE ... for brainwashing]
[Picture / Caption: PUNISHED ... Christine was put on hard labour]
[Picture / Caption: CULT WEDDING ... but David hardly knew his wife, Delphine]

There is nothing sinister they say

REPRESENTATIVES from the Church of Scientology visited the Sunday Mail this week. They claimed our account of Christine's ordeal had upset her family — although we have had no complaint from her father, who told us of his concern for her safety.

They said the Mail's expose contained lies, falsehoods and misrepresentations. But they confirmed there WAS a Sea Org branch, members wore naval type uniforms, and a Rehabilitation Project Force "rehabilitated" church members who got into trouble.

Spokeswoman Sheila Chaleff claimed: "There is nothing sinister about our church. People can come and see for themselves."

* L. RON Hubbard wrote Dianetics: the Modern Science of Mental Health in 1950.

* THE book was withdrawn a short time later to avoid scientific criticism. Hubbard turned Dianetics into a religion, the Church of Scientology, in 1953.

* HE claimed he was an extraterrestrial from Venus, born trillions of years ago.

* HUBBARD said humans were reincarnated over and over and possessed by spirits called "engrams".

* HE said Scientology cures incurable illnesses and people are to blame for their own misfortunes.

* THE organisation claims over 1,000 churches, missions and organisations worldwide and a membership estimated at 10 MILLION.

* MORE than half its members are snared through family and friends.

* THE American tax authorities and FBI were preparing to pounce on Hubbard in 1980, but he disappeared with £58 MILLION to add to his estimated personal fortune of £400 MILLION.

* HUBBARD died in 1986, but Scientology still celebrates his birthday as if he were still alive.

* DESPITE fronting anti-drug support group, Narcanon, Hubbard was a Satanist, smoked 80 cigarettes a day and was a drug addict.

* HUBBARD was fascinated by Black Magic and his Scientology cross is a Satanic "crossed out" cross.

* IT can easily cost more than £50,000 for a full Scientology course, books and tapes.

* IN 1984, judge Justice Latey called the cult "corrupt, sinister and dangerous".