- Another page of pictures including ones from the Excalibur a training ship used in Los Angeles by the Scientology can be found here
Eva Mahl (M): They want nothing less than world domination. I am talking about the Scientology sect. Founded in the 1950's by US American science fiction author Ron Hubbard, the psycho-cult has, since them, spread throughout the entire world, with an insatiable appetite for new members and their money. Scientology is also active in Germany, and people here are also lured in with hair-raising promises of obtaining Scientology mental perfection and of being able to solve all their problems. The self-named church charges a princely fee for the accompanying required courses. Then, at some point, the sect new-comers are separated from their money and become psychologically addicted. Whoever makes a mistake is subject to the sect's own justice system, and to punishment which is incomprehensible to any non-Scientologist.
Subtitle reads "I wanted to kill myself". Larwence Wollersheim talks about in depth about his experiences on the Excalibur - Mr. Wollersheim also runs FACTNet, a non profit corporation to expose cults including Scientology
AlsOff-camera commentator (O): "They wanted me dead". He mentions death-threats against him and his family after his trial.
Off-camera commentator (O): Prisoners on the slave ship: members of the Scientology sect. The founder, L. Ron Hubbard: These Scientologists have not done enough for the sect. The punishment: psychological terrorism, brain-washing. Are these people to be broken. Lawrence Wollersheim was a Scientologist. He was on board one such ship. The victim recalls:
Lawrence Wollersheim (LW): We had to clean the ship. Chip paint, everything had to be washed again and again. We had to be constantly in motion. We hardly got any sleep. There was almost nothing to eat. In three weeks I lost more than 20 lbs. Finally I had a nervous breakdown. I wanted to jump over the side. Three people held me back. I thought I had lost my mind. They wanted to break my will and my resistance - and they succeeded.
Off-camera commentator (O): These people were taken in by Hubbard, the sect founder. His self-found science, called "Dianetics", is supposed to be an assistance to life, but critics say that Scientology only knows one goal - money. Ron Hubbard, perfectly camouflaged up until his death in 1986 as an honest man:
Ron Hubbard (LRH): Scientology, that is something for your neighbors, for you, for me, for people who apparently have their lives under control. These kind of people need help, because they have it very difficult, they have many problems. We have to put them in the position where they can use their intelligence to solve their problems, so that they can improve their ability, be masters of their lives. They can take better care of their families, do better at their jobs, simply live better. This is all Scientology does.
Off-camera commentator (O): Actually, Hubbard's motto is better put as "Make money. Make more money." Whoever doesn't catch on can land in a prison camp, as Lawrence Wollersheim did:
LW: I belonged to a group that was penned up in a tiny room, about 20 feet by 20 feet. That is where we had to sleep inside the ship. Every day we had to work 18-20 hours. We got very little to eat, only the table scraps left over from the rest of the crew.
Larry Wollerheim at some picket. In the back is a Scientologist. See below for what it says on her sign:
This Scientologist approached Larry at the picket and questioned his motives: "I know you from back then. You were like an addict into Scientology."
Off-camera commentator (O): Lawrence Wollersheim was able to flee the ship. The departure from the sect - he would never forget the hell he went through. That was in the late 1960's. Today he fights the sect. For him it is just as brutal and cold-blooded as the Mafia. He says that Scientology disguises itself as a church, but it's only about money. Other ex-members claim that today, Scientology hold more that one billion dollars worth of money and real estate. When Lawrence meets with others who believes as he does in order to demonstrate against Scientology, the [Scientology] adherents are in place within minutes. One mocks him, "I know you from before. You acted like you were addicted. You were crazy about Scientology. That is right. Lawrence was caught in the psycho-net, until he left:
LW: Finally I sued them. I had almost died when I was under the control of Scientology. I wanted to kill myself. I was put through their thought reform tortures, they held me against my will. I almost went crazy. I almost lost my life. I won the suit. The judge awarded me $30 million punitive damages. Later it was reduced to $2.5 million.
Off-camera commentator (O): Lawrence has not yet seen one dollar of that money. The incredibly rich Scientology Church asserted that they did not have the money. Ron Hubbard on one of his ships. Wollersheim's horror stories are corroborated by a high-ranking former Scientologist, Scott Mayer. He was the chief of the entire fleet of Scientology. And he was the Captain of the Excalibur. This is the ship on which Wollersheim was held prisoner. After his departure, Mayer went into hiding for three years, out of fear of revenge by the sect.
Scott Mayer, former captain of the Excalibur. When he left, he went into hiding for three years.
Scott Mayer (SM): I had a group of 35 people under me" They did nothing else the whole day but clean the ship. The Excalibur was sparkling clean. You could have eaten off the floor. At the same time it was nothing but pure slavery. The prisoners slept deep in the ship, in corners. There were no beds or cabins for them, as there were for us.
Off-camera commentator (O): Lack of sleep, hunger, meaningless work, constant interrogations. The spirits shattered.
LW: The perpetual sessions, in which they screamed at us, so that we would confess our crimes. They kept on demanding more confessions, like in the Russian or Chinese concentration camps. We suffered terrible psychological stress. We had the feeling that we had to do everything they demanded of us. We were afraid if we did not, that we would either die or lose our reason. That is the method used to break people. That is brainwashing, as known in traditional thought control camps.
Off-camera commentator (O): Ron Hubbard, science fiction author and sect founder. He created an empire: greed and power. But the empire is wavering. More and more former members, such as Lawrence Wollersheim, are telling their stories. He says that the insanity of Scientology can be stopped.
M: We pause now for a small break. Right after the commercial, we'll be back with taff with the second part of today's special presentation.
M: Scientology - a psycho-cult with the goal of ruling the world. Their successful infiltration into politics, business, and show business is frightening. At the same time, the resistance against the money-hungry confidence business is increasing: former sect members are telling their stories, sect documents, with shocking content, are being published. The problems we have had with our questions included, literally, being taken by the hand and having the place put under martial law. What that could mean has already personally been experienced by a former Scientologist:
Arnie Lerma walks into his house.
Arnie shows some footage on his raid on Aug. 12th, 1995 to the German audience. (Left out here, since it's known to most)
Arnie in his "War-Room", talking about the extensive raid done on him
Off-camera commentator (O): Arnie Lerma. He is also a former Scientologist. In August of 1995 he received uninvited visitors. Lerma's neighbors recorded the event with a camcorder. Attorneys from Scientology accompanied by the police searched through Lerma's home, confiscating research documents. He has not yet gotten them back.
Arnie Lerma (AL): The search was led by the Director of the department of Religious Technology. That is a department of the Scientology empire. The Scientologists have searched my home from top to bottom.
Off-camera commentator (O): The reason for this house search: Lerma was said to have violated the copyrights of Scientology. He had posted writings by Ron Hubbard to the internet. Scientology would rather hawk the psychological outpourings of their guru for a lot of money, true to Hubbard's alleged maxim, "Make money. Make more money." Not only Lerma's computer was of interest, but also all his possessions.
AL: They took my computer, my hard drive, 400 diskettes and copies of my sworn testimony. The took all my documents with them.
camera commentator (O): House searches, psychological terrorism, prison camps -- all lies, says Scientology. Hollywood stars such are Kirstie Alley don't want to know anything about those things. She has belonged to the self-called church for a long time. In advertising videos, she tries to lend yet a higher gloss to the image of the empire.
Voice-Over: "Hollywood-Stars like Kirstie Alley do not want to know about raids, psycho-terror and punitive camps"
Here she is advertising for the Chilocco drug rehab center. The film shows happy people. Scientology calls them "operating thetans." They have fallen for Hubbard's silly science fiction story of the galactic master Xenu; they are presumably on the road to "total freedom." On this road, however, they not infrequently lose all the money to the sect, as well as their reason.
He was some kind of criminal. For ten thousand dollars, he sold people a science fiction story, that is simply not true, never was true, and never will be true. This story can not in the least improve peoples' lives. -
Off-camera commentator (O): Cleverly made recruitment films are supposed to put something over on people: popularity of Scientology explodes like a volcano. Thousands of believing youths fill the halls of the sect in the search for the salvation of life. Scientology promises help in all areas of life. In lengthy session, "auditing", the members reveal their life's confessions. They give their most intimate details to be written down almost as if they are in a trance. This is how, say critics, they unconsciously make themselves capable of being blackmailed/coerced.
SM: This is simple hypnosis. The people hypnotize each other - afterward they act as if they are super-humans - but they are not. Actually they are terribly afraid because they don't know why they have expended so much money to go through all these sessions and still not feel any better. They feel exactly as miserable as they did before, and they they fall into a deep depression. I know more that 117 [170?] cases of people who have committed suicide in connection with Scientology. One of the most important instruments in the session is the so-called e-meter. With it, presumably, emotions can be measured. Sheer hocus-pocus, and expensive to come by. Jeanette Schweitzer, Scientology specialist. She tells about auditing with children:
Jeanette Schweitzer talks about auditing children. "The children are being treated in the same way as adults" and describes, with what questions the children are being harassed.
Jeanette Schweitzer (JS): Children are handled in these auditing sessions exactly as the adults. The auditor, the questioner, who asks these questions for these psycho-processes -- he may not let himself experience feelings, emotions or other reactions of this sort. He has to only ask his questions. A hundred times, if he has to.
Off-camera commentator (O): The success of this interrogation, which is said to be comparable to psychological torture, ostensibly escapes the e-meter.
JS: "What did you do yesterday? What did you do yesterday?" ...he asks that a hundred times. And if the person then falls out of his chair, becomes unconscious, then he may not react. He simply has to help him up, set him down, and they must continue to answer. If the person vomits - that happens, too - he may not react. He let's them vomit, and continues to ask.
SM: We even had a looney bin for those who completely flipped out. The big wheels, who were as nearly bad off, would go down to hold sessions on these space cases.
Off-camera commentator (O): "Make money. Make more money." One hour of auditing can cost 750 marks (about $500), and entire program a good 30,000 ($20,000). And presumably the members need more and more of this. Even world class stars such as Tom Cruise or John Travolta make smiling commercials for the avaricious sect. Scientology enjoys famous members and adherents. Margret Singer is a psychologist and sect expert. She knows why Scientology needs their celebrities.
Margret Singer (MS): I think it is extremely dangerous that so many American film stars, who are adored by millions, support Scientology. Normal people will think that since these guys are famous, maybe I can become rich and famous, too, if I join Scientology.
Off-camera commentator (O): The headquarters of the sect in Los Angeles, the Celebrity Center. Here is where the Scientology management receives the Hollywood stars. Money plays no roll here, says ex-Scientologist, Lawrence Wollersheim: The stars are treated like royalty. Scientology showers them with gifts, but these celebrities see only that which Scientology wants them to see. Later the sect can use the celebrities to attract members, in order to establish their position.
Voice-Over: "World-Stars like John Travolta or Tom Cruise have fun promoting the money-hungry Cult"
Off-camera commentator (O): Lawrence Wollersheim - the man who experienced hell on earth on the Excalibur. Long after his departure, he had no peace from Scientology. He told his story, brought the sect to its knees before the judge. Lawrence Wollersheim is convinced that the sect practices systematic terrorism against him, because nobody else - so he tells us - can have an interest in killing him. LW: In the past sixteen years I have been repeatedly threatened with murder over the telephone. Then two strange people came into the store, where my sister worked. They told her that I would not live long enough to enjoy the money I was awarded. A bomb squad had to go to my parents' house, because they had found a fake bomb there. Somebody tried to run me on my motorcycle off the road. For years I would only go outside with bodyguards. For a long time I carried a firearm. This group is dangerous.
Off-camera commentator (O): Margret Singer, the psychologist, also knows that consequences can arise from talking out against the sect. Today she protects her life: alarm systems, spotlights on each corner of her house. After a trip, she came back to find her house full of rats. Documents have been stolen from her - she is afraid, even now.
Margaret Singer talks about the importance of celebs for Scientology. "The normal people start to think: Maybe I can become also rich and famous when I join Scientology"
When she returned once from a trip, she found her house full of rats and documents were stolen. She has since turned her home into a fortress:
MS: Yes, I am afraid that the group will do something to me here again, because I have spoken with you about Lawrence Wollersheim.
Off-camera commentator (O): Scott Mayer, the former chief of the sect's fleet: his car was set on fire. Documents were stolen from him. Nevertheless, he does not let himself be intimidated. He says again what Scientology really is for him: SM: Scientologists want only one thing: to take in money. It is for that reason that they use brainwashing, among other things.
Off-camera commentator (O): These kind of statements from former high-ranking Scientologists put more and more pressure on the sect, also in Germany. The Boss of Scientology, Heber Jentzsch, defends the self-called church cleverly. He simply maintains that Scientologists are persecuted in Germany.
Heber Jentzsch gives the usual "We are being persecuted"-line. Yawn. "This time we will not be the victims"
Heber Jentzsch (HJ): The situation in Germany has led to many people being outlawed. Discrimination reigns there. People lose their jobs, children are chased out of schools, and many are forbidden to have a bank account. The discrimination in Germany is enormous and it is getting worse. One could talk about a kind of jail.
Off-camera commentator (O): Incessant nonsense, of which Hubbard would have been proud. HJ: This discrimination will stop. We will not be victims. I think that it is absolutely clear - to them and everybody else. Scientology will grow again and expand and we will not be the victims of this discrimination.
SM: I believe that Ron Hubbard was insane. Anybody who comes up with a technology to enslave people only for his own advantage must be insane. If you wanted to compare somebody with Hitler, he was really like Hitler. He had only brought things about in a less bloody manner. That is why he has enslaved the spirit of people. Whoever is in Scientology today is under the pressure of the brainwashing technology which Ron Hubbard developed. Brainwashing - that's all it is.
An interviewer asks LRH: Do you believe that you are insane LRH: Oh yes. Everybody who believes that he is not insane, he is insane. M: Despite all the endeavors of Scientology, at this time the psycho- business has suffered a series of setbacks. In Greece Scientology has been legally dissolved. In Italy 23 Scientologists were sentenced for forming a criminal association, and in Germany the sect is under surveillance by the Office of Constitutional Protection. The sect, however, will not cave in - so says a leading member - so far, every attack has led to a greater expansion of Scientology and in a certain way we can be thankful to our opponents. It takes all kinds.
goto lerma's main Anti-Cult page