Inside Scientology

First-hand accounts of the Scientology Experience

Affidavit of Hana Eltringham-Whitfield

From Sun Apr 23 19:55:36 BST 1995

Oldtimers will recall Hana's signature at the bottom of various
Sea org Flag orders as Hana Eltringham D/Commodore
661N. Occidental Boulevard Los Angeles, California 90026
August 8, 1989
I was in Scientology for 19 years from March 1965 to August 1984.
The majority of those years, particularly the last 10 were filled
with great emotional, mental and physical trauma. This experience
was the most humiliating and degrading one I've ever experienced.
I still suffer from frequent nightmares, emotional distress and
severe headaches because of it.
I first joined Scientology in March 1965 in johannesburg, South
Africa. I read Hubbard's book, DIANETICS, THE MODERN SCIENCE OF
MENTAL'HEALTH and it captivated me with its promise of being the
first real science of the mind. It promised that man could free
himself from all reactivity and achieve a God-like state called
Clear. It promised that man would never again suffer any physical
disease, infection, ache or pain and that he would thereafter
always be in perfect mental, emotional and physical health. It
promised higher I.Q. and much, much more.
Toward the end of the same year, I was in England doing further
studies in Scientology.
In 1967 I was invited to join the elite of Scientology in a new
project of Hubbard's - the SEA PROJECT. Hubbard started the
venture for two main reasons - to escape the law and to run his
international Scientology empire without interference.
By October 1967, the Sea Project had been formulated by Hubbard
into the SEA ORGANIZATION and those on board the first ships who
wished to stay signed contracts for a billion years of duty to
Hubbard and his cause.
The first six months aboard the SY AVON RIVER (SY = Steam Yacht)
with Hubbard were pleasant and exhilarating. The fearful moments I
experienced were during Hubbard's frequent psychotic outbursts of
fury, during which he screamed and threatened for minutes and
sometimes for several txours without ceasing, and other occasions
where crew were brutally punished for errors and mistakes. One
such example had to do with 2nd Engineer, Terry Dickensen, a tall
and kindly Australian. Terry had failed to install a Sharpes ship-
to-shore radio on the AVON RIVER bridge according to Hubbard's
schedule, and the Ethics edict Hubbard issued as a result
horrified me to the core. It stated that Terry could not eat with
the crew until the Sharpes had been obtained from New York and
installed on the AVON RIVER bridge. Further, Terry was denied any
sleep until the Sharpes was installed, no matter how long it took.
If he did sleep, the penalty of not eating with the crew would
become permanent. Furthermore, he would have to sleep on deck for
all time without pillow or blankets. I was the Officer in cllarge
of crew ethics and morals at the time and was expected to enforce
the ethics order. It took five long, very long days and nights
before the Sharpes arrived from New York and was installed. During
that entire time, Terry and I did not sleep. I didn't sleep to be
certain that Terry didn't. Terry never recovered from the
experience and left the Sea Organization shortly thereafter, a
broken man.
A while later, Hubbard broke up a strong relationship I had with
another Sea Org member. (I was not aware at the time that Hubbard
routinely surrounded himself with women executives and bitterly
resented one of them leaving the job to marry.)
In early 1968 "0T 3" was released. OT 3 is a secret upper level
counseling procedure that says thousands of souls of people who
died 75 million years ago are attached to your body. I was
eligible to start on it shortly after its release. I remember my
amazement when I first read the materials and the story of OT 3. I
thought it was a joke, or a figment of Hubbard's sci-fi
imagination. However, I dutifully made myself read and reread and
restudy the story and tried my hardest to counsel myself on the
level honestly. (All adverse reactions to the counseling materials
are thoroughly explained in Scientology - Hubbard states that
those unableto audit the materials have drugs problems, have
earlier auditing actions left incomplete, are connected to a
suppressive person, have undisclosed misdeeds or a host of other
ills). I finally completed the level later that year. Thus,
thousands of souls from people who had been dead about 75 million
years had been freed from my body to go, each one separately,
incarnate and live his or her own life.
It took me many, many years after I left Scientology to realize
what a scam it and its auditing procedures are; to realize that
the procedures all utilize techniques to induce increasingly
deeper trance states and rapidly bring about "auditing junkies"
who only live for their next "high". Victims of Scientology who
continue in its altered states of consciousness wind up being
programmed robots, spending all their time, energy and money in
Later in 1968, I was order to sail with the AVON RIVER from La
Goulette, Tunisia to Melilla, Spanish Morocco, to wind up several
incomplete projects left there during a recent visit of the
Flagship. The AVON RIVER was not sea worthy. She had a faulty
boiler input pump and the high pressure cylinder rings in its
steam engine kept breaking.
As the Captain, I reported the fact to Hubbard. He immediately
assigned the vessel and all crew a condition of Liability, (the
ship being a liability as it not sail). The entire crew and myself
were up for seven days with only two to three hours of sleep each
night, disassembling and cleaning the condenser, emptying and
cleaning out the huge boiler, the steam lines from the boiler to
the main engine and lines from the engine to the condenser - a
mammoth job. After seven days, I was threatened by one of
Hubbard's aides with an even lower condition if we did not sail
within 24 hours. To avoid additional duress and punishment, I had
the engine room rapidly put together again, had some old and very
worn piston rings installed and allowed the AVON RIVER to sail so
that we could get away from La Goulette and the crew could get
some much needed sleep.
In March 1969, I was assigned to the Advanced Organization in Los
Angeles as its Commanding Officer and later that year assumed the
position of Deputy Commodore. Both postings were made by Hubbard.
It was a harrowing job. The streams of orders I received on a
daily basis from the Flagship often contained ten to fifteen
contradictory orders from Hubbard's senior management staff. Worse
yet, the orders had to all be executed NOW, so attempting to query
and coordinate them with management proved fruitless.
In addition to the administrative dilemma I experienced at that
time, Hubbard ordered me to return to OT 3 and continue auditing
on the level. I did so hesitatingly, but complied as, of course,
"Hubbard knew best". During the remainder of 1969 and the whole of
1970, I audited on the level almost daily. I gradually felt worse
and worse mentally and emotionally and physically.
I felt as if my personality was becoming fragmented, as if I was
splitting up into hundreds of different "me's". I felt devoid of
energy and will and interest in doing anything. I only wanted to
get away and sleep and forget about Scientology and the Sea Org
world I was living in. I was terribly worried and fearful about
what was happening to me; but even though I reported it
frequently, I was told by several case supervisors to just carry
on. So I continued to believe that time and persistence would
solve the difficult circumstances. They did not, of course ... and
months later and well into 1970, I was no longer aware of my
earlier consideration. I was only intent on doing what work I
could get done and keeping my energy and will high enough to do
it. I felt mentally and emotionally drained, dull and lifeless. I
did not know why. It bothered me immensely.
Upon return to the Flagship at the end of 1970, I was assigned as
one of Hubbard's several executive aides. I fought on through the
weariness and tiredness that I felt inside myself continually for
the next few years, through the ups and downs of being in and out
of favor with Hubbard, the disgrace of another Committee of
Evidence and being forbidden by Hubbard ever again to hold an
executive position. But that passed also and before I knew it, I
was back in favor again.
In early 1974, Hubbard instituted the Rehabilitation Project Force
- also known as the "RPF" - on board the Flagship Apollo. To it
was assigned anyone who Hubbard felt might be a plant or a covert
operative against himself, or anyone who had bad thoughts about
The RPF was represented as a place, a group, where those assigned
to it could rehabilitate themselves using Hubbard's techniques. In
actuality, it was a type of slave labor camp whose members lived,
ate and worked in squalid, degrading conditions and who were
utterly forbidden to talk to anyone but their own kind. They were
completely segregated from normal crew. One evening I saw its
members on the aft deck. They were eating with their hands out of
buckets containing leftover food - they were standing around a
large pot of leftovers shoveling them into their mouths with their
hands as if they were starving. I developed a very real horror of
the RPF and what it represented and a slowly growing fear of
Hubbard and the organization from that point onward.
During the early 70's, Hubbard supervised my auditing personally
for several years. I was in session almost every day. I gradually
became more and more convinced that I was the cause of the
auditing "not working" on me, that I was stopping it from being
successful even though I did not know how I was doing it. It was
firm policy that Hubbard could do no wrong- - ever, that the
auditing techniques be had devised were never wrong - ever, and
that the auditor applying them was rarely wrong. In the face of
such totalist belief, which I completely believed at the time, the
only possible cause of the failure was myself.
Then one day in 1974 during another round of auditing sessions
ordered by Hubbard, I got a bad headache. Nothing that was done
that day got rid of it. It continued thereafter ... and continued
daily for the rest of the week ... and continued the next week ...
and week after week thereafter ... and from that time on I had a
headache almost constantly for 10 years. It would get so bad two
or three times weekly that I was not able to work. The only way I
could tolerate the intense throbbing pain was to sit in my bunk
with. my chin on my knees and wait out the one to three days it
took for it to dull enough so I could return to work. During this
period, I gradually got more and more paranoid about my
"evilness". Because the cause of the headaches could not possibly
be Hubbard or his philosophy or his technology, it HAD to be
myself. It HAD to be something I had done or said at some time in
the past, or something bad or evil about myself that I had not yet
had the courage to face up to. Hubbard ordered the auditing to be
continued but it never got rid of the pain. Sometimes the headache
improved slightly and at other times it worsened. But it never
From late 1975 to March 1982, I lived and worked at the Fort
Harrison Hotel, at 210 South Fort Harrison Avenue in Clearwater,
Florida. The Sea Organization had moved ashore in late 1975 to its
new headquarters in Clearwater, Florida. Hubbard orchestrated the
entire move, including the use of front names so that Scientology
could move into Clearwater incognito. His personal intelligence
agency, the Guardian Office, which ran overt and covert operations
against anyone who dared come up against Hubbard in any way,
assisted with the deception during and after the move.
From October 1975 onward, I held several senior positions at Flag,
this being the name for the complex of organizations which existed
at the Fort Harrison Hotel and other buildings close by. I was an
Officer of the Flag Service Organization, the senior-most
organization in the United States which counseled and trained
As a staff member during this period, I was aware of the public
outcry against Scientology from time to time.
I and other staff at the Fort Harrison Hotel were briefed by
senior Sea Organization or Guardian Office executives as to what
was happening, who was at fault and why, and the positioning and
conduct that we, as staff, were expected to uphold.
During these years, I was completely unaware of the covert
operations run by the Guardian Office against the Clearwater Mayor
Mr. Gabriel Cazares, or against Scientologist Mike Meisner, or
that Scientology senior management discussed murdering Mike
Meisner and "deep sixing" him to prevent him from getting to the
FBI and spilling his guts about the covert operations Hubbard's
Guardian's Office and he had been running against every major
branch of the United States Government including the FDA, the AMA
and more, and the covert operatives placed in many government
agencies including the Justice Department. I was also unaware of
the covert plan and operation that cost Scientology $250,000.00 to
compromise Florida judge Richie at a time when he was sitting on a
case against Scientology. Fortunately, that Guardian Office
operation failed.
During my years in Clearwater, I was aware the Scientology was
deeply disliked and resented by the Clearwater public as evidenced
by their protest marches around the Fort Harrison Hotel. I was
told by Guardian Office representatives, as were all staff, that
the resentment was being stirred up by Scientology's enemies such
as the Mental Health institutions, the FBI and the CIA among
others. I believed the information at the time as it was the only
information I had. All staff were forbidden to read newspapers and
magazines in a successful effort to preclude those that contained
bad news about Scientology. We were also forbidden to watch TV,
and TVs were being methodically stripped from all rooms in the
Fort Harrison Hotel.
My emotional and mental health continued to gradually worsen
throughout the years in Florida and I battled to put up a "normal"
front. I continued working to the best of my ability. Often I had
to leave work due to the intensity of the pain. I started getting
suicidal as I could see no other way out of the condition I was in
and I was convinced the cause was within myself. From time to time
and particularly when the headaches worsened, I mulled over how I
would kill myself. I decided that to safeguard the good name of
Scientology (I had no idea at that time how deeply and completely
deceived I had been all those years about Scientology and Hubbard)
I would end my life at some location distant to Clearwater and
destroy all identification beforehand. I made these thoughts known
to my auditors, and carried on as normally as I could outwardly.
Then in 1978, I was assigned to the Rehabilitation Project Force
at the Fort Harrison, the Sea Organization's slave labor camp. I
was assigned to it because I had evil thoughts about Hubbard and
the Sea Organization. I was utterly shocked and devastated. I was
escorted to the RPF location between two heavy men, both well over
6' tall. I was locked up for about 24 hours in a room with no
windows. I was under continual guard during that time and slept on
a mattress on the floor without sheets or blanket. I was shocked
and awake the entire night sometimes weeping and other times
completely numb, devoid of all feeling or thought. I had a crazed
urge to escape but knew I could not, that I had to finally
confront myself and discover how evil and truly bad I was. I felt
I was split into several people - one of them a kind, loving
person who was in deep shock, the other a cold, calculating, evil-
minded person who was intent on harming others for the fun of it,
and yet another person who was terribly confused and did not know
which of the other two was correctly me. I felt my mind was being
ripped apart, that I could not think or feel anything. I forced
myself blindly through the routine of having' to run continually
(RPF members were not allowed to walk at any time), of having to
talk to non-RPF staff only when spoken to, of having to address
everyone as "Sir", of having to do menial work of cleaning
toilets, of having to wear old, torn and tattered blue overalls,
of having to be seen running in the Florida heat, perspiring and
without makeup or hairdo, doing menial and embarrassing work in
front of all the public - in pain all the time.
I requested to go in front of a Review Board. The Board was
disinclined to see me personally. It found my assignment correct
and ordered I remain in the RPF.
RPF members at that time were completely segregated from "normal"
staff and slept, lived and often ate in the Fort Harrison garage
in the midst of continual exhaust fumes. They were not allowed to
talk to, mix with or eat with "normal" staff. They wore old,
tattered, ripped up navy jump suits or boiler suits and looked
like derelicts from skid row. Women were not allowed to use any
makeup or have any hairdos. No jewelry was allowed. Even in the
incredible hot and humid Florida summers, women were not allowed
to wear short cut-offs but had to wear longer shorts or skirts or
long trousers. No clothing lighter than the heavy material the
jump suits were made from could be worn intitially.
RPF members had to run all the time. They were not allowed to
walk. They had to run while doing their cleaning assignments in
bathrooms and toilets, while doing the garbage details or while
going up and down the 12 flights of stairs in the Fort Harrison
building carrying buckets, brooms and heavy cleaning equipment,
and sometimes buckets full of heavy construction material. RPF
members were not allowed to use the elevators, not even the
service elevator.
To prevent zoning, health and other city inspectors from seeing
the RPF conditions as they really existed, all RPFers were
practiced and skilled in transforming their normal RPF sleeping
areas into what looked like a regular furniture storage space, and
doing so in a very short period of time. I often wished that
someone from the city would spring a surprise visit on the Fort
Harrison kitchen or garage or nursery but it never occurred.
This is how we really lived in the RPF. Some of us slept on thin
mattresses on the bare cement floor. Some had crude bunk beds.
There was no place for clothes, so we lived out of suitcases and
bags which were kept on the bare floors. Some privacy was
maintained by hanging sheets up between bunk beds and between
floor mattresses. The women and men had separate bathrooms and
toilets but they were small. We were not allowed to shower longer
than 30 seconds. We had time only to run through the shower and
out the other end. There was no spare time for talk or relaxation.
We awoke at 6:30 A.M. or earlier at times, did hard labor and
heavy construction work and cleaning until late afternoon. After 8
quick shower and change of clothing, we had to audit each other
and "rehabilitate" ourselves until 10:30 P.M. or later each
evening'. There were no days off, no vacations. We worked seven
days a week, four weeks a month. We ate our meals in the garage or
at times in the dining rooms AFTER normal meals had ended. Our
food consisted of leftovers from staff. On occasions which seemed
like Christmas, we were able to prepare ourselves fresh meals if
leftovers were insufficient.
The RPF maintained a very strict reform code which tolerated no
insubordination or resistance of any kind whatsoever. Any instance
of such was dealt with by immediate push ups or running up and
down the garage inumerable times. The slightest infraction earned
hard and harsh penalties. Every rule had to be followed regardless
of its correctness or applicability at any given point in time.
Certain infractions caused the person responsible to be assigned
to the RPF's RPF, a place in the lower boiler room under the Fort
Harrison Hotel, among the boilers and hot water pipes which
rumbled and hissed twenty-four tlours a day. The place was only
dimly lit. It consisted of interconnecting- spaces through which
one had to crawl on hands and knees at times past or underneath
huge pipes and massive 10 foot high boilers. It was a dark,
forbidding, somewhat scary place. One of my buddies was assigned
to the RPF's RPF for two months for refusing to divulge
confidential information for which she had been bonded in the
Guardian's Office. She was kept in that space excommunicado for
the entire time, with limited bathing and toilet privileges, all
the time being threatened and verbally harassed by RPF superiors.
She finally emerged a broken, silent, sullen person who soon after
managed to escape from the RPF and the Fort Harrison Hotel. Her
name was Lynn Froyland.
I have never seen her since she left.
The RPF had been established for the stated purpose of
"rehabilitation and redemption". It was made to appear as a
constructive and positive activity, devised to help the individual
at a time when he was unable to help himself. However, it was
Hubbard's belief and practice that force, duress and punishment
were necessary and vital to cut through human emotion and reaction
so as to rescue the soul or thetan. I believed Hubbard. But I was
experiencing such humiliation, such degradation and worthlessness
in the RPF that Hubbard's theories began to make less sense to me.
I entered into a profound confusion and a deep emotional and
mental instability which continued onward almost continually up to
the time I left.
To compound the situation, Hubbard states categorically that
criticism is a sign that one has committed a harmful or
destructive action on the person or area one is critical of. This
belief has high credence in Scientology and is rigidly adhered to.
It is common for staff and public to receive extensive
confessional auditing and security checking if they are found to
have the slightest criticism of Hubbard. I now know that this
practice is a very effective thoughtstopping technique and that it
is solely aimed at reforming the individual's thought patterns and
his conduct and was never intended for his enlightenment. I had no
knowledge of this at the time I was in the RPF, and had I been
told it at the time, I would have vehemently denied it as would
all Scientologists.
Throughout my period in the RPF, I felt more and more degraded and
worthless the more I tried to reconcile the slavery of the RPF and
its blatantly anti-social activities to Scientology being the only
road to total freedom. I laboured hard during many auditing
sessions to find the harmful actions I had committed to cause me
to become so full of pain and negative emotion.
Toward the end of 1978, I finally escaped. I left the RPF without
approvaland flew to New York to friends. But within a week the
senior Ethics person at Flag, Tom Provenzano, located me and by
phone threatened me with a Suppressive Person declare and with
being sued, followed and never being left in peace again for the
rest of my life if I did not immediately return to Clearwater. I
broke down completely. I flew back to Clearwater and to the RPF,
but only after Provenzano had promised me I could speak with him
about my assignment to the RPF when I returned. Of course, no such
thing occurred. I had no idea that his "promise" was made solely
to get me back to Clearwater. Once back in the RPF I succumbed. I
returned to working and running and sweating and pain.
After a year, I finally graduated. I was a subdued quiet, obedient
robot, a far more subservient and compliant one than at any time
previously. The headaches were a continuing part of my day to day
life. By that time the fear I was evil had omewhat subsided but
not left. "Graduation" acted as a momentary panacea. I curried
fayour with my superiors constantly as a way to survive.
I refused to return to any executive position again and was
finally approved to counsel or audit others.
I audited continually and well for several years, and even earned
an "Auditor of the Year" award in 1980 in Clearwater. The
intensity of the head pains increased at times and diminished at
others. I received auditing from time to time, always on the
orders of others and none of it making any noticeable difference.
The suicide thoughts continued as well. I desperately hunted for a
way out of my situation. I desperately wanted time to sleep, rest,
think and, above all, escape from the madness of the world I was
in. I had no one to go to if I left, no money to go anywher with
and nowhere to go to anyway. My family lived overseas. I had no
means to get to them and they had no means to assist me. If I left
I knew I would be declared a Suppressive Person which would
automatically deny me contact with any of my Scientology friends.
I was a resident alien in America and didn't know how to market
myself to get a job. I felt utterly trapped by the circumstances I
was in.
Then an old friend of mine with whom I had had a relationship in
1967, made contact with me in the middle of 1981. After meeting
several times, he proposed marriage and I accepted. From that
point on I made secret plans to leave the Fort Harrison and get
back to a normal life.
I finally left at the end of March 1982, after three harrowing
months of security checking, being screamed at, being threatened,
being asked angrily and threateningly over and over again while
hooked up to Scientology's lie detector, whether I was in contact
with the FBI, the CIA, the US Government, the Mafia, the Secret
Sercie, the AMA, the FDA, the AFF, or with hundreds of named
Scientology dissidents. I was accused of being in their pay. I was
threateningly asked whether any of them were paying me. I was
angrily accused of being in phone communication with them. None of
it was true. I painstakingly wrote down every misdeed I could ever
remember committing and worked long hours late in the night, night
after night for a week, "to make up the dreadful damage I had
caused". I started making up, imagining greater and worse misdeeds
in my written admissions to try to reach the "evil" in me again.
Not even that worked.
I left after realizing that enough was enough, and that I would no
longer subject myself to the unbelievable abuses and threats which
had been thrust at me both verbally and in writing all in the name
of "saving my soul"; threats that I would be sued, I would be
expelled, I would be declared a Suppressive Person, I would die, I
would be ordered on a Committee of Evidence (a trial), that I had
to work in the main kitchens, that I was being assigned to the RPF
again, that my eternity would be taken away from me, and that I
would never be left in peace again for as long as I lived.
I finally walked out of the Fort Harrison Hotel toward the end of
March 1982, the threats of security checkers and ethics superiors
echoing in my footsteps.
My marriage fell through. My fiance was terribly harassed and
threatened by Scientologists from Clearwater and did not stand up
to their pressure. I left him as cleanly and quickly as I could
and made my way on my own.
I had left staff and employment with Scientology and the Sea
Organization, but I still considered myself a Scientologist and
therefore followed a Policy of Hubbard's to be accepted back into
Scientology in good standing. The program has five steps, steps A
to E. I did them all extensively, and have copies of them as
bubmitted. By the end of 1983, I was accepted back into
Scientology in good standing. I thereafter worked for Sterling
Management in 1984 for a short period, was horrified to find
myself embroiled in similar situations as that at Flag, and after
completing some assignments, left.
In August 1984 I decided to leave Scientology forever, a decision
I have been extremely and deeply thankful for. It's only been
since late 1984, early 1985, that I started to learn about the
dark side of Scientology and the skillful thought reform and mind
control that it practices on all its adherents.
I have now completed extensive dental work to remedy the years of
sporadic and inadequate dental care allowed in the Sea
Organization and I am under medical care for the headaches.
My life is now worth living once more.
I am one of the lucky ones.
(End of Affidavit as received.)

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