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Scientolgy & Suicide
On August 30th, 2003, my friend, Michael Lewitz, "ran" from Phoenix, Arizona to Reynolds, Indiana where he then attempted suicide in an attempt to escape his "unbearable emotional pain." He had been fine until he began "auditing" and was put through a "purification rundown" in addition to being subjected to an ongoing program of coercive persuasion by his current housemate, Donald C. Lay, Jr., Ph.D. Because of the nature of psychological coercion, Michael is unable to make the connection between his engagement in those scientology practices and his suicide attempt. -- Jerry Staton
Part 3: Suicide, Psychosis, & Scientology
PUBLIC DOMAIN DOCUMENT - DISTRIBUTE FREELY
How could reports of Scientology suicide and psychosis problems be factual and hidden so long?
Scientology's security isolation and "policy" denial of negative information is how it works. Scientology members are forbidden to talk to each other about anything negative that happens to them while undergoing Scientology initiation techniques. The only Scientology staff with whom they are allowed to discuss the negative effects of Scientology are forbidden themselves to disclose the true nature, severity, or number of these negative experiences to anyone but one or two other individuals whose primary job is to prevent this type of information from getting out to the public.
Members are deceived into thinking and rationalizing that any such reports they might accidentally hear are caused by something wrong with that individual (but not with Scientology) or that the path through the secret initiation levels is a narrow and perilous "wall of fire" and casualties are normal and to be expected. Members have no idea they are being used as guinea pigs for dangerous psychological control experiments and have no idea that many people before them may have suffered dire harm because of these techniques.
Reported Deaths/Suicides/Psychosis While Practicing Scientology
(If you were buying a new house and the community that it was in reported this kind of death rate, would you choose to live there?)
As you may realize, it is not easy to gather information on this subject. Incomplete reports may serve as reminders to others and result in more complete information. We must use the incomplete reports as a starting point. We apologize for any errors. The sheer volume of information and the fear surrounding Scientology make some errors inevitable. We do not intend any discourtesy to the victims of Scientology and we want to correct any inaccuracies or misrepresentations in this data.
Any inaccuracies will be corrected upon receipt of documentation that a report contained herein was, in fact, inaccurate. F.A.C.T.net has received a number of denials and Scientology form letters, but not one single documented report of error in these reports. To balance the subject as best we can, in this edition we are starting to report even the undocumented denials. Given both sides of an allegation, the reader must conduct his own investigations and draw his own conclusions.
This questionnaire contains allegations, opinions, and beliefs which disclose events and actions that may be a serious threat to the public health and well being. This questionnaire was created to assist in collecting reports for governmental investigations of Scientology.
ALLEGED SUICIDES WHILE RECEIVING SCIENTOLOGY SERVICES
2. Flo Barnett a.k.a. Miller died from several gunshot wounds. She was David Miscavige's mother-in- law. Just before her death she was reported to have had an argument with David Miscavige and threatened to go public and sue Scientology.
3. Noah Lottick jumped to his death in New York, May 11, 1990, one block from the 46th St. Scientology org .
4. Rodney Ramando jumped to his death at the L.A. org in 1986.
5. James Stewart jumped to his death in Edinburgh Scotland. He was on OT3, a class 7 auditor, and the Executive Director of the Durban Org.
6. Lila Leighton Brown jumped to her death in San Francisco while a public PC in 1978.
7. An individual (name unknown) jumped to his death from the Hanover bank building in New York City circa 1981-3.
8. An older woman from Switzerland jumped to her death off the pier in Clearwater while on the OT levels. Immediately after her suicide the GO sent a bunch of people to the RPF.
9. John Colletto, SO staff, became psychotic and suicidal while on OT3. Very shortly afterward he shot his wife, Diane Colletto, to death. This occurred in 1979 in front of ASHO in LA. Shortly afterward he killed himself. The GO made great efforts to keep the whole event silent.
10. Bob Schafner was on OT3 and having problems. He rode a bike under a truck, dying instantly, in 1987 or 1988.
11. In 1975 a man in LA shot himself to death with a rifle while on OT3.
12. Gene Trout, OT7, L10,11, 12.
13. Jim Hester, Miami, Florida.
14. Jane Winkler, OT7.
15. Martina Douglas committed suicide at East Grinstead, England.
16. David Baker, OT3, Tech Sec at East Grinstead, 1984.
17. Lee Johnstone, GO staff, was "baby watched" before he committed suicide at East Grinstead in 1985.
18. Rita Smith, at East Grinstead, 1987.
19. Steven Craine, at East Grinstead.
20. Susan Meister shot herself to death aboard the Apollo in 1971 after an intense argument with Hubbard.
21. David Sandweiss was murdered after refusing to commit suicide. Guardian's Office Agent David Sandweiss was ordered to kill himself using Process R2-45 (a bullet to the head) after he had broken into a psychiatrist’s office in the Las Vegas area and was caught in 1977. When he refused to commit suicide, he was murdered by two Guardian’s Office agents who forced him to take a gun to his own head. David’s wife Lisa Sandweiss, the sister of Lavenda Van Schaick, witnessed this murder as she was hiding in the bushes in the front of their Las Vegas home. On May 27, 1996, Lavenda Van Schaick spoke out about this murder and asked to add some additional data to the Internet. She disclosed that in 1977, when she was on post as Ethics Officer at the Las Vegas Org, David Sandweiss told her in an ethics cycle (not only as her brother-in-law) that he had been the lover of Quentin Hubbard, who was L. Ron Hubbard's gay son. Lavenda believes that L. Ron Hubbard murdered his son Quentin, bypassing his wife Mary Sue Hubbard, who at the time was the head of the Guardian's Office. Lavenda claims that L. Ron Hubbard murdered Quentin because of his homosexuality. This theory explains why Mary Sue and L. Ron Hubbard were estranged for the last eight years of Hubbard's life. After David Sandweiss confided in Lavenda that he had been Quentin's lover, Lavenda refused to give the Guardian's Office David's name. Several days later, Lavenda was brutally raped by two Guardian's Office agents named Artie Maren and Bob Harvey at the Las Vegas home of Guardian's Office agents Chuck and Mattie Reese. Lavenda's six year old daughter Sabrina was kidnapped and held by the Guardian's Office for three days. Lavenda herself was driven in a white Volkwagen van to an undisclosed location and brutally raped, beaten, kicked in the uterus, urinated upon, was drugged with sodium pentothal and rendered unconscious. Lavenda believes the purpose of the rape and beatings was to force her to give the Guardian's Office the name of Quentin's lover. One week later David Sandweiss was visited by two Guardian's Office agents who ordered David to put a gun to his head and blow his brains out. Lisa witnessed this outside their home while she was hiding in the bushes. Lisa Sandweiss herself was the victim of a brutal rape after her son Ricky was born. David Sandweiss' death was ruled a suicide by the coroner. So was Quentin's.
22. A woman who "drowned" in a bathtub at Flag.
23. Ernie (last name unknown) was a Scientology suicide in 1978 or 1979 in LA.
24. Laura (last name unknown), girlfriend of Skip Press, committed suicide in 1986 or 1987.
25. D. Dewhurst, a public PC, committed suicide in his car behind the Vancouver, Canada Scientology mission.
26. There is a report that an individual who had just gone clear committed suicide in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
27. Quentin Schnehager, a Copenhagen staff member, hung himself just before a Sea Org mission was to arrive in his organization.
28. A London public PC threw himself in front of a train while depressed during auditing.
29. Karen Fuller died on course while on OT3.
30. Paulette Cooper's book reports a person who left a suicide note emphasizing that it had "nothing to do with Scientology."
31. Hubbard claimed that a publisher committed suicide by jumping from a window after reading Excalibur, the early version of the OT Levels.
32. A friend of Ari Salonen's committed suicide in Stockholm.
33. Michael Leube, a 10-year Scientologist and sea org member committed suicide in July, 1989.
II. ALLEGED DEATHS ON SCIENTOLOGY'S "PURIFICATION RUNDOWN"34. Phil Valinski died during auditing at La Quinta in California. Scientology withheld information from his family, according to reports.
35. John Roberts became comatose and died at East Grinstead.
36. (first name unknown) Van Sefers died at Flag or on his return to Europe.
37. A Scientologist in Washington state, name unknown.
38. A Scientologist named Christopher (last name unknown) died on this rundown. Scientology (Western Division) was reported to have quickly settled a wrongful death case with his family. An ex- GO/OSA member recently reported that he stole all the court records from Portland Oregon's 3 counties to cover up this case.
39. A woman given the protective pseudonym "Allison" by Corydon in his book tells of almost dying because of it.
III. ALLEGATIONS ABOUT "END OF CYCLE AUDITING" (EOC)These need investigation and verification because of suspected coercion to induce already weakened, infirm or ill persons to buy dangerous additional "services," commit suicide, or speed their own deaths by abandoning normal medical practices for economic, convenience, or political reasons.
40. Yvonne Jentzsch. A report from a recent defector implies Yvonne actively resisted doing the EOC but was forced to do it. She reportedly was having major problems with her husband, Heber Jentzsch, and with L. Ron Hubbard. Since she was such a popular executive, the EOC may have been politically driven to stop a doubt/PR/security problem in the highest levels of the group.
41. Phoebe Mauerer.
42. Sue Todd Hunter, OT5, was audited extensively while known to have cancer. She died recently.
43. There is a lot of information in FBI records and elsewhere that Scientology operatives tried to get Paulette Cooper to commit suicide.
44. A bogged Toronto public pc became psychotic and was sent a letter implying that suicide was her best road out.
IV. ALLEGATIIONS CONCERNING OTHER DEATHS WHILE AN INDIVIDUAL WAS ASSOCIATED WITH SCIENTOLOGY45. An older male sea org member died at Flag between November, 1989 and April, 1990. A former Flag sea org member overheard a GO/OSA agent talking about keeping the death quiet. 46. Michael Bonnin died during auditing on the upper levels.
47. Maria Echevarria's son died at Clearwater Florida.
48. David Orin Cloud died in a 1983 car accident after being depressed and receiving Scientology services secretly.
49. A real estate broker died mysteriously in the Clearwater Florida area. Prior to his death, this individual had an argument with David Miscavige over some property Miscavige wanted to buy from him. He was not a member.
50. Doreen Gaul and James Sharp were teenage Scientologists murdered in LA. John McMasters, the first Clear, disassociated from Scientology in part because of these deaths. He felt that the vindictiveness of Scientology's actions were somehow connected to the deaths.
51. John Kennedy died in 1966, in Rhodesia, allegedly while cleaning his gun. He was a Scientologist who had strong conflicts with the local group and had left Scientology to set up his own mental health institute.
52. The Seattle Times reports that William J. Fisk was murdered by Russell Johnson at the Seattle org during class. The story says it was because Fisk was having intercourse with Johnson's wife. Johnson's wife was a Scientologist and Russell was not. Fisk had bragged of being able to control Johnson's wife.
53. The Franchise holder from Stuttgart Germany was summoned under duress to Flag and then died in a salvage operation while in Florida.
54. An individual named Brown was killed. Steve Fishman connected him to a Scientology project called GOLDCORE.
55. Jim (last name unknown) was found dead in Queens, N.Y. while on an ethics handling. 56. John Peterson, formerly one of Scientology's leading attorneys.
57. Although he did not die, Terry N. Prueher was told Scientology had a contract on him and was later involved in an shooting where a bullet grazed his forehead.
58. Although the targeted individual did not die, in 1988, Milan Nekuda, who has some association with Scientology, tried to kill a woman.
59. An army officer watching a demonstration of how to use an E-meter to find subversives committed suicide shortly after the demonstration.
60. Ezio Confleti, a Toronto public pc, in 1991, possibly was drugged to induce a heart attack. He did not die.
V. ALLEGATIONS OF ATTEMPTS BY SCIENTOLOGY TO GET MEMBERS TO COMMIT SUICIDE.61. Steve Fishman, a former GO/OSA operative, reports that after he was caught by the government in 1986, he was ordered to commit suicide to save Scientology from being exposed for crimes he had committed on their behalf.
62. John Breedlove was at Scientology's Flag land base in the 1970's. He told his mother he was told by Scientology to commit suicide and that Scientology could get anyone to commit suicide if they wanted. He did commit suicide after he left Scientology.
63. One of Hubbard's first wives, Sara Northrup Hubbard, appears to have been coerced by Hubbard to try to commit suicide to protect his reputation.
64. Did the same thing happen to L. Ron Hubbard Jr. after he left Scientology?
65. Jaime Lee Nureyev, the ex-wife of Steven Fishman, was run over and killed by Marc Aronow, driving a Green Jeep, on December 29, 1993 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, one week after she agreed to testify on Steve Fishman's behalf in the Fishman / Geertz case in Los Angeles. Miami Scientologist Ivan Durekovich boasted on the Internet in January of 1996 that he had met with Jaime Lee Nureyev before she was murdered, yet refused to elaborate when asked to disclose the reason for the meeting.
VI. ALLEGATIONS OF ATTEMPTED SUICIDES WHILE RECEIVING SCIENTOLOGY SERVICES66. Mary Sue Hubbard, L Ron Hubbard's wife, 1954, 1980-1981.
67. L. Ron Hubbard threatened to commit suicide if one of his girlfriends didn't marry him. Later during his auditing on various levels he went through suicidal periods.
68. Quentin Hubbard attempted suicide before he actually killed himself. One such attempt was a drug overdose.
69. Peter Lewis, ED of the LA Org, was locked up by Scientology for days after his suicide attempt.
70. Manfred Eichorn attempted suicide at East Grinstead in 1991, then was "baby watched."
71. Lawrence Wollersheim attempted suicide immediately after receiving L-12 and other upper level auditing.
72. Margery Wakefield.
73. Robert Hart, 1971.
74. Ari Salonen, 1982, Finland.
75. Sandy Fuller.
76. (first name unknown) Anderson.
77. Hana Eltringham, now Hana Whitfield.
78. Paulette Cooper's book mentions an individual who became psychotic and suicidal on OT3 and committed himself to avoid suicide.
79. Robert Kaufman (from Paulette Cooper's book).
80. Monica Pignotti, who was Quentin Hubbard's auditor when they were both in the RPF (Rehabilitation Project Force). Quentin was L. Ron Hubbard's homosexual son. He told Monica Pignotti that he was not gay, although David Sandweiss, Quentin's lover, admitted to his sister-in-law and Ethics Officer Lavenda Van Schaick that he was having an affair with Quentin. Monica Pignotti has stated that Quentin intended to leave Scientology and go off on his own. Both the deaths of Quentin and Sandweiss were officially reported as suicides.
81. Mario (last name unknown).
82. Cooper's book mentions another individual who threatened suicide but didn't because he was afraid it would invalidate Scientology.
83. In 1992 a Toronto male public pc jumped off the Bloor/Dansforth viaduct.
VII. ALLEGATIIONS OF THREATENED SUICIDES WHILE RECEIVING SCN SERVICES84. Diana Hubbard, L Ron Hubbard's daughter, OT7, around 1980.
85. Hedi Delgro, at East Grinstead, probably September 1992. An isolation order was written on her after she became psychotic and threatened or attempted suicide.
VIII. ALLEGATIONS OF PERSONS BECOMING PSYCHOTIC WHILE RECEIVING SCIENTOLOGY SERVICES86. Two Swedish public PC's, one from Stockholm and one from Malmo, became psychotic after Flag security checking.
87. Bruce Welch was locked up on the Apollo for weeks after he became psychotic.
88. Carl Barney was locked up aboard the Apollo after he became psychotic.
89. Marianne Coenan was locked up in Pomona in 1991.
90. Sam Binion or Benion became psychotic while on OT3. It is reported that Heber Jentzsch was involved in physically restraining him and ripping off his clear bracelet so he wouldn't give Scientology a bad name.
91. An individual named Robertson shot DMSO into himself while psychotic.
92. According to an ex-Sea org member, it was a common occurrence both on the Apollo and in Clearwater to have staff and RPFer's who became psychotic locked in the bathroom.
93. Charles Manson had 150 hours of auditing. The GO hid this information but it showed up in documents seized by the FBI.
94. Ann Rosenblum's affidavit tells about GO/OSA members bragging about driving 2 defectors/critics into a mental institution with nervous breakdowns.
95. Dave Voorhies, in Seattle, Washington, became psychotic on OT3 and was given Thorazine which the Scientologists told him was vitamin B.
96. Hana Eltringham, now Hana Whitfield.
97. Bill Howie, on OT3. He was a high level, long term Sea org executive. His wife was the deputy CO of Celebrity center.
98. Willie B. Wilson, on OT 3 in the late 70's or early 80's. He was a wealthy Texas oil man. 99. A Beverly Hills pediatrician who joined the Sea Org and then became psychotic.
100. Travis Harris became psychotic while auditing on the Apollo in 1974.
101. L. Ron Hubbard became psychotic while auditing on OT3, and had many other psychotic episodes according to defector affidavits.
102. Steve Fishman. (See Lonesome Squirrel: on the Internet at this URL http://www.xs4all.nl/~fishman/ls/)
103. Ann Rosenblum became psychotic while on the RPF.
104. An affidavit from a former high ranking auditor states that if staff members became psychotic on the OT levels they were sent to the RPF. This may indicate an attempt to cover up Scientology-induced psychotic episodes within the organization.
105. Roxanne Friend was told she wasn't ill and needed more auditing when she had cancer. In 1990 she refused auditing, was declared psychotic, and kidnapped to Flag.
IX. ALLEGED "REVERSE AUDITING" TO DELIBERATELY INDUCE PSYCHOSIS IN "SECURITY RISK" PERSONS.106. A former NOTs C/S reports that he knows of individuals who were ordered by the GO/OSA to reverse audit security risks.
107. Reverse auditing was done on Arthur Running Bear. He did become psychotic from the auditing.
X. ALLEGED INTENTIONAL NEGLIGENCE CAUSING DEATH OF MEMBERSThere are reports that Scientology is letting staff members with cancer or other serious and expensive illness go without treatment. They work them until they drop, and by then the cancer or other illness has progressed too far. Please contact F.A.C.T.net if you have any knowledge of this subject. There may be people in this position now who still could be helped.
108. Ed Brewer, an LA sea org member was left to bleed to death trapped in a car. He was left without medical attention and without calling for help while other staff members who were with him went back to the Guardian's Office to get instructions on what to do so the accident would not create a PR flap.
109. Sally Esterman Chaleff, a 20 year Sea Org member died a painful and slow death of treatable and operable cervical cancer. She was denied almost all care that could have saved or extended her life.
110. A child was run over at the Scientology nursery in Clearwater. This may be a covered up negligence situation.
XI. ALLEGED DEATHS, BEAKDOWNS OR SUICIDES OF FAMILIES AND FRIENDS OF CURRENT OR EX-SCIENTOLOGISTS111. Arlene S. Heller describes the stress Scientology put her family through, which caused a mental breakdown and suicide attempt in September of 1981. Her daughter was a member. 112. Lawrence Wollersheim believes that Scientology harassment was a major factor in his father's heart attack.
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