[EN] Leaving Scientology – Paul Harris, The Apostate

Posted on February 8, 2011
Filed Under English

Paul Harris

Paul Harris

A fascinating 26-page spread turned up in The New Yorker Magazine today, chronicling the rise and fall of one of the highest ranking Scientologists, author and screenwriter Paul Harris.

This gripping account could well serve as a dramatic screenplay on its own.

Read all about it in The Apostate by Lawrence Wright.

A small excerpt:

According to a court declaration filed by Rathbun in July, Miscavige expected Scientology leaders to instill aggressive, even violent, discipline. Rathbun said that he was resistant, and that Miscavige grew frustrated with him, assigning him in 2004 to the Hole—a pair of double-wide trailers at the Gold Base. “There were between eighty and a hundred people sentenced to the Hole at that time,” Rathbun said, in the declaration. “We were required to do group confessions all day and all night.”

The church claims that such stories are false: “There is not, and never has been, any place of ‘confinement’ . . . nor is there anything in Church policy that would allow such confinement.”

According to Rathbun, Miscavige came to the Hole one evening and announced that everyone was going to play musical chairs. Only the last person standing would be allowed to stay on the base. He declared that people whose spouses “were not participants would have their marriages terminated.” The St. Petersburg Times noted that Miscavige played Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” on a boom box as the church leaders fought over the chairs, punching each other and, in one case, ripping a chair apart.

Tom De Vocht, one of the participants, says that the event lasted until four in the morning: “It got more and more physical as the number of chairs went down.” Many of the participants had long been cut off from their families. They had no money, no credit cards, no telephones. According to De Vocht, many lacked a driver’s license or a passport. Few had any savings or employment prospects. As people fell out of the game, Miscavige had airplane reservations made for them. He said that buses were going to be leaving at six in the morning. The powerlessness of everyone else in the room was nakedly clear.

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One Response to “[EN] Leaving Scientology – Paul Harris, The Apostate”

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