Scientology Critical Information Directory

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Lisa McPherson

Scientologist, died while forcibly confined under the 'care' of the Church of Scientology.

Often, you will hear Scientologists defend the Church of Scientology and its 'Introspection Rundown' dogma by stating that Lisa McPherson died because of a sudden pulmonary embolism, thus denying that Scientology practices are to be blamed for her death. [example]

Consider these facts though:

  • Lisa McPherson lost 40 pounds during the 17 days she was confined
  • Lisa McPherson was severely dehydrated more
  • Lisa McPherson had bruises and cockroach bites all over her body
  • Lisa McPherson was eventually dropped at an hospital far away (24 miles), instead of the closest hospital (1.1 mile). She died on her way to the hospital.

Ask these apologetic Scientologists to explain these facts. How do these relate to a 'pulmonary embolism'?

Did the Church of Scientology revise its 'Introspection Rundown' practice following the death of Lisa McPherson? Of course not, considering that Hubbard was mistaken would be heresy for a Scientologist. It is now asking its members to sign a release form so that it can't be held accountable should another individual be harmed by the 'Introspection Rundown'.

«She died. People die.» — David Miscavige, Scientology 'pope', as quoted in the St. Petersburg's "Scientology leader named defendant in suit"
«JEANNETTE-MEYERS: Rest and relaxation sounds like a wonderful idea. But the records say that two days into her stay she was spitting out food and vomiting, four days into her stay she was ashen faced and feverish, and then she became violent, striking the attendants, hallucinating, thinking that she's L. Ron Hubbard, being too weak to stand, soiling herself, crying, babbling, breaking things. At that point, isn't it clear that it's not working?

«RINDER: What's not working?» — CBS Public Eye (January 7, 1998)

Jeff Jacobsen: "Lisa McPherson Memorial Page: killed by the Church of Scientology"

On December 5, 1995, Lisa McPherson was dead on arrival at a hospital 45 minutes north of Clearwater Florida. According to the coroner's report, Lisa was underweight, severely dehydrated, and had bruises and bug bites (see the entire report here).

Kristi Wachter: "Lisa McPherson: The Clearwater Police Department Files"

This site presents the information collected by the Clearwater Police Department in their investigation of Lisa's death. It offers additional information to help put the evidence in context, but tries to avoid drawing conclusions or offering opinions.
Operation Clambake: " The Tech Runs its Course -  A Commentary on the Lisa McPherson Case"
On December 5, 1995, long time Scientologist Lisa McPherson, 36, was pronounced dead at New Port Richey Hospital, near Clearwater, Florida. McPherson's death followed two and a half weeks of forcible confinement in a room at Scientology's Fort Harrison Hotel in Clearwater, Florida. I won't attempt to fully recap all the facts of the case; these are readily available through various Lisa McPherson memorial pages on the web. Rather, I'd like to focus on and perhaps bring some insight to bear on the question of how anyone could have done what was obviously done to McPherson.

From the partial and sketchy logs and interviews released by the court and from the autopsy performed on McPherson, at least some of what was done is obvious.

Mike Gormez: "Death of scientologist Lisa McPherson"

After spending half her life as a member of the Church of Scientology, Lisa McPherson told friends she was ready to get out. At 36, she yearned to reunite with her mom and old friends and start a new life in Dallas. She hoped to visit them at Thanksgiving and vowed to be home for good by last Christmas. (Tampa Tribune, December 15, 1996)

David Touretzky: "The Lisa McPherson Clause: Scientology Moving to Secure Its 'Right' to Kill Again"

Scientology killed Lisa McPherson in Clearwater, Florida, on December 5, 1995. She was held against her will for 17 days, denied medical care, and forcibly sedated. When her guards tried to force her to undergo the Introspection Rundown and she refused, she was kept in an isolation lock-down until she died from severe dehydration. Forensic entomologists later identified 110 cockroach feeding sites on her body, and three nationally prominent forensic pathologists opined that the manner of death was "homicide". (The pathologists were Calvin Bandt, M.D. (affidavit), Werner Spitz, M.D. (affidavit), and John Coe, M.D.)

Martin Ottman: "Lisa's Case Supervisors"

When Lisa McPherson was taken from the Morton Plant Hospital and brought to the Fort Harrison, after she had the car accident, one of the Scientologists, who guarded her was Alain Kartuzinsky.

As "Deputy Senior Case Suprevisor" (D/Senior C/S) he was responsible for her programming and the supervision of her auditing up to Clear. He was also a specialist in "handling rough cases" as he supervised the "Case-cracking unit". Two Years earlier, in 1993, he even reviewed an "isolation watch" case that happened in Saint Hill, when a German Scientologist, Heidi Degro, was held in captivity for several weeks.

Deana Holmes: "The official site of the friends and family of Lisa McPherson"

The Lisa McPherson Civil Case was settled by the parties in May of 2004. More information is available at, as well as the St. Petersburg Times.

FACTNet - Lisa McPherson + Scientology: Lisa McPherson's Death

A timeline of News Articles regarding Lisa McPherson's Death and subsequent Court Cases and Hearings.

Wikipedia (Feb. 2007): Lisa McPherson

Lisa McPherson (born Lisa Skonetski, February 10, 1959December 5, 1995) was a Scientologist who died while in the care of the Flag Service Organization (FSO), a branch of the Church of Scientology. The death provoked controversy about the nature of Scientology beliefs and practices, particularly the Introspection Rundown although testimony indicates that she was never actually put onto the rundown but instead died during an attempt to "stabilize" her condition.[1] Since her death there have been regular pickets outside Scientology offices on or around the anniversary of her death.

A civil suit brought by her family against the Church was settled on May 28, 2004.

CBS Public Eye (Jan. 1998): "Lisa McPherson" @ Xenu TV

A must see: Lisa McPherson was a Scientologist who died while being held at the Fort Harrison Hotel in Clearwater, Florida. Public Eye presents a terrific report and an instant classic all thanks to a live interview with Scientology President Heber Jentzsch who launches an all out attack on the evils of Psychiatry much to the surprise of Bryant Gumbel.

The Wog Blog (Feb. 2007): "17 Days"

As Kristi Wachter reminds us, this would have been Lisa McPherson’s 48th birthday had she not died while being held captive for 17 days in Scientology’s Fort Harrison Hotel.

This past week, I have been posting more video onto YouTube, including several important shows on Lisa. [...]

The following three shows from “Inside Edition” are also important. The show had a reputation of being tabloid and light-weight but these reports prove otherwise. They stayed on Scientology’s ass and uncovered some important information, showing along the way how callously Scientology could treat one of their members and how casually they could lie to a reporter.

[Watch part 2 and 3 at the Wog Blog]

General Report on Scientology — Declaration of Jonathan Caven-Atack (9 April 1995)

46. While aboard ship during the early 1970s, Hubbard introduced " isolation watches" where an individual is forcibly confined after a "psychotic break" (a mental breakdown, usually caused by Scientology's hypnotic procedures). Such people can be held for weeks under 24-hour guard [JCA-104], [JCA-105]. The procedure is referred to as "babywatching" or "babysitting" in Scientology. In 1994, The Independent newspaper in Britain published an account of "babywatching" [JCA-106]. HCO Ethics Order 2543 of 28 September 1993, concerning Heidi Degro, makes it clear that the practice is still in use [JCA-105]. Indeed, the practice forms a part of Scientology's incontrovertible "scripture" [JCA-104].

St. Petersburg Times (Oct. 1997): "In her final years, Scientologist spent $175,000" by Thomas C. Tobin

From 1991 until she died in December 1995, McPherson spent more than $175,000 on Scientology courses, counseling and causes, according to financial records. In three of those years, her donations to the church ranged from 29 percent to 55 percent of her income.

She spent more than $57,000 on Scientology in the final year of her life, which ended after a 17-day stay at the church's downtown Clearwater retreat, the Fort Harrison Hotel.

Since then, the investigation into her grim physical decline while in the care of Scientology staffers has produced a related tale about one parishioner's steep financial commitment to the Church of Scientology.

The Rick A. Ross Institute: Lisa McPhersonDeath of a Scientologist

A chronological list of commentaries all related to the death of Lisa McPherson.

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