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Originally I believed that Scientology was just a silly and amusing sci-fi religion. I became active against it because of the many detailed allegations against it, from many sources, suggesting something much more sinister. Here I present, for the public benefit, some of the most alarming allegations;- most of them from sworn affidavits.

These extracts have been chosen to convey the maximum amount of significant information in the minimum time. You are strongly advised to look up the complete documents, which are in most cases available through the internet. You are also advised to read the books recommended by Scientology's critics.

Bear in mind that these allegations are about specific incidents occurring in the context of the Scientology/Dianetics regime. This page is to illustrate the extremes of destructive behaviour produced by the Scientology belief system. I am definitely not making a claim about all people who accept Scientology's beliefs.

A Gruesome Death

One of the most recent and most upsetting cases of human rights abuses in Scientology is that of Lisa McPherson. This 36-year-old woman was on staff at Scientology at Clearwater, Florida. In December 1995, she died from a blood clot brought on by severe dehydration and "bed rest". The family were obviously distraught, but Scientology refused to answer their questions about the death, including why Lisa's body had so many insect bites and bruises. The homicide investigation by Clearwater police has also had no co-operation from the "Church".

The medical examiner described Lisa as the worst case of dehydration she had ever seen, estimating that she had had nothing to drink for at least five days. Observers worry that Lisa may have been put on the Introspection Rundown, a period of imprisonment for Scientology staff members who go psychotic.

According to a report by Tim Kelsey and Mike Ricks in the Independent, Scientology's UK headquarters at East Grinstead in Sussex is another location for this imprisonment of unstable members.

A Child Abuse Cover-up

An organisation cannot be held responsible for every crime of its members, so Donald Strawn's abuse of two girls, aged 11 and 13, is not necessarily a reflection on Scientology as a whole. What does reflect very badly on the cult is that they directed the mother not to report the abuse to the authorities; the concern for Scientology's public image outweighing the need for justice and for children to be protected.

An insider at "Gold" base

Andre Tabayoyon, a Vietnam veteran, used to be in charge of security at the extremely secretive and well-guarded base near Hemet, in the California desert. He states that he was trained in psychological techniques to create obedience through abject terror.

Tabayoyon gave examples of people being driven insane by the "higher levels" of Hubbard's teaching and even claimed that this is sometimes done intentionally.

Perhaps most worryingly, he alleged that the base is illegally stockpiling weapons and ammunition. The irony is that in the USA, unlike nearly all other countries, Scientology is tax-exempt, so if this allegation is true, the American taxpayer is in effect subsidising these purchases. Is it safe for people who believe they are victims of a global, even galaxy-wide conspiracy to set up base in the desert and stockpile weapons?

Coerced Abortions

Andre Tabayoyon's wife, Mary, is also a very high-level defector. Her affidavit lists several specific incidents in which Sea Org women were forced to have abortions. Apparently this was so that they would be able to work harder for Scientology. She alleges that the women and spouses who wouldn't accept this were given severe "ethics handling": in other words, punishment.


David Mayo was, at one time, the most senior person in Scientology apart from L. Ron Hubbard. He was a victim of the coup in the early eighties in which the present leadership took hold of the organisation. He testifies that he was made to run around a pole and frequently interrogated in the middle of the night. Similar punishment was given to Vicki Aznaran (another of the deposed leaders), according to Andre Tabayoyon.

Monica Pignotti also wrote an affidavit describing punishment that she experienced and witnessed.

The Infamous Chain-lockers

A number of people who sailed with Hubbard on his boats claim that a routine punishment for people who would not accept Hubbard's authority was to be locked up in the ship's chain locker, or in the bilge tank. Especially worrying is the claim, repeated by several individuals who were there, that children were punished in this way.

Conspiracy to Murder

Gerald Scarff has testified that while in Scientology he was instructed to kill two enemies of the cult; lawyer Ford Greene and head of the Cult Awareness Network Cynthia Kisser. He says that the conspirators also considered planting drugs and child pornography in Greene's office and then tipping off the police.

Allegations about a separate incident surfaced in Scott Mayer's affidavit in 1994. Mayer is an ex-scientologist who claims that he was put on a mission, eventually cancelled, to kill mexican bandits.

Unusual Crimes

Scientology appears to treat people as criminal when they have done things that an outsider would not consider crimes at all. Ralph Glaser was declared suppressive for refusing to disconnect from his wife. Internal documents that were considered by the UK's parliamentary enquiry into Scientology found harsh punishments being assigned to members for disobeying Hubbard or for complaining about the regime.

The original author of this page is Martin Poulter