Image courtesy Perth Anonymous
Scientology's Licence to Kill - Only joking
A Perth Scientology whistleblower has told 3rd Degree in an exclusive interview that there could be "many Australians" on Church's hitlist.
Our questions were prompted by a leaked audio file from 1959, now available on Wikileaks, in which Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard explains that the "order R2-45" refers to shooting someone through the head.
R2-45 is an order or “auditing process” that Church of Scientology members are authorised by their church leaders to use when dealing with a “suppressive person” (SP).
The Church defines an SP as “a person who seeks to suppress any betterment activity or group” and a list of what makes an SP is available here. Declarations determining individuals to be SPs are sometimes announced by the Church and a list from the 1990s of all SPs declared to-then is publicly available.
Steve*, an independent Scientologist and whistleblower confirmed to 3rd Degree the existence of an updated version of the list:
“The Church surely keeps a database of all the people it has declared suppressive which includes where each person lives,” he said. “Of course there are many Australians on the list.”
He also explained the “disconnection policy”:
“When someone is declared suppressive, every other Scientologist is required to disconnect from that person, which can devastate a person's family, life and livelihood,” he said.
“This Disconnection Policy is worse than their policy of simply declaring people suppressive.”
The Church believes in “exteriorization”, a process whereby a person’s soul or “thetan” is moved outside of the person/host's body and R2-45 is seen as a valid means of “exteriorization”. Hubbard’s 1954 book Creation of Human Ability states that R2-45 is “an enormously effective process for exteriorization but its use is frowned upon by this society at this time.”
Hubbard also said that: “A truly Suppressive Person or group has no rights of any kind and actions taken against them are not punishable.”
The Church of Scientology maintains that R2-45, and any reference made to it, is a joke, a position that Steve also agrees with.
“There is already plenty of real criminality you can write about — assault, battery, human trafficking, racketeering, kidnapping, forced abortions, manslaughter, mind control — but talking about R2-45 is just silliness,” he said.
However, in leaked documents dating from 1968 to the 1980s, several people are declared to be “suppressive persons” and steps for dealing with them are listed including a step authorising members to use R2-45 if coming into contact with them.
In the 1970s the Church ran Operation Snow White using up to 5000 covert agents to infiltrate 136 government agencies, embassies and consulates from over 30 countries to retrieve unfavourable records on the Church and Hubbard. Leaked SP declaration documents dating from the 1990s onwards have no mention of R2-45 on them.
The current leader of the Church is David Miscavige, a man against whom several allegations of abuse, violence and criminal conduct have been made, although no charges have been laid. His alleged criminal activity is the main focus of recent protests by Scientologists who believe he has moved the Church away from Hubbard’s original philosophy.
“David Miscavige is unimaginably vicious,” Steve said.
“Those of us who witnessed his crimes are speaking out to protect people and doing so at great personal risk. He has not yet been charged or served time, but that will come.
“Miscavige was not nominated by Hubbard for anything. Hubbard did name the new leaders but Miscavige took them out. It was a coup, same as any dictator uses to get into a position of power,” he said.
The global protest group Anonymous now monitors Scientology-related criminal activity and allegations and endeavours to find proof so charges can be laid and branches shut down.
It regularly posts leaked documents on its forums, carries out Distributed Denial of Service attacks on servers of local Church branches and keeps track of former members and SP declares. It also staged a protest outside the Scientology headquarters in Perth in 2008.
Asked by 3rd Degree why Anonymous chose to attack the Perth branch, Sei Broadhurst, from the Public Affairs Department of the Church of Scientology said:
“Anonymous only attacked Scientology because they objected to the Church protesting a copyright violation of a video literally stolen from one of our churches.
“We simply asked for it to be removed - the law protects Scientologists as well as people of all or no faith. Some of these anarchist types took exception to our request and just decided that we were the next target.”
The Church of Scientology wages a war against drugs, psychiatrists and alcohol. These beliefs have led to several criminal cases in Australia. In 2007 Linda Walicki was denied treatment by her Scientology parents and subsequently killed her father and sister.
Frank Vitkovic was tested by Scientology members who realised he was mentally unwell but counselled him to take a Scientology course instead of seeking treatment. After the Queen Street Massacre in 1987 in which he killed eight people before committing suicide, he was diagnosed as criminally insane and a paranoid schizophrenic.
In 2009, Perth resident Stephen McBride claimed that the Church drove his younger brother to suicide in 2007.
Making worshippers work
The organisation has also recently told the Federal Government that religious organisations should be exempt from the Fair Work Act and employment laws and regulations.
In a letter to the Federal Government, Public Affairs Director Rev Mary Anderson claimed that expecting religious organisations, such as the Church of Scientology, to follow workplace and employment regulations and requirements would lead to a “violation of human rights”.
However, in 2010, the Fair Work Ombudsman initiated a investigation into the Church of Scientology's employment practices after receiving complaints. In 2011 it released a campaign against the WA Mental Health Bill launched in December 2011, claiming that it would allow psychiatrists to sterilize children as young as 12-years-old.
The actual Bill states that a child (defined as under 18 years of age) can only be sterilized if the child is deemed to be mature enough to understand the procedure and the consequences and has given informed consent in writing or if the Family Court has authorised it. In all cases where a child under 18-years-old has to give consent, it has to be in writing and the treatment has to be authorised by a psychiatrist specialising in child and adolescent mental health.
Scientology in Australia
The Church has had a rocky history in Australia. In 1965, the Anderson Report into the Church concluded that it was not a religious organisation nor a proper psychological practice and this led to the states of Victoria, New South Wales and Western Australia banning the organisation under the Psychological Practices Act, 1965.
The Anderson Report stated that: “Scientology is a delusional belief system, based on fiction and fallacies and propagated by falsehood and deception” and that it “is not, and does not claim to be, a religion”.
The Act was edited to remove all references to Scientology in 1982 and repealed in 1987. By then, the organisation had used the claim of being a religious organisation to exempt itself from the Psychological Practices Act and to gain tax free status. It then had branches in all three states and a new one in South Australia.
In 2009 Senator Nick Xenophon called for a parliamentary inquiry into the Church’s tax exempt status stating that he had learnt of examples of abuse and violence from former members. The Australian Senate rejected the call in 2010 with 33 votes against it and 37 abstentions.
Text of the full Hubbard speech is available here.
*Steve's last name is not included as fully identifying him may put him at risk.