Transcript of the Howie Siegel talkshow on CJVI, AM900.
Finally finished the transcript of the two-hour show:
[text] = comments
N: Neil Kelly [Producer]
H: Howie Siegel [Talk show host, CJVI AM 900]
B: Al Buttnor [Scientology Spokesman]
K: Dr. Stephen Kent [University of Alberta Prof. of Sociology]
W: Wesley Wakefield [Bible Holiness Movement, Vancouver. "Reverend" Al
Buttnor's little diversionary entry into the mix.]
M: Martin Hunt [Studio guest; former Scientologist]
G: Gregg Hagglund [1st caller from the lit-up switchboard]
L: L. Ron Hubbard [Scientology founder; from tape]
P: Paul Grosswald [Call-in guest; ex-Scientologist]
R: Roy [2nd caller; South African Scientologist]
K: Karl [3rd caller; another Scientologist]
R: Ryan (Brian) Beaumont. [4th caller; yet another Scientologist]
N: It's Siegel, AM 900 384-0900 if you want to join in; and
Howie, what are we doing today?
H: Neil, this is a very, very special show. Hi everybody, I'm
Howie Siegel, that's Neil Kelly, and as those of you who have
been tuning in regularly understand that we are dedicated to
laughs, anything for a laugh, as a matter of fact. However,
today is a departure, today's going to be a little bit different,
today we're going to explore Scientology, and if you've been
reading the newspapers you know what's happening in Germany,
as a matter of fact today a thousand Scientologists marched
in Germany to protest the treatment they've been receiving at
the hands of the German government, and on the show today for
the first hour we have Wesley Wakefield who will be calling
in from Vancouver, he represents the Bible Holiness Movement,
Dr. Stephen Kent, a professor of sociology at the University
of Alberta, who's just returned from Germany, where Scientology
is a large issue, and on the line right now from Toronto, a
spokesman for Scientology, for 18 years he's practiced Scientology,
Al Buttnor. Hi, Al. How are you today?
B: Oh, I'm fine Howie; how are you?
H: Good. Fine, thank you Al, I appreciate you in taking part,
and just let me start by asking you, well, tell us about Scientology.
B: Well, I think that's a good starting place because people really
need to understand what Scientology is all about, factually.
Scientology is an applied religious philosophy which helps an
individual understand himself, his family, others and life better.
It's basically an understanding of who we are spiritually and
what we're all about and it gives answers to life that are
practical, so that it's actually something that can be applied.
H: So, for instance, like if you were to ask me I'm Jewish, God
appeared to Abraham 4,000 years ago, and said you'll be a
holy people and keep the covenant and I could describe sort
of logically that we believe in one God, maybe you could give
us a little bit more about the nuts and bolts of Scientology.
B: Oh, definitely. The primary belief in Scientology is that
we are all spiritual beings in that we are not just a body.
The body is part of what we are, but we are actually spirits,
and when the body dies, that doesn't mean that you or I die.
We actually carry on. And the idea in Scientology is to recover
one's spiritual awareness of his beingness as a spirit and to
basically become salvaged in that why.
H: Uh-huh. Does Scientology believe in God?
B: Well, the belief in God is basically left up to the individual.
Scientology holds that there are something in life called the
dynamics. And the dynamics are the breakdown of life. And you start
out with the first dynamic, which is your self, you go to the
second dynamic, which your family and children, the third dynamic,
which is your groups and the people you participate in at work,
your social groups, you have the fourth dynamic which is mankind
in general, you have a fifth dynamic which is all of life, you
have the sixth dynamic which is the material universe, you have
the seventh dynamic with is the spiritual universe, and then you
have the eighth dynamic, which is the infinite or the god dynamic,
and Scientology talks about the first seven, and it's left up to the
individual to decide for himself what the eighth is, because we
hold that as you grow in spiritual awareness, you will come to
know the true meaning of God better.
H: In my religion we talk about God creating the heavens and
the earth in seven days. Some orthodox Jews accept it, most
think of it as a metaphor. What does the cosmogony in Scientology,
what is the beginning of the earth, where did man come?
B: Well, that's a big question. In relationship to Scientology,
we hold that basically, you know, that you have lived before, that
in the long time track of history in this universe, we have all
participated in the creation of this universe and that I don't
have a beginning of the universe story that I can tell you. It's
more along the lines of an Eastern or a Buddhist tradition, and
that what we're looking at is sort of a wisdom about life one
has to more or less come to grips with the beginning himself.
H: I see. By the way, we're talking to Al Buttnor, everybody.
Al has been a practising Scientologist for 18 years, Al's
in Toronto right now, I'm Howie Siegel, you're listening to
Siegel, AM 900 384-0900. Well, what can I tell you, Scientology
has been so much in the news lately. What's going on in Germany
now is almost unprecedented. Germany has been in the forefront
of our democracies certainly since World War II, they've gone
out of their way to practice multiculturalism and toleration,
they've been an apostle of democracy and due process, particularly
since the Nazi period, in reaction, if nothing else, to that.
And now we find that there's a movement afoot to ban the 30,000
practicing Scientologists in Germany.
B: Well, just to put it to you Howie, we're not the only one's
that are affected. And basically, the more or less problems
have occurred since reunification, and there has been an increase
in anti-Semitic activity there has been an increasing attack
on foreigners also in Germany, that includes Turks and other
foreigners who are living in Germany who are denied German
H: Well at this point perhaps, Al, is there anything else you
can add to Scientology perhaps that could give first-time
listeners, most of us actually, an appreciation of Scientology?
B: Well, yes, I think I can, because I can say what Scientology
has done for me.
H: For instance, do you guys go to, do you have weekly prayer
B: Well we have a weekly Sunday service. It is not our major
religious practice. Our practice is basically having to do with
the learning of the Scientology religious philosophy, and then
counselling others with that, or we call it auditing. And that
is, for us, the spiritual salvation, is going through the
H: Do you go to classes, or do you have one on one, or how
does it work?
B: Well, classes, as far as learning the Scientology philosophy,
yes, you do have classes. We have what's called an academy, and
people come in, and have various levels of courses that people
do depending on what they're interested in and where they are.
H: So, for instance, I could tell you as a Jew I don't eat pork,
I circumcise my sons, I keep certain holidays, I respect other
traditions; as a Scientologist, how does your week differ from
B: Well, I don't think it differs that much at all, Howie. Basically,
we have, what we do is very normal. We don't have dietary regulations,
we are not concerned about things along that line, we do have concerns
about decisions and ethical values that we maintain, but the whole
idea is what we're trying to do is look towards improving life for
people, not taking away from life.
H: And how do you improve life for you?
B: Well, how do you improve life? By getting involved. By getting
out and assisting where you can assist. Mr. Hubbard was a genius
in coming up with technologies or methodologies to assist in the
areas of education, moral rejuvenation, criminal rehabilitation,
and also drug rehabilitation.
H: L. Ron Hubbard is the founder of Dianetics and Scientology.
H: For those of you who don't know about L. Ron Hubbard he
started as a science fiction writer, is that correct?
B: Well, Mr. Hubbard has a lengthy career and that was one
of the things he excelled and which he was most recognized for.
He was actually also an explorer, a photographer, he had
meritorious service in World War II, he was an incredible
H: Now we should actually go to Dr. Kent, in Alberta. Dr.
Stephen Kent is on the line; he's a professor of sociology at
the University of Alberta, and he's just returned from Germany.
K: Yes, Howie; how are you?
H: Hi, well, I'm fine, a little bit nervous. Like I explained
in the beginning, this is my first serious show, and you know
usually I'm devoted to making people laugh, and it doesn't
really matter what I say, but now each word seems to have a
gravity, so I'll be grateful for any help you gentlemen can
H: You've been listening to Mr. Buttnor.
K: That's right, yes.
H: Now it's fair to characterize you as an anti-Scientologist.
K: Uh, probably so. Let's put it this way. Some of my scholarship
is pointing out things about Scientology that the organization
K: So I think I'm being labelled as an "anti-Scientologist." But it's
important to think about what we mean by "Scientology." When I look
at Scientology, I say that it is not *merely* a religion, in fact it
is a multi-dimensional transnational organization, only one *part* of
which involves religion. Other parts involved pseudoscientific
practices and ideas, business practices, historically at least of
some political practices, pseudomedical practices, people would
say, critics at least, pseudo-drug and radiation cleansing practices,
people would say pseudo mental health practices, and so on. So if
we only look at the issues about religion and doctrine and theology
we *miss* the whole complicated dimension about what Scientology is,
and then we can't understand the activities that are going on in
Germany. Now, Scientology still operates in Germany, it just doesn't
have religious status. It's also now the case that in at least
one state people have to identify themselves as Scientologist if
they want state jobs, and it's also the case that people who
are members of the major political parties there have to identify
their involvement in Scientology. We can talk about...
H: Dr. Kent?
H: Can we go to traffic and then come back and finish this?
H: OK, great. We're talking with Dr. Stephen Kent from the
University of Alberta, we're talking about Scientology, when
we come back, we've still got Al Buttnor on the line from
Toronto, a Scientology spokesman, but now here's Neil.
N: And we're back on Siegel AM 900, 384-0900.
H: The subject is Scientology, from Toronto, Scientology
spokesman Al Buttnor, he's been practicing Scientology for
18 years, a very positive gentleman, very clear in his love
for Scientology, and how positive a force in the universe.
On the other line, Dr. Stephen Kent, a professor of sociology
at the University of Alberta, who's just returned from Germany,
and before the break Dr. Kent was talking about how Scientology
is not just a religion, but that has ramifications that extend
into many other areas of human endeavour, and Dr. Kent I'll allow
you to continue now.
K: OK. When Scientology has gone into some countries around the
world, it has backed away from its self-identified religious
designation and just called itself an applied philosophy.
Consequently, when it went into Greece, it dropped its self-identified
religious designation. Also, when it went in Japan. The debate in
Germany began, as near as I can tell, about 1981 when politicians
from around the country were getting calls from their constituents,
who were saying that Scientologists had been involved in questionable
real-estate practices. And there's been a lot of real-estate
activity in Germany because of some changes in laws but also because
of the opening up of East Germany. So, the concern in Germany has
an immediate historical set of activities surrounding it, and those
activities involved what appear to be business endeavours.
H: But Dr. Kent, if I as a Jew do something wrong, break the
country's laws then I'll be tried as a citizen who has broken
a particular law, not as a Jew. If individual Scientologists are
committing crimes, shouldn't they be tried as individuals, as
citizens? Why are we condemning Scientology because *some*
Scientologists have broken the law?
K: OK. It is true that there are a number of court cases involving
individual members of Scientology in Germany. The concern
organizationally comes from the historical understanding of what's
happened with the Scientology organization in other countries.
Some of that historical debate has to do with Canada, some with
the United States. The Church of Scientology of Toronto and at
least seven former members were convicted of breach of trust,
which is a criminal charge, and this breach of trust involved
individuals who had been planted in various police agencies,
and were either collecting or attempting to collect information
that these investigative agencies have about Scientology. Also,
in France, forward leading Scientologist had infiltrated the
security section of the Ministry of the Interiour. There is a
German police officer in Berlin who was feeding information to
Scientology about investigations that were going on. The concern
with the German government and the German political parties seems
to be that the allegiance to Scientology for some people will
override any political and social adherence to laws and so on.
Some of that concern is because of historical and cultural events
that happened in other countries.
H: Dr. Kent, see it's a very fragile ground, because in the old
days they used to accuse Catholics of...
H: ...of allegiance to the Papacy before the country. Jews have for
thousands of years have been accused of, you know, conspiracy,
putting their own tribe above all others, so it's a very difficult
argument. What is it about Scientology per se, not so much what
laws Scientologist have broken, but about the philosophy/religion
itself that odious?
K: Well, I don't know that I'd use the word "odious", but I can
tell you about the issues I was discussing in Germany. Scientology
as an organization runs forced labour and re-indoctrination programs
for its high-level, most committed members. These programs are
called the Rehabilitation Project Force, and if people do an
internet search, they can find out a lot of information, because
many legal documents and former, statements of people who have been
through these programs exist. These camps are run for the high-level
Scientologists who deviate, who's production is supposedly not
high enough, who've questioned leadership and leadership's decisions,
and so on. These Sea Organizations or Sea Org members go through
an internal trial called a committee of evidence, and then if
convicted, they may get sent into these programs. As near as I
can tell, the purpose of these programs is to break down the
will of the individual and reformulate it to be completely
devoted to Scientology's morals and ethics. Moreover, what's
of greater concern is that there is a program inside of the
program for people who get sent into these forced labour and
rehabilitation projects, and then don't respond: it's called the
Rehabilitation Project's Force's Rehabilitation Project Force,
or the RPF's RPF, and this is an extreme program, where they
work hard labour, well actually in both programs they work hard
labour, in the RPF's RPF they don't get paid anything. There's
a lot of accounts about very difficult and problematic sleeping
conditions. There's supposed to be at least five hours per day
of reading, working with Scientology materials, personal confessions
about alleged deviations, and so on. Now, if one knows anything
about the history of modern Germany, with its unfortunate experiences
with both National Socialism and Communism, it's unthinkable that
the German government would allow, would give religious status to
an organization that sends its high-level members into these
programs. The reality always exists that Germans who would join
Scientology move up the ranks and join the Sea Org would wind up
getting thrown into these programs. So, German government officials
know about these programs. There's a homepage that the Bavarian
government put up about Scientology, and it actually talks about
one of these RPF program in Hemet California.
H: RPF meaning Rehabilitation Project Force?
K: That's right, yes.
H: Well we have thirty seconds left before we go to the news,
Dr. Kent. We're talking to Dr. Stephen Kent, professor of sociology
at the University of Alberta. Also on the line is Al Buttnor, a
spokesman for Scientology who of course we'll give a chance to
retort when we come back from the news, I hope you stay with us.
We've also go Wesley Wakefield on the line from the Bible Holiness
Movement in Vancouver. So thank you gentlemen for holding on, and
we'll see you in a few minutes after the news.
K: OK, thanks.
H: An uncharacteristically subdued Howie Siegel ladies and gentleman,
here on AM 900. 384-0900, I'm back with Neil Kelly, but more importantly
it's a serious subject today, it's Scientology. Now, if you were with
us before the break you heard Al Buttnor speak from Toronto, Al is
a Scientologist, he has been for 18 years. He spoke about, well,
the beautiful philosophy and the idealistic religion that Scientology
is, how altruistic it is and how it tries to help people and improve
the world. On the other side of the coin we've got Dr. Stephen Kent,
professor of sociology at the University of Alberta, who has just
returned from Germany where he took part in a press conference
about Scientology. Dr. Kent, when we left him before the break,
was talking about the very many criminal actions that Scientologists
are responsible for, not as individuals, but as agents of
Scientology. Now, gentlemen; at the risk of perpetrating another
Hollyfield/Tyson, I'm going to bring the two of you together.
Your phone lines should be free and unfettered, you should be able
to talk to each other now.
K: OK, hi, how are you doing?
B: Heh, oh, I'm fine Stephen. I'm unfortunately, I'm very concerned
about your rather heinous mischaracterization of out religion, and
I think it's a shame and a travesty that you as a Canadian would
actually go over to Germany and state that the Church of Scientology
operates forced labor camps. You've never even seen one, Stephen,
you don't even know what they look like. I feel sorry for you.
K: Well, Al, I've got in front of me Hubbard's Modern Management
Technology Defined, and it has a section on the Rehabilitation
Project Force on page 441; it then discusses the RPF's RPF on
K: In the RPF's RPF it says number 2, the second characteristic
is that no pay, people do not get paid, they do not get trained,
they do not get auditing. I mean I'm only going, in that case,
from Hubbard's own works.
B: Well, you know that dictionary Stephen happens to be available
K: Oh, I know...
B: And it's one thing to characterize something out of a written
word, but to see it in action...Mr. Hubbard wrote tremendous number
of works in relationship to a lot of different subjects, and you're
taking two paragraphs out of it. And I'm going to just accurately
describe to you what the Rehabilitation Project Force is.
K: Have you been on it, Al?
B: The Rehabilitation Project Force is a rehabilitation program
offered only to members of the Sea Organization, a religious
order consisting of full-time staff who have signed a pledge of
eternal service to Scientology and its goals. Sea Organization
staff members who would otherwise be subject to dismissal for
serious and/or continuous ecclesiastical violations are offered
a second chance through the RPF. Personnel burnout is not new to
organizations, but the concept of a complete rehabilitation is.
Those participating in the RPF both study and receive religious
counselling on a daily basis to address areas of difficulty in
their personal lives. Along with study and counselling, members
of the RPF work eight hours per day as a team on tasks which
improve the facilities of the Church.
H: Excuse me, excuse me, Al.
H: You know, we've only got a limited amount of time, and if we
just read from journals.
B: Well, I'm just trying to give you the proper perspective.
H: Yes I know, but you know we have a lot of things that are written
in the Bible, we have a lot of things that are written in the Koran.
H: And the adherents of those religions don't necessarily follow
the dictates of their God. So we really should confine ourselves
to what Scientologists are practicing today.
B: Well, OK. The bottom line is that...
K: See, you've got to...
B: Anyone can leave the Church of Scientology. Nobody has to
participate in anything. All right?
H: Dr. Kent, Dr. Kent, what would be your response to Mr. Buttnor's
claim that anyone can leave. It's completely voluntary.
K: The accounts that I've read and the accounts that I've heard
from people speak against the voluntary nature of certainly the
RPF program. People all are always under guard. Indeed, one of
the descriptions of an RPF camp in Hemet, California talks about
being behind a wired fence with ground sensors, guards who
allegedly have guns, and so on. Again, people are not assigned
to the RPF with any kind of external legal representation, nor
are they assigned for a specific length of time. They are
assigned as long as it takes for them to convince the people
in charge of the camps that they have come back in line with
the way leadership wants them to act and believe as Scientologists.
So again, people don't have to take either Mr. Buttnor's or my
word for it; they can get on the internet and do a web-search on
Rehabilitation Project Force. Last time I did it I think I got
about a hundred and twenty seven hits, and in those hits are
court affidavits, and personal statements of people who have
been through the program.
B: Now, there's a big difference between talking to an ex
member of a religion and talking to somebody who's an actual
participating member of a religion. Individuals who have completed
the RPF basically are rehabilitated in their attitudes towards
life and livingness. They feel refreshed, they feel improved,
and that's the way it's supposed to be, and I think your
mischaracterization of these Church activities as being somewhat
dark is really deceptive. And I think the fact...
K: Oh, no, it's not deceptive at all, Al.
B: Well, it is, Stephen; it is. I mean, you haven't been willing
to meet with me for six years, have you, Stephen.
H: Wait, wait. Hold on a second, Dr. Kent.
H: Al has just said that you haven't been willing to meet with
him for six years. Now I don't think that that's so relevant
actually Al, forgive me. What your personal relationship is is
really quite beside the point. We're really interested in...
K: Also not true Howie, but ah...
H: Well it, OK. I really...
K: But I don't want to get into personal issues here; let's talk
H: Let's talk about Scientology. Now we've got Dr. Stephen Kent
on the line from the University of Alberta, and we've got
Al Buttnor on the line from Toronto who's a spokesman for
Scientology. Let me ask Al a question. Al, I asked you this
on the phone yesterday; I'll ask it to you again. Now, I spoke
to you at length yesterday. I have very good instincts. You
seem like a very nice person, a appreciable person, and a
H: But I asked you yesterday: is it possible that your leaders
are abusing people, and are corrupted at a level you're not
familiar with. It has happened before. Isn't that a possibility?
B: Well, I'm going to tell you Howie, at this stage of the game,
H: Why do you say that? It's happened in so many other religions
and so many other endeavours where the people at the top are committing
corruptions, and the people at the bottom, now you yourself you're
not part of this Sea Org. Maybe it's going on and you don't know it.
B: Well Howie, our leaders are very accessible, All right. We have
presentations from the leaders in the Church on an average of once
every two months. And, I tell you, the leaps and gains that
Scientology is making in the world are tremendous, and if there
were anything like that going on, I'll tell you those gains would
not be happening.
H: Dr. Kent, is it possible that the abuses are at the higher levels
and at the more ordinary levels perhaps that Mr. Buttnor acts at
that the abuses aren't going on?
K: It certainly is likely that abuses may be going on at the higher
levels. It's also the case too that Scientologists as members of
the organization are prohibited from saying anything negative about
the practices, the beliefs or the activities...
H: Let me ask Al that. Dr. Kent, let me ask Al that. Al?
H: Are you allowed to criticize Scientology? Can you say something
bad about L. Ron Hubbard or about Scientology?
B: Well if I have a criticism, I keep it within the Church, and I
think that the point of the matter here is if Mr. Kent is worried
H: No, I want to, I asked you; could you say anything bad about...
Is everything that L. Ron Hubbard wrote, is that scripture, is
B: Yes, it is, it is scripture to us. I take matters up within the
Church, you know. Taking...
H: Is there anything...in 18 years, is there anything you could
to us that you didn't like about Scientology? I want to see if
whether, you know, forgive me, but if you're really a free person,
and your mind is free...
H: You should be able to express a simple criticism. I don't think it's
...I could say a thousand things bad about Jews, if you want to hear
me, but the subject is on Scientology. So just say some one little
bad thing about Scientology.
B: Well, I'm not going to do that, Howie.
H: Please? Please. Just one little thing.
B: Well, let me tell you why. Look. Why don't you let me appreciate
my religion. If you want to say bad things in relationship to your
experiences in your religion...
H: We're too forceful. We're too pushy.
B: If you want to publicize them, that's fine.
H: We're too pushy.
B: I prefer to keep it to myself, and deal with people within the
Church. All right.
H: OK. Thank you. Thank you, Al. So, where were we?
B: No I just wanted to make another point.
H: All right.
B: If what Mr. Kent is saying is so wrong with Scientology in these
forced labour camps, how come he has not written us in relationship
to those and taken some effective action to correct them. I'm very
concerned about the fact that he's making these serious charges...
I'm just going to read something from the British House of Lords
Report on Germany, All right. And this is...
H: No, listen, again, we really can't, we shouldn't get into
documents, because I've got loads of documents, here. Talk to me
from your heart, Al.
B: OK, I'll talk to you from my heart...
H: Tell me from your heart, tell me from your heart.
B: You know, there are 30,000 people over in Germany that are being
oppressed because of their religious belief, and to characterize
them because they belong to a certain religion as somehow deviant
or somehow different or somehow they should be banned, I think is
disgusting. And I, personally as I said earlier, I'm shocked and
I'm sorry that a Canadian would go over and do this, and, you know,
I hope somewhere down the road Mr. Kent will actually find it in
his heart to look uncritically at Scientology, and see it for what
it is and the benefits that it has for people.
H: Well Al, when we come back from a short break, we're going to
see if Dr. Kent has had a change of heart. I'm Howie Siegel, this
is AM 900, 384-0900, and we're talking about Scientology.
N: We're back on Siegel, AM 900, 384-0900.
H: Scientology. For the last hour we've been talking with Dr.
Stephen Kent from the University of Alberta, professor of
sociology, who's not a friend of Scientology, and Al Buttnor
from Toronto who is a Scientologist, and has been for 18 years.
I was a very exciting exchange; but if you missed it, I can't
tell you that there was any consensus. Mr. Buttnor feels that
Scientology is being vilified in the worst possible way,
particularly in Germany, where there's a movement afoot to,
well, outlaw the movement, if nothing else. Dr. Kent feels
that there may be some justification - that Scientologists
are acting unlawfully. Gentlemen, I appreciate your sticking
on the line. We're going to be going to a break soon. You're
more than welcome to hold on, and we can continue our conversation.
I have Wesley Wakefield in Vancouver. Wesley is part of the
Bible Holiness Movement. Wesley, what is the Bible Holiness
W: It's an evangelical missionary society patterned somewhat
after Methodism, of John Wesley.
H: I see, well ah...
W: My name almost tells you who I am.
H: Well of course, John Wesley. Did you go to Wesleyan?
W: Ah, pardon me?
H: Did you go to Wesleyan?
W: I've taken Wesleyan theological studies, yes.
H: OK. And...
W: But not to the school.
H: And essentially, John Wesley believed what?
W: John Wesley's main belief was that you could experience God's
H: And do you believe in...
W: And that experience would transform your life.
H: Do you believe in predestination? Does God predetermine who's
going to be graced, do you have any way of knowing or do you find
W: Well, I think we all do, even yourself would, in that we believe
God foreknows, if we believe that God is eternal.
H: Do you have to be a Christian...
W: I think... Pardon me?
H: Do you have to be a Christian to be blessed by God?
W: What about Abraham?
H: Well, no, for instance could a Scientologist, well, yeah, what
about Abraham, that's what I'm asking, could a Scientologist who...
W: Abraham was blessed by God above most, because he was submitted
H: I see.
W: Even, we all honour him, even the Jews and the Islam in their
own way, and Christians honour him, at least, real Christians do.
H: So in other words you don't have to be a Christian to be blessed
W: I think "Christian"'s only a label.
H: OK. So, tell us why you're participating in this conversation.
W: I'm interested in the religious freedom aspect of it. And I'm
rather concerned it involves Germany, especially after East Germany's
previous record and the German's previous record prior to the
World War where they had an agreement, as you know, with the Pope
made by Hitler with Cardinal Pacelli, who later became Pope Pius
the XII, and that agreement was that a percentage of German wages
at source would be paid to the Church, and this later included the
Lutheran Church, but not at that time. Now, this gives somewhat
of a money motivation for some of the larger churches to sit by
idly while some smaller ones - and it's not just Scientology alone:
others are involved - because any time a person leaves the two main
groups it means those tow main groups are suffering a loss of money
that's being paid to them under this agreement.
H: You know the problem is that Dr. Kent has asserted that Scientology
is only partially a religious movement, and that it's really its
corporate activities that are illegal. It is not as a religion that
Dr. Kent has a problem with Scientology; it is its other manifestations
that he finds so problematic.
W: Well, I think that you'll understand that any religion affects
total corporate activities; look at the Church of Rome, look right
now in Russia where they have the Orthodox Church has made itself
the official body, and wants other bodies to wait 15 years before
they can practice. And the Roman Church has laid out affairs for
rules for corporate societies and you look back in their history,
and it's very much so. Islam does the same thing.
H: Well, I'm afraid that I must agree with you; generally speaking,
it's almost impossible to go after a church or an organization as
much as democratic society and scruples demand that we go after
the individuals. It's very difficult to...
W: Right. Right. And you know, I'm not a Scientologist. I belong
to a conversionary type of religion. People find that difficult,
they find it difficult that we're evangelical in our faith. I
have no problem with them finding difficulty there. But the thing
is, I find a serious problem with a country that says "you're all
equal", but it's like the old Orwell's _Animal Farm_? Where the
pigs put up a sign: "All animals are equal; some are more equal
H: Well, Wesley, compared to some, I'm a Hapsburg.
W: Are you?
W: Well, I'm Irish.
H: Well, God bless you.
W: [laughs] Yes.
H: What's a nice Irish boy doing being a Wesleyan? You should be a
Papist, like the rest of your ilk. Or at least, I shouldn't say that,
you could be an Orangeman too, of course.
W: Well, we are from the South; we were driven out by the English
during the Potato Famine.
H: Well, listen, I want to tell you a story about...all families
have their problems. You know when Jesus chased the moneychangers
out of the temple?
H: That's when my family lost all their money.
W: Well, I think maybe they found something better then.
H: I hope so. Listen, Wesley, thanks you for talking with us.
Wesley Wakefield from the Bible Holiness Movement in Vancouver
speaks for tolerance in Germany. I'm here with Neil Kelly, I'm
Howie Siegel, it's AM 900, we're...
W: Let me give you a...
H: Excuse me, but we're going to go to the traffic, my friend.
H: What did you say, Neil? Speak up, Neil; you have a voice.
I don't understand sign language; what are you saying? Talk into
the microphone. I don't read lips, Neil. Just say it to me. Say
it to me. Say it.
W: Well, we're going to break away for the news, and when we
come back, who's up?
H: Well, we're going to talk to, I don't know. Al, are you
going to stick around, Dr. Stephen Kent you're welcome to
stick around we'll pick up all the charges, of course. And
Wesley's on the line from the Bible Holiness Movement, and
we're going to speak to Martin Hunt who was a Scientologist
for two years in 1988 and 1989, and we're going to talk to
Paul Grosswald from New York who was a Scientologist several
years ago. So I hope you're going to stick around, we're going
to talk to Scientology and Scientologists here on Siegel.
[end of first hour]
N: And we're back on Siegel, AM 900, 384-0900.
H: A very atypical Siegel show. I'm here with Neil Kelly. For
the last hour we've been talking about Scientology. We've had
Dr. Stephen Kent on the line, professor of Sociology at the
University of Alberta; professor Kent has just returned from
Germany, where he was involved in a press conference discussing
Scientology, and Al Buttnor, a practising Scientologist for
the last 18 years is on the line from Toronto. And these
gentlemen have been mixing it up for the last hour; it's very
interesting. I can't tell you that there's been a lot of
consensus - not at all, as a matter of fact; they're still
butting heads. Now we're going to introduce another fly into
the ointment; his name is Martin Hunt, and he lives in Victoria
since 1992, he's a Vancouver boy. In 1988 and 1989 he was a
practising Scientologist, and today he isn't. Martin, thank you
for coming on the show.
M: Thank you, Howie.
H: I appreciate it, I appreciate it very much. What are your
feelings abut Scientology?
M: Well, I feel a lot hasn't really been said about the core
beliefs of what I would tend to call a cult. For example, I've
got some quotes here in front of me written by the Founder,
L. Ron Hubbard, and one of them says "never fear to hurt another
in a just cause", and Scientology has, over the years, carried
out this policy in attacking its critics: anyone who speaks out
against it. For instance, authors have written books...Paulette
Cooper wrote a book called _The Scandal of Scientology_, and was
attacked and threatened, framed up with a bomb threat, and sued
19 times under another Scientology policy simply for writing a
book and expressing her beliefs.
H: Are you worried about being punished for coming on the air with
M: Well it is a concern, and a lot of ex-Scientologists are scared
to speak out against the cult, because their beliefs basically
justify attacking anyone who attacks them. And by "attacking them",
if someone merely criticizes them, that is seen as an "attack".
H: I see. Well, tell us about your personal experiences with
M: I was in Scientology for a couple years; I was a staff member
in Vancouver, and I was sent down to Los Angeles for "training",
where I did 18 courses. And I noticed Al Buttnor before mentioned
the RPF, and how Dr. Stephen Kent hadn't seen the RPF, well I've
H: You have?
M: I've seen it; I was in fact a supervisor for the RPF.
H: Now, the RPF is the Rehabilitation...
M: Rehabilitation Project Force is basically a prison camp for
Scientologists who speak out against the cult or...
M: ...do some infraction, don't produce enough money and go "downstat",
it's called, down statistics, then they are sent to the Rehabilitation
Project Force. It's not really a very voluntary thing.
H: I see. Now, Al Buttnor said that in fact it was a second chance
for orthodox Scientologists, a chance for them to reload themselves
or refresh themselves, that in fact it's a way for a wayward
Scientologist to get better, so to speak.
M: Well, I've spoken to many ex-Scientologists who were in the
Rehabilitation Project Force, and they didn't really see it that
way. I know one in particular who I'm exchanging a lot of email
with over the internet who ran away from the thing, and he
basically considered it a prison camp. He was locked up, there
was barbed wire; this was in California.
H: There were people forbidding him to go?
M: He was forbidden to go, and there were guards to keep people in.
H: I see; where was this in California?
M: This was in Hemet.
H: The old...I went to Gilman Hot Springs when I was a kid.
M: You did?
H: That was like a Jewish Kosher resort when I was a kid, and
then when that fell out of favour, much like the Catskills, for
instance, or Grossinger's in New York, it was bought by Scientology.
M: Ah, interesting...
H: Yeah, I was at Gilman Hot Springs as a kid. In any case I...
M: Anyway, this is one of their world, this is sort of a world
headquarters for them now, sort of one of their main locations or
H: OK, but Martin...
M: The cult has many different levels, and Gilman Hot Springs
is an extreme example of Scientology, like an extreme...
H: This is one thing that I've discovered is that there are
devotees, initiates who are attracted to Scientology, and who are
brought up in a series of gradual steps.
M: Right. And, for example, for listeners in Victoria, just to
bring it home here a little bit, there's a mission that has just
opened up in downtown Victoria on Johnson Street. This is a very
low-level affair; these used to be called "franchises" when
Scientology was seen as a business. Hubbard originally established
it as a business, not as a religion. And people who go there won't
really see the extremes that can happen up at higher levels,
especially on their ships and in their higher-level camps and
H: Is that where the abuses take place?
M: That's where the abuses mainly take place, yes. And the local
mission acts basically as a funnel to take people in, give them
a little bit of training, hopefully sign them on a staff contract,
funnel them to Vancouver, and then they're funneled down to Los
H: OK; so a staff contract. By the way, we're talking to Martin
Hunt, ex-Scientologist here on Siegel, AM 900, 384-0900. We have
Al Buttnor on the line from Toronto; he's a Scientologist, and
we'll give him full chance to respond to Martin and Dr. Stephen
Kent on the line from Alberta. You sign a contract; are you talking
about money now?
M: Staff are supposed to be paid, however the actual pay usually
comes to a matter of $15 or $20 per week, it's usually very minimal.
It used to be better back when the cult was more successful back
in the 70s people were possibly paid more. Yes, the staff contracts.
At the higher levels at the Sea Organization the staff sign a one
billion year contract, but at the lower level it's 3 or 5 years.
H: OK, you've lost me a little.
H: The people who work for Scientology at the Victoria level make
$15 or $20 a week.
M: Probably, yes.
H: So they're basically volunteers?
M: Basically, yes, I suppose you could say they are volunteers.
H: Well, we have religious volunteers in all religions; that's not
extraordinary by any means. People feel altruistic, and they want
to contribute. But, when you come into Scientology, what is the
money situation in Scientology?
M: Well, it's interesting you bring up money; one of their prime
policies is called the steps...or the Governing Policy of Scientology,
and it lists out a series of steps of what's supposed to be done.
This is the Governing Policy; step A is make money, step J is make
money, K is make more money, and step L of this policy is to make
other people produce so as to make more money.
H: What are you reading from right now?
M: This is a quote, as a matter of fact it is from L. Ron Hubbard,
and it's one of his bulletins or policy letters.
H: OK. So, all religions are interested in money. My son...
M: Scientology focuses on it to an excess, though. I mean, one
thing that hasn't been brought up here is that the people who go
to the top level of Scientology, to OT 8, as it's called, end
up spending about three hundred and sixty thousand American
dollars to get there. I don't know; in the Catholic religion
they may pass around a plate and people may put on a dollar
or two, and if they have the money, you know, they will and if
they don't they won't. But nobody says that to achieve a certain
level you need to pay $1,599.59 plus tax, please.
H: So, in other words, every level of Scientology has a price
tag on it?
M: A price tag set on it, fixed in policy, and charged and
run through Visa or Mastercard. It's not really very religious;
it's more businesslike.
H: And if you don't have the money but you're orthodox, you want
to progress in Scientology?
M: You do have one option: you can sign a staff contract, basically
in servitude, and do them, get them done under, get the things for
free, as a staff member.
H: You get...
M: But remember, it's not really "free", since you've signed a
contract to give them all your time, so it's your time going to
them instead of your money. They want your resources, basically.
H: I see. Well listen, we're talking to Martin Hunt who was a
Scientologist. What are your feelings about Scientology now?
You've left...it's been 7-8 years, do you have any positive
feelings about Scientology?
M: It's perhaps not an entirely negative experience; I'm not
really concerned about the religious angles of it and whether...
and you know a lot of people are there in Scientology for good
motives; they want spiritual freedom. My concern is that they are
being exploited and being used to make money.
H: Do you consider it a cult?
M: Yes I do.
H: When somebody speaks positively of Scientology, are they
M: Well, they're operating under a specific policy when they do
this; the policy is Good Roads and Fair Weather. They're just
supposed to talk about good things, and people in Scientology
are trained to say these things. Whether these are really their
feelings or not, I don't know, since it's a written-down policy
to interact with people in this way. Sometimes you get the feeling
you're not really dealing with a real person.
H: So if what you're saying is accurate, when I asked Al Buttnor
to say something negative about Scientology...
M: He would not. That's right; he refused.
H: Well, he couldn't, then.
M: Well, he can't, really. Criticism of Scientology is considered
a *crime* as a matter of fact, you know. It's if you criticize
Scientology, you're a "criminal".
H: OK. Let's...
M: It's kind of extreme.
H: Let's go to Al Buttnor in Toronto. Al, are you there?
B: Yes I am.
H: Al, have you been listening to Martin Hunt?
B: Yes, I've been listening very interestedly in.
H: Any response?
B: Well, I think you need to start a paranoid club out in Western
H: Let me ask you Martin; are you paranoid?
M: Not particularly, no. Possibly I'm a little concerned about how
Scientology has targetted and gone after critics in the past; and
I'm not speaking, I'm not really making it up. You're not really
paranoid if they're actually out to get you.
B: Well, I think it's the other way around, Martin. I think we
had to phone the police back in 95 about your threats.
M: Is that a fact?
B: That is a fact.
H: Did you make any threats?
M: Absolutely not. Be interested to know what he's talking about.
B: Well, you were visited by a detective Ken Rogers, and he met
with you about the death-threats you had put onto the internet,
M: Oh, were these certain printed-out documents you alleged to be
mine? I noticed that these same documents were used down in Clearwater...
B: [talking over]
H: Al, Al, wait one second. Gentlemen, gentlemen; one at a time, please.
H: He said...is there any basis to this story?
M: Absolutely none. These same documents were used to get a
temporary restraining order against Dennis Erlich when he was down
in Clearwater, at Flag, protesting their organization. This same
document he attributed to me he also attributed to Dennis Erlich.
[chuckle] Which one of us wrote it, Al Buttnor?
B: Well, I, I do have...
M: You're using the same document for two different people.
B: I just have a report, Martin.
M: Yes, well your report isn't accurate.
B: I don't even know you, Martin.
M: To put it mildly.
B: Oh. Well. OK. Look...
H: So, Al, I must tell you.
H: And I spoke to you last night and I told you sincerely that you
sound like a swell guy.
H: But I've talked to so many people in the last few days setting
up this show.
H: And the ones that concern me the most are the ex-Scientologists
who are afraid to speak to me on the radio about their experiences
in Scientology for fear of retribution. Now, I'm not going to give
you their names; I've promised them anonymity. But you must believe
me as I believe you, and I believe you are a sincere person, that I
am sincere in telling you that they are afraid to go on the air with
me, and I was warned that if I was to go on the air and malign
Scientology and talk about quote "confidential doctrines" that my
happiness would be under attack.
B: Well, you know, I don't know what to say to you, you know.
M: Well, Al, Howie, I can answer that. Basically he's operating
under the Fair Game policy...
B: [talking over] No, no, let me...
H: Gentlemen, gentlemen; we'll go to the weather, we'll go to the
traffic, we'll talk about something absolutely meaningless, and
then when we come back we'll give everybody a chance to speak.
So, thanks for your patience. Neil Kelly.
N: We're back on Siegel, AM 900, 384-0900.
H: Scientology. Scientology, Scientology, Scientology. In the studio,
Martin Hunt, he was a Scientologist in 1988 and 1989; he's living in
Victoria. On the line, Al Buttnor; he is a Scientologist and has been
for the last 18 years. Before the break, I asked Al why so many people
seemingly were afraid to talk to me about Scientology, so many
ex-Scientologists were afraid to talk to me for fear of retribution.
I was warned not to talk about Scientology in a negative way, or
that my life would be made miserable, and Al had an answer to that
before we went to the break. Al, are you there?
B: [very quiet] Sure. Look, you know, I don't know who you've been
talking to, Howie. Now, the response to Scientology is popularity,
as far as I'm concerned. The people I talk to, I'm on a number
of interfaith committees out here in Ontario, I'm on a lot of
other committees relating to city activities [click]...Hello?
H: Yeah, I'm here, I'm here; I'm listening.
B: OK. And I don't have any problem with it.
H: Well, you know what I think?
B: Can I just finish?
H: No, Absolutely, Al; Absolutely.
B: All right. Look. And you've been talking to a cadre of individuals
who have somehow not been able to get on with their lives, and start
taking up as their cause so-called the Church of Scientology. I have
a letter here from Mr. Hunt, if he wants to deny death threats...
M: Speaking of policy, I mean that's Dead Agent material; that's
what that is.
B: [talking over]
H: But Al, I have to tell you Al, I'm not talking to a cadre of
anybody; there were people I had known in school that I hadn't
talked to in 30 years, and I found out about them, you know, I
came back into Scientology, I called them up, I heard that they had
been practicing Scientology. So I'm not talking to a cadre or
cabal of anti-Scientologists at all...
H: ...Not even a little bit; but listen, I've got somebody on the
line. This guy just called; his name is Gregg Hagglund, and Gregg...
B: [quietly] This is a set-up.
H: ...Gregg, are you on the line?
G: Oh yeah; I'm right here.
B: [too quiet to be sure] I'm not talking anymore...
H: What do you think? You've been listening to the show, tell us
G: Well, I've listened to the show only since the last 20 minutes...
B: [quietly again] This is a set-up.
G: But Mr. Buttnor, of course, sounds very sincere, but he's trained
that way, I mean it's part of the package. Mr. Buttnor is never going
to admit the actual facts because he can't. He's governed by certain
laws and regulations within Scientology and...
H: Are you tell...
G: ...he's entitled to that faith.
H: Gregg, Are you telling me that Scientologists are brainwashed?
G: Ah, to a certain extent, yes. There is a certain amount of -
I wouldn't call it "brainwashing" - ever read _1984_?
G: Thought reform. That's talking about is thought reform here. Now,
I long long long long time ago practiced hypnotism, as a stage act,
and I got really educated by a professional about not to do that
because it's dangerous. But when I stumbled upon Scientology's
inner workings last October and I read some of the auditing
processes, my jaw dropped. Raw, plain, hypnotic techniques,
step by step, getting ahold of your willful...
B: Ah, ha ha [laughs]
G: ...suspension of disbelief, step by step, until finally you're
willing to believe things like OT III, where Xenu created the
body thetans by blowing us all up in volcanoes, billions of us,
75,000,000 years ago, and then implanting, according to Hubbard,
God and Christ as evil implants. Now what I want to know, and
what I stand out in front of the Toronto org at least three times
so far organizing pickets, I hand out a pamphlet about Xenu, which
reveals this truth...
H: Now, Xenu Xenu...
G: ...this truth in Scientology.
H: Excuse me.
G: And you know what?
G: They don't tell people going through the door about that.
You know why? I don't think a Christian or a Jew or a Moslem or
anyone else who believes in Christ or a monotheist belief is
going to walk through the door of Scientology for two seconds...
H: Let me clarify something, Gregg. By the way, where are you
G: Oakville Ontario, just South of Toronto.
H: OK. I want to tell you about Xenu, or at least my listening
audience - obviously don't have to tell you about Xenu. Xenu,
according to L. Ron Hubbard, was in charge of all the planets
75,000,000 years ago, including Earth, and all these planets
had an overload and overpopulation of a 178 billion people, and
so they were brought to Earth, where, in fact, they were blown
up, their bodies were disintegrated, but their souls survived,
and those souls aliens are now residing in all humans. Now is
that basically the philosophy of Scientology?
G: Yeah, they're basically stuck to us, the clusters, body thetans,
and you have to pay many many thousands and thousands of dollars
in the higher levels once this is revealed to you.
H: Right. You can't just...
G: And get rid of these things.
H: They don't tell you that when you walk in.
G: No no no, when you go in...
H: Off the sidewalk.
G: ...to work on yourself and improve yourself and get over your
reactive mind, and when you get to the point you're clear you find
out that that's all bull, you were making up the fact that you had
a reactive mind, if I understand correctly, and what the problems
is, you have these body thetans, the body thetans from Xenu's evil
acts, and Hubbard wrote at that point - and Scientology has sued
people and spent millions trying to hide this fact - Hubbard wrote
at that point that God and Christ are evil implants. Now, I'm not
a Christian, OK? But I happen to believe in God. And I find it
M: It's bait and switch, Gregg, plain and simple: bait and switch.
G: That's right.
G: Hello, Martin.
G: Absolutely, absolutely outrageous they don't do that when you
walk in. When you walk into a Christian church they hand you a
bible and if you ask questions, they say "yes, we believe that
Jesus died for all our sins, and rose from the dead, and we have
this ceremony where we go through ritual cannibalization." And you
know what? I don't find that outrageous, because people find out
about that from day one. OK?
H: Listen, Gregg?
G: You don't walk into Scientology and get told that Xenu the
galactic overload, overlord; "overload", yeah.
G: Overlord, and there's no God or Christ.
G: Because Christians and Muslims and Jews would not have anything
to do with it.
H: Gregg, we have to go to a break. You've made your point, and
when we come back from the break I hope that Al in Scientology will
be able to give us an answer.
G: Yeah, well, you'll have to give him a chance to look it up in his
H: [laughs] We'll ask Al. And now, Neil Kelly with his religion,
which is basically centered around the traffic and the news.
N: And we'll be right back after this newsbreak for another half
hour of this stimulating topic.
N: We're back on Siegel, AM 900, 384-0900, star-900 if you're on
a cell-phone. Howie?
H: Neil, we're talking about Scientology, and before the break
we were talking to Gregg Hagglund, who's still on the line.
Gregg essentially said that when people are first approached
to...interested in Scientology they're not told that much much
later on in the game when they're already into Scientology for
thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars they find out
that there's an other-worldly science-fiction Genesis to Earth.
In fact, 75,000,000 years ago there was a ruler named Xenu who
blew up aliens and these aliens souls are populating our human
bodies, and that in fact Scientology does not believe in Christ.
And now I want to go to Al Buttnor in Toronto, who is a Scientologist,
and ask Al what his response is to Gregg's charges.
B: Well I have a question for you Howie...
B: How does a guy in Oakville hear your show?
H: It was on the net. Someone put it on the net that we were having
B: I see.
H: So he called in; I've never Gregg Hagglund before, nor had I ever
heard of him, Al.
M: Well, Al, you're in Toronto, are you not? So...
B: Then he just happens to get on your show out of all the people
H: Is this, do you find that maybe I'm part of a conspiracy against
Scientology? Is that what you're implying?
B: Well, I'm asking you.
H: I'm telling you the truth; I've never heard of Gregg Hagglund
before. I've never talked to him. The first time I ever saw his
name mentioned was ten minutes ago when my engineer put a piece
of paper in front of me that said "Gregg Hagglund is on the line."
I didn't even know where he was calling from.
H: But when I talked to Stephen and Martin, obviously one of those
gentlemens put the information on the net that this show was going
to take place...
B: I see...
H: And that's how I assume that he found out about it, but it was not
by my withal that it took place...
B: OK. Fair enough.
H: So, in any case, what about this science-fiction stuff; is this
B: Well, I have a little problem with Mr. Hagglund's position.
H: Yeah, but what about the science...forget Hagglund.
B: Can I, can I, can I finish what I'm saying?
H: Forget Hagglund. But can't we just talk about Scientology?
B: Well, I would like to know why Mr. Hagglund is posting pictures
of our staffs and public and children onto the internet.
H: I want...Al...let's...Al, Al; it's not about Hagglund, it's
about Scientology. Is it true about...
B: Well, can I just say something?
H: Do Scientologists believe in Christ? Do Scientologists believe in
B: It's up to the individual.
H: Do, well, Ron Hubbard...
B: We're not a Christian church.
H: Ron Hubbard does not believe in Christ. Ron Hubbard said there
was no Christ.
B: Howie, we're not a Christian church.
H: So you don't believe in Christ?
B: It's not, we've never professed to be a Christian church.
H: OK. So you don't, but Ron Hubbard said there was no Christ.
B: Well, that's not true.
H: Yeah, well, I have a tape of Hubbard saying there was no Christ.
B: Well, OK...
H: Would you like to hear it? Would you like to hear the tape? I'd
be happy to play it for you.
B: Glad to say to you, glad to play it.
H: OK, I'm going to play it right now. On October 3rd 1968, onboard
the Apollo which was Ron Hubbard's cruise ship, his Sea Org
headquarters, he addressed what was called the first class of OT 8,
and in fact, he said...
B: When was this?
H: He said there was no Christ, and now we're going to play of the
actual L. Ron Hubbard saying that.
L: Every man, is been shown to have been crucified, so don't think
that it's an accident that this crucifixion may found out to be
crucified. [unclear] Somebody, somewhere on this planet, back about
600 BC, found some pieces of R6. And I don't know how they found it,
either by watching madmen or something, but since that time they
have used it, and it became what is known as "Christianity." Ah,
the man on the cross: there was no Christ. But the man on the
cross is shown as every man, so of course each piece of a person
seeing a crucified man has an immediate feeling of sympathy for
this man. Therefore, you get many PCs who say they are Christ.
Now, there's two reasons for that, one is that the Roman empire...
H: Now, Al? As you heard clearly that was L. Ron Hubbard in 1968
saying "the man on the cross", and I'm quoting, "the man on the
cross: there was no Christ." So that is in fact what Hagglund said.
B: Well, OK, I can tell you other tapes where he does say there
is a Christ, or where there was somebody...Christ, as Christ, yes.
H: OK, so he was confused.
B: Well, he, he...you're taking something out of context.
H: Well, he was inconsistent.
B: Scientology is a rather large and expansive religious philosophy.
There's a lot of various points to be made on various aspects of life,
and you're taking one little point...
B: ...and trying to blow it out of context. If you want to, that's
your right. OK?
H: OK, fair enough; I'll accept that. Fair enough. What about this
science-fiction stuff about 75,000,000 years ago aliens, overpopulation,
all that stuff.
B: Well, you know, all I can say...all I can say is you know, look.
In Scientology, you're rising to be yourself as a spiritual being.
We've lived a long time. I can't comment on what Mr. Hagglund says
because I have no personal knowledge of what he's talking about.
H: How far, Al. how far have you risen in Scientology? What is
your rank right now?
B: Well, as far as spiritual level, you mean?
M: OT level.
B: Well, I'm a clear.
H: Oh, congratulations!
B: Thank you.
H: Thank you, congratulations; I know that's very difficult. How
much did it cost you to become clear?
B: Ah, well; not very much, actually.
H: Really? How much?
B: Well, it happens to be personal. You know...
B: My contributions to my church are my thing. How much do you give
to your synagogue?
M: But Al; they're not "contributions", they're fixed costs.
H: Well, let's see.
B: How much do you give to your synagogue?
H: The shul, it's $900 per year for membership a year, and then there's
the donation to the local Jewish charity, the Israel, if you want it, I
give $400 to the Victoria, I give $600 to Israel, I give $900 for my
membership, and then if the kids go to, you know, Hebrew school or
nursery school, they charge you extra.
B: Yep. OK.
H: So it costs me about, you know, whatever, a couple grand a year to
be a practicing Jew in Victoria. However, if I don't have the money,
I can still go to the synagogue, I can still participate. There's no
difference between a member and a non-member, except I think on a
vote. You know, when you vote on a board matters at the end of the
year then I think that only members would get a vote. But other than
that, there would be absolutely no discrimination. I wouldn't know
if somebody's a member or if somebody isn't a member. So I think a
lot of people are concerned about the amounts of money that go
B: Well, you know, that's something that's totally trumped-up.
You know the fact is...
H: Do you make a living on Scientology? Are you a professional
B: I am a volunteer within my church.
H: Do you make any money from Scientology?
B: Well, I make my staff pay.
H: How much is that?
B: Well, it varies...
H: Give me an idea.
B: From $50 a week to a couple hundred dollars a week.
H: So, in other words, that's not really your principle source
B: No. No, it's not.
H: You know I...
B: You know what?
H: No, please, go ahead.
B: OK. Look. I'm devoted to my religious faith.
H: That's obvious.
B: If somebody has, if somebody has a problem, that they are upset
with, or that they feel is unjust, I'm certainly willing to address
B: OK? If somebody wants to chastise me for being a Scientologist
or believing what I believe in, then that's not my problem.
B: That's their problem.
H: Al, you want to know the truth?
B: Well, it would be good to have some, I guess.
H: Al, I met you, well, I've been very honest with you. I've never
tried to deceive you. You are a true believer, and I believe that
you're sincere, and you're a very nice person, but there's so many
people who don't dislike you, but have a difficulty with this
organization that you believe in, that you care about very deeply.
Their fear is that you are, in fact, for want of a better word,
brainwashed; you're incapable of seeing the truth, that you are in
fact a zombie in the name of Scientology. And that's, it's not that,
they don't dislike you, it's that they can't stand what the
organization has done to people. It's hurt so many people. It's
cost people their happiness, their sanity - I talked to girl on
Saturday who was crying because the church told her sister not
to talk to her, because for 15 years she had left the Church of
Scientology. For 15 years they allowed the family relationship
to prosper. On Saturday she told me that the church told her
"don't have anything to do with your sister or her family again
until they get rid of their associations who are anti-Scientology."
After, so when I hear stories like that, when Martin, who I've
never met before in my life, comes in and tells me how evil
Scientology is, I start to believe it. But I don't think you're
evil; I think you're a nice person. But I think you're brainwashed.
M: Well, Howie, that policy is called "disconnection", and it's
a notorious rubbing point between society and Scientology.
H: OK, you're listening to Martin Hunt, who was a Scientologist.
And we have, on the line, yes. All the way from New York, we
have Paul Grosswald. Paul, thank you for participating. Are
you there, Paul?
P: Yeah, I'm here.
H: Have you been listening to what's going on?
P: Yes, I have.
H: Well, tell me; what do you think?
P: Well, I'm a former Scientologist, and there certainly is a
disconnection policy. Scientology told me that my parents were
suppressive, and they tried to intercept messages from my parents
and tried to break up our relationship. And the way I was able
to get back together is, thank God, there were people out there
who were willing to help me. So I just want your listeners to
know that if they're having a problem, from Scientology or from
any other cult, there are organizations they can turn to for
help. And if I can just say them for a second, you have the
Toronto Cult Hotline where the phonenumber is 416-410-2858,
that's in Toronto. And in Montreal, there's an organization
called InfoCult, the number is 514-274-2333. So there are places
people can go to for help.
H: [talking over] And in British Columbia, if they are in trouble,
they go to a bar.
P: I'm sorry?
H: I'm just making a joke.
P: Oh, OK. [laughs]
H: Paul, you do work with cults.
P: Yeah, well I speak out about cults a lot. I've been going to
colleges and highschools and trying to educate people so they
can prevent themselves from getting recruited, because I think that
preventative education is obviously the best education. And also,
when families have problems they've called me and I've tried to
help families get back in touch with their loved ones, as well.
H: Yeah, very...
P: So I've had a lot of experience with this disconnection policy.
H: Paul, very briefly, because we're going to go to a break, and
then when we come back we'll talk to you, how are people aware
that they're dealing with a cult?
P: Oh, how do they know they are dealing with a cult?
P: OK, there are certain warning signs you can watch out for, first
of all the deception. I mean, in my case I wasn't even told
Scientology existed; I was told I was being involved with the
L. Ron Hubbard Dianetics Foundation, so the name was being used
deceptively. I wasn't told up front what all the belief systems
are; there's a lot of deception. If they're trying to come between
the person and the loved ones and the family and the friends, that's
usually a warning sign to watch out for. If the organization is
using hypnotic techniques, as Gregg mentioned earlier, or if they're
trying to isolate you or trying to get you to leave school, leave
work, and the group starts to take over your entire life, that's
a warning sign to watch out for. And if you're getting involved in
an organization, you have to be very careful to ask lots of
questions, and don't ever go anywhere with somebody who tells you
that you have to go now because this is your only opportunity,
because that's how they get you. Once in a lifetime opportunities
come along every day, so don't let somebody pressure you into
doing something that you don't have time to think about.
H: OK, Paul? Hold on to it, and when we come back from the news,
we'll talk to you.
N: We're back on Siegel, AM 900, 384-0900 to join in.
H: We're doing Scientology, I wish we had two more hours. Roy, you're
on the line.
H: Go, go Roy; I know you've been waiting a long time. Forgive us,
the show's packed.
R: I'm on the line...
H: You're talking, now; you're on the radio, Roy. What's on your mind?
[sound of radio in background echoing what's being said]
N: Roy, turn off your radio.
R: OK, my radio is off. But I don't see...
H: Roy, you're on radio now; what did you want?
M: Do you have a question for us, Roy?
R: OK, I...if I'm on...am I on the radio now?
H: Yes! Roy, you're on the radio!
R: OK, good; wonderful. I mean, I was in the Sea Organization for
ten years, and I'm very familiar with the Rehabilitation Project
Force, in fact at one time I actually asked to go on the Rehabilitation
H: Now, that's what Dr. Stephen Kent called a labour camp, a forced
R: Correct. Now...
H: Would you agree with that characterization?
R: No, not at all, actually. I think that's kind of...highly,
highly, highly misquoted, highly, ridiculous, in fact.
H: Are you still, are you still, are you still practicing Scientology?
R: Yes, I am practicing Scientology, and I was a member of the
Sea Organization, and when I wanted to leave the Sea Organization
I certainly didn't have any armed guards in my way telling me I
couldn't leave. My sister was also a member of the Sea Organization;
currently she's married to a non-Scientologist, and she lives over
in South Africa. She can tell you also she didn't have any armed
guards preventing her from leaving. My other sister was also a
member of the Church of Scientology, and she's also married to
a non-Scientologist at this particular point. She also didn't
have any armed guards telling her she couldn't leave.
H: Let me ask you a question. Are you capable of saying anything
negative about Scientology?
R: Well, I'll tell you something, I don't have anything negative
to say about Scientology.
H: So you can't say anything negative after ten years of dealing
with a philosophy or a religion that encompasses three segments of
your...you can't say anything negative?
R: What I can tell you Howie, is that if I look at the policies
and the programs of the Church of Scientology, and if they are
applied accurately as per the policies and programs of the
Church of Scientology, I've nothing negative to say about it.
H: [sotto voce] OK.
R: On the other hand, one can always just as you have in the
Catholic Church, I mean, if you have a priest that goes and
molests young children, one could say something very negative
about the priest who molests young children, but that doesn't
involve the Catholic Church, does it?
H: No, I understand...
R: Even if the seniors of that particular priest cover it up,
that doesn't mean to say that that religion is now bad.
H: You're a hundred percent right.
R: OK, good...
H: A religion should never be judged by its practitioners.
H: We're almost over; thank you for calling. I wish that we had
five more hours, but we're going to go to the next call. People
have been waiting so long.
H: Thank you. Karl?
H: Hi, Karl; you're on. You've got to speak quickly, though; we're
almost out of time. Karl's gone. OK; have we got anybody else
waiting? Ryan? Hi Ryan.
R: Brian Beaumont.
H: Ryan, thank you for waiting; we've only got a moment or two.
Could you make it fast?
R: Yes, I have something to say.
R: I've...am I on the air now?
H: Yes, you are; you're on radio.
R: OK, my name's Brian Beaumont, and I've been a Scientologist for
the past 22 years.
H: Where are you calling from?
R: And I've made so many incredible good changes in my life because
of the use of this religious philosophy. I just listened to Kent...
M: Brian, how do you pick up this radio station in Vancouver?
H: It goes to Vancouver; we're in Vancouver.
M: Oh, it does?
H: We're in Vancouver, yeah.
R: Oh, yeah. I've just listened to Mr. Kent and Mr. Hunt and whoever
else you've had on the air. I've listened to their warped viewpoint
about my religion.
H: Well, you also listened to Mr. Buttnor, too, and he's a practicing
R: Yeah, I'm not saying his viewpoint is warped, I'm saying his
viewpoint is right on the money.
H: OK, let me ask you...
R: I've also had...listen, I've got to finish.
H: Yeah. Yes, sir.
R: I've had the opportunity to make a very in-depth study of what
makes men like Mr. Kent and Mr. Hunt...
H: No, no; we're not going to talk about other people. We're just
going to talk about Scientology. Are you capable of saying anything
bad about Scientology?
R: I haven't got a bad thing to say about Scientology.
H: [sotto voce] OK.
R: No, because it's benefited me incredibly.
H: Karl? OK.
R: It's benefited my whole family.
H: Thank you for calling; I wish we had more time. We're going to
go to a call now.
R: Listen, I've got some more...
H: We're going to go to a call now.
R: I've got some more...I've got some...
H: Yeah, I know you've been waiting a long time. We've just got
a moment; what would you like to say?
K: OK. Well, I'm a Scientologist, and I've recently had a 16 year
old daughter join the Sea Org.
H: [sotto voce] Yeah.
K: And I will guarantee you that I did an in-depth investigation
into every aspect of the philosophy and the religion.
H: [sotto voce] Mmm-hmm.
K: And my dear daughter, I would not in any shape form put her
in any jeopardy whatsoever with any organization...
K: ...that I felt was not legitimate.
M: Karl, can I ask you a question? Why...
K: Now, she went, on her own.
H: Karl? There's no question. Are you still there?
H: There's no question that the practicing Scientologist believe
in their philosophy; they believe in the organization. The problem
K: It's not a believing. It's not a believing. It's a knowing.
H: OK, it's a knowing. All right.
K: When you know something...
K: You know it.
H: Karl. Karl; there's no problem with that. We know that you're
sincere. I know that Mr. Buttnor is sincere. I can tell be your
soul; I can feel it. The problem is that we believe that you are
brainwashed, that you do not see the truth. Can you say one bad
K: Do you, do you...
H: Let me ask you a question. Can you say one bad thing about
H: Can you say...
K: If I wanted to.
H: Say it.
K: If I really saw something...
H: Say one thing. Say one poor thing about Scientology, one negative
K: Well, I haven't seen anything bad...
H: Please; say one bad thing. I just want one thing.
K: Well, I haven't anything that's bad; what can I say? You want
me to manufacture something?
H: All right. I want you to tell me one bad thing!
K: Well, I don't know of anything bad!
H: All right, well, call me back when you find out something bad.
K: Low pay, maybe; low pay.
H: Low tay?
M: Low pay?
K: Low pay.
H: Low pay? Hey, baby; I'm with ya! [chuckles]
K: Here, here; let me ask you something.
H: OK, we got a minute.
K: You know the Jewish...you're all paid, right?
H: We've got a minute!
K: What Jesus Christ and his disciples, man, they were persecuted
to no end. They were called everything under the moon, star and
H: L. Ron Hubbard doesn't believe in Christ; he says there was no
K: Oh, no no no no no; that's, I...
H: I just played it on the air, my friend; he said there was no
Christ. Karl, thanks a lot!
K: I'll read you a quotation...
H: Thank you very much, Karl; I appreciate it, I appreciate it,
everybody. Martin, can you wrap this up? Martin Hunt's an
ex-Scientologist. Wrap it up; give it a minute and a half, we
gotta get out of here.
M: Well, you asked earlier, why are people scared to speak out
against Scientology if they've been in it before. As we can see,
these people are calling in who are in Scientology, they have
nothing bad to say about it. I don't want to get into their
spiritual beliefs, you know. When you're in Scientology, you
cannot speak out against it, you cannot criticize it. If you
do, you're sent to ethics; you're given ethics problems and
ethics troubles. And one of the policies they operate on is that
"an enemy of Scientology", and this is L. Ron Hubbard said this,
"may be injured by any means, or tricked, sued, lied to, or
destroyed." This policy is still in force. And...
H: Ladies and gentlemen, I'm going to interrupt Martin Hunt...
M: ...it's a pretty negative policy.
H: I'm going to let Martin Hunt, interrupt Martin Hunt to just
give you my viewpoint. I became friends with a Scientologist
30 years ago. I grew up with this boy; I knew him when he was
14 years old. I loved him; we were pals. He became a Scientologist.
At first he was euphoric and ecstatic. As time went by, he became
more and more reclusive, he became more and more insular. After
a while, he wouldn't have anything to do with anybody else but
another Scientologist. He suffered, under Scientology, for ten
to twelve years before he finally found his senses, found his
way back to his family, found his way back to his friendships.
We're friends now, and he's OK. He's made me aware of Scientology
for a long time, and the destructive effects on many many many
ex-Scientologists. Pick up Newsweek Magazine, about a terrible
death in Clearwater which is a Scientology headquarters; my
thanks to everybody who participated on the show: Al Buttnor,
Stephen Kent, Wesley Wakefield, Martin Hunt, Paul Grosswald.
I wish the show could go on forever; I wish life could go on
forever. It's Siegel, AM 900; Thank you.
[end of show]
Cogito, ergo sum. ARS & Scientology FAQs: http://www.ncf.carleton.ca/~av282
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