Jon Atack: The harassment of independent Scientologists didn't begin with David Miscavige - 2014-03-01
Jon Atack is the author of A Piece of Blue Sky, one of the very best books on L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology. He has a new edition of the book for sale, and on Saturdays he's helping us sift through the legends, myths, and contested facts about Scientology that tend to get hashed and rehashed in books, articles, and especially on the Internet.
This week, Jon is taking on an interesting point that we want to set up a little. In recent years, one of the biggest crises Scientology has faced has been an exodus of longtime, loyal members fed up with leader David Miscavige and his focus on fundraising and internal security. These members have been leaving, even though they still admire Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, and they plan to continue doing the processes of Scientology itself. Some of these 'independent Scientologists' — even some who have not been particularly outspoken — have found themselves to be targets of the church's legendary retaliation schemes. But Jon wanted to put that harassment in some larger context.
JON: Recently I received an inquiry from a Free Zoner as to when the harassment of the Independents began. He probably found my response a little intemperate, because I still cannot fathom the way that Independents compartmentalize the Tech and the Policy, as if Hubbard were good in daylight and only evil at night. Dr Jekyll in red ink and Mr Hyde in green, as it were. For me, the Tech and the Policy are inextricably bound by their creator.