Martin Luther

Commenting on Scientology, Inside and Outside the Church

What’s Wrong With the Church, Part 9: Violence and Torture

Ron didn’t have a particular problem with physical fighting. He’d been in fights as a kid and adult. And there aren’t any entries in the Scientology codes of justice about punching someone as a crime. He recognized that sometimes humans get fed up with their fellow man and the result is bumps and bruises. However, so far as we know, there are no known cases of Ron punching anyone in orgs or the Sea Org.

The point here is that, while Ron was connected with managing Scientology, physical violence was not used as a method for managing personnel. Nor was physical torture, so far as we know. There might be those who would argue that the arduous tasks they had to perform on their “Products” (the introductory levels of Sea Org training) or the RPF were torture. Such claims are exaggerated at best. Hard work is not the same as torture.

However, ample evidence and testimony has now emerged that in the last few years, physical violence and outright torture have become commonplace in the handling of executives and staff at the upper levels of the Church of Scientology. If you don’t read the newspapers, you may not have heard of this, but as I say there is plentiful evidence of it, including court testimony from former senior executives of the Church. Much or most of this has been carried out by Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Religious Technology Center, David Miscavige, and his juniors. Most recently, Debbie Cook, former Commanding Officer of the Flag Service Organization testified in court to exactly this. Stories from other (former) senior executives corroborate her testimony.

While Ron may have regarded the rare fist fight as something unfortunate to be cleaned up afterward, physical violence and torture are by no means called for in any policy anywhere written by Ron. Such things were never, ever recognized as methods for persuading anyone in management to perform any task. Yet they appear to be common use at the upper levels of Church management in present time. More than unfortunate, this type of conduct is not only illegal but a PR embarrassment for the Church. There is no room for it in an applied religious philosophy with a rich management technology such as we have.

One has to ask, why would anyone resort to such things? I leave that as an exercise for the reader.

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