In 1995, a young woman named Lisa McPherson died while undergoing ‘training’ with the Church of Scientology, and her death unleashed a worldwide wave of outrage against Scientology, which until that point had been relatively obscure.
The exact circumstances of her death have never been fully explained or determined, but what is known, is that the thirty-six year old was taken to hospital after suffering what was believed to be a nervous breakdown, following a minor traffic accident.
She was collected from the hospital by two Scientologists who claimed they had documents proving that they were responsible for her well-being.
She was then subjected to what was known as an ‘Introspective Rundown‘ in one of the rehabilitation units.
I believe it was Wikileaks who were the first online source of these procedures.
According to these procedures, people undergoing an Introspective Rundown are forbidden to speak with anyone, the isolation is apparently important to teach them how to rid themselves from their current situation.
Unfortunately, apart from the obvious, a person suffering from a psychological crisis like Lisa McPherson undoubtably was, isolation can prove fatal.
This proved to be the case, and the coroner also determined that she was also dehydrated, which along with being confined to her bed, led to a thrombosis which went untreated – she died of a respiratory embolism.
Her Introspective Rundown was judged to be directly responsible for her death.
Scientologist’s handed over her body, noted to be in very poor physical condition to a hospital on December 5th 1995.
The authorities began investigating Scientology leaders for failing to offer medical assistance and practicing ‘medicine’ without a licence.
The charges were dropped, however, when the medical examiner eventually determined that her death was in fact, ‘accidental’.
In 2004, in a civil trial, McPherson’s next of kin agreed to a settlement with the Church of Scientology.
The details of which were never made public.
So what is known about the shadowy world of the Church of Scientology?
Not a great deal apparently, due to the reluctance of ex-members to divulge information about what goes on within the organisation.
What is known’ however, is that as a Scientologist, one works, in a manner of speaking, one’s way up the ladder, level by level, with the ultimate goal of becoming ‘clear.’
Depending on how one performs, one achieves a certain ‘Thetan Level’ in the process.
As each level is reached, members are required to pay a hefty fee for the ‘training’ they received.
‘Thetans’ are very curious creatures themselves, and according to Scientologists, millions of years ago our solar system, which consisted of seventy-six planets, was suffering from overpopulation.
An intergalactic warrior named Xenu traveled throughout the galaxies on a mission to save the day.
Like a mirror image of the biblical Noah, Xenu gathered up the scum of the universe’s population – especially criminals and other dodgy characters.
He then had them put to death here on earth by putting them all inside a Hawaiian volcano and detonating a hydrogen bomb!!
Since then, Thetans have wandered the earth as spirits in search of primitive people who’s bodies they can attach themselves to in order to regain their physical form.
Scientologists believe that if someone has a problem, it’s because of the Thetan still dwelling deep inside them.
That is basically the aim of Scientology, which claims to help people rid themselves of their inner Thetan influences.
Scientology’s founder, L. Ron Hubbard, regularly claimed in radio broadcasts from the 1950’s, that he was in fact, several million years old and that he was traveling the Galaxy in order to observe things.
The Church of Scientology only shares certain information when it’s disciples reach a certain point on the career ladder.
Up to that point, they are under no circumstances allowed even a peek at that part of the “Holy Scriptures.”
Scientologists only learn when they reach level five, for instance, that their world is populated by aliens.
The Scientology Handbooks, which were published by Wikileaks at one point, are not only secret, they are phenomenally expensive.
As an example, in order to learn the Scientologist’s version regarding the existance of aliens, the member has to have attained a level which has required a culminative payment of fees to Scientology equivalent to the cost of a family-sized house.
In Scientology, those who do not overcome their Thetans quickly enough, have to be ‘rehabilitated’. If someone is particularly unlucky, he may end up in something called a ‘Rehabilitation Force Project’ (RHP).
This has been likened to a juvenile detention centre.
The Church of Scientology also runs a fleet of ships consisting of cruise liners.
This private navy is called Sea Organisation, or Sea Org, and anyone who does not attain the required standard on these vessels usually gets sent to an RHP Unit.
In the RHP, the member may undergo a series of absurd punishments, such as being forced to wear a black rubber full-body suit and be isolated from the rest. He is only allowed to eat after everyone else is finished, and then only gets the scraps left behind by his fellow members.
He is not allowed to sleep for more than seven hours at a time, and not allowed to move at a normal pace, being forced to run around in circles, no matter what the weather or how hot wearing the rubber suit becomes.
He may also have to empty the toilets onboard for example, or be forced to carry out degrading tasks that any other member can assign to them. He/she may be allowed to resume other activities, but these are limited to the pursuit of his own spiritual development, but even that is allowed only after he has carried out his punitive assignments.
Wikileaks have published on their site, lists of various companies and agencies that were connected to Scientology, lists which included companies that hired employees for other companies, and others connected to social service organisations, including one that was responsible for tackling drug addiction in the United States.
What is also known is that Scientology is extremely powerful, influential and is able to successfully neuter anyone who chooses to reveal it’s secrets.
Former members for example, who had broken away from Scientology, and wanted to warn others about their methods, were literally swamped with lawsuits, harassment and subjected to the most intensive intimidatatory tactics.
The method that many chose to use was the Wikileaks website, where they had the opportunity to publish their information without any visible risk of Scientology discovering who they were and pursuing them.
Wikileaks began by publishing the Scientology ‘Handbooks’.
It was around this time, that many anonymous users began visiting Wikileaks and also began chatting about what they knew.
The international group of Internet ‘Hacktivists’, Anonymous, had also declared virtual war on Scientology, and assisted Wikileaks to structure the information that was being shared, by organising and sorting out the best way in which to present the information on the Internet.
Many months were spent transferring documents, ensuring also that controversial material was sent via so many detours, encryption methods and anonymising procedures that it became virtually impossible for the source to be traced.
Accompanied by a large amount of Internet white noise that was created around the document transfers, it was a safe bet that nobody would ever be able to trace the route, let alone the whistleblowers.
There was no trace, not even the smallest digital fingerprint or data fragment that could lead back to the source could be found.
There was nothing.
Wikileaks were secretly hoping that they were going to be sued for publishing the information, as the subsequent case would of course have sparked a massive public interest in what were after all, some pretty spectacular documents.
What Wikileaks did achieve though, was to spark a wave of Anti-Scientology protests in every major city, in which members of Anonymous were instrumental in bringing about.
They also realised that they were never going to be sued by the Church of Scientology.