Boudewijn van Ingen (also known as Bogie) died last Tuesday, September 4. He was 49.
Boudewijn was one of the first Dutch people who joined me in September 1995 when I put the Fishman Affidavit online. The Fishman Affidavit contains excerpts of the OT-levels, and Scientology had been rather successful in removing the document from the internet. Until the document hit the Dutch part of the internet: within a week, we had a hundred mirrors of the document. The ensuing lawsuit lasted for almost 10 years, and we kept winning; ever since 1996, the excerpts of the OT-levels as provided on my website are legal and anybody can copy and/or quote them.
Boudewijn joined the protest almost immediately. But unlike most others, he really read up about Scientology and decided that fighting the cult was a worthy cause. He became a real critic. He posted on alt.religion.scientology; he investigated; he joined IRL protests; he engaged (in as far as possible) in conversations with members, and – his most memorable feat – he engaged in debates with his co-critics when he thought that they were sloppy, immoral, or simply unkind.
Boudewijn was a kind and gentle person. Utterly smart but never condescending; utterly engaged, but never blinded.
The energy that he spent on Scientology, was even more precious because Boudewijn’s health sucked. He had hemophilia, the bleeders’s disease. His veins would break open at the slightest intrusion, and the blood clots that occurred everywhere in his body, had caused major disabilities. When I got to know him, he had to use crutches for support, and often a wheelchair.
A few years ago, Boudewijn got a brain hemorrhage that left him mostly incapacitated and very dependent (left side paralysis). He was forced to live in a nursing home while he tried to recuperate. And he hated that. It took him quite some time to finally be able to move back into his own apartment, and to feel independent again.
Last week, he got a new brain hemorrhage; and this time, he died. Somehow, I’m happy that Bouewijn didn’t have to negotiate another round of devastating adjustments to more and more minimal possibilities. Yet it sucks that he has died. Boudewijn has done everything he could possibly do to survive, and yet he managed to make time to try and help free others… May he never be forgotten.
[Picture: Nantko Schanssema, Jeta Eggers and Boudewijn van Ingen, August 2000.]