It would be surprising if, you know, it were surprising.
They are stepping forward — from Dallas and Denver, Portland, Las Vegas, Montana — talking about what happened, to them and their friends, during their years in the Church of Scientology.
Jackie Wolff wept as she recalled the chaotic night she was ordered to stand at a microphone in the mess hall and confess her "crimes" in front of 300 fellow workers, many jeering and heckling her.
Gary Morehead dredged up his recollection of Scientology leader David Miscavige punishing venerable church leaders by forcing them to live out of tents for days, wash with a garden hose and use an open latrine.
Steve Hall replayed his memory of a meeting when Miscavige grabbed the heads of two church executives and knocked them together. One came away with a bloody ear.
Mark Fisher remembered precisely what he told Miscavige after the punches stopped and Fisher touched his head, looked at his palm and saw blood.
These and other former Scientology staffers are talking now, inspired and emboldened by the raw revelations of four defectors from the church's executive ranks who broke years of silence in stories published recently by the St. Petersburg Times.
Read the whole article if you're interested- and it is pretty interesting- but for all its willingness to point to Scientology's faults, it seems to do a rather poor job of mentioning certain other... issues. Like, for example, Jon Atack's "A Piece of Blue Sky," which more or less documents how wacky punishments, physical abuse, and fraud were a part of Scientology from the time of L. Ron Hubbard himself. Likewise, the article delicately comments:
The founder gave his young aide one important assignment after another. Miscavige delivered, building a reputation as a problem solver. He persuaded Hubbard's wife to resign as head of the church's troubled intelligence unit, known as the Guardian's Office. [emphasis added]
But neglects to note why the Guardian's Office, and Mary Sue Hubbard, were so "troubled." If you're curious, it's because the GO was running an espionage program against the United States government known as Operation Snow White. Moreover, the 1977 FBI raid against Scientology that resulted from the government's discovery of this espionage effort resulted in the discovery of the GO's Operation Freakout, an effort to frame a journalist for serious crimes in order to silence her criticism of scientology. So, yes, I think you'd have to say that the Guardian's Office was "troubled."
Oh well. I don't have anything to say about this that I haven't said before at greater length. Still, it bothers me every time this sort of thing comes up.