The Chicago Reader
DEATH OF A SCIENTOLOGIST
[subhead: Greg Bashaw's father respected him and trusted him to make wise choices. Even after he chose to devote his life to Scientology.]
WHILE THE SHOCK AND GRIEF of his son's suicide were still fresh, Bob Bashaw read back through their decades-long correspondence, looking in particular for references to Scientology. "I wanted to see what there was here I missed," he says. His son Greg had been a member of the Church of Scientology for more than 20 years. During that time other relatives, fearing he belonged to a cult, had voiced concerns. But Bob supported his son's choice, because he believed people should be free to practice their religion without getting hassled about it - and because he couldn't find a good enough reason not to. That changed in November 2000, when suddenly, he says, Greg broke into "a hundred pieces." He'd recently lost his job in advertising. And now, Greg told his father, his church had excommunicated him. Seven months later, more than $50,000 in debt, he ended his life on the shoulder of a Michigan road, leaving behind a wife of 20 years and a teenage son, to whom he'd written a brief, unemotional note.END of first paragraph
08:49 PM 16 Aug 2002, I just found out that the Chicago Reader has a webpage, HERE
and that they wont be posting this till next thursday...
I'm pulling it off this site for now, as I try and only web 'yesterday's papers' strictly for archive purposes...
apologies to anyone that is miffed
"who wants yesterday's papers?
Sept. 9, 2002
Letters to the Editor
The Chicago Reader
11 East Illinois St.
Chicago, IL 60611
Tori Marlan's article, "Death of a Scientologist" is superb and the Reader is to be complimented for its courage in printing it. When Tori interviewed me for this article I sensed that she had the 'right stuff' but that didn't prepare me for the brilliance she has displayed. We are indebted to Robert Bashaw for sharing his grief, his letters and innermost feelings about his son, Greg. Robert truly made a noble effort to save him.
It is a sad truth that in the U.S. any crackpot like L. Ron Hubbard can come along and call almost anything a religion and can quite easily get a tax-exempt status. I was a Scientology member when Hubbard realized that he could get out of paying taxes by declaring his Scientology-Dianetics concoction a religion. We were told to wear clerical collars and to call ourselves ministers so that the public would perceive us as a real 'church.' It was a farce then and is a dangerous con now. I am often asked how Scientology is able to so easily turn good, sincere people into programmed robots. L. Ron Hubbard was very good at hypnotic mind control methods and these permeate every aspect of Scientology. A set of hypnotic drills are introduced on the very first course and they are done from, that point on, every day and on every course. These hypnotic drills also form the core of Hubbard's quack auditing procedures. When you combine the constant hypnosis with a constant barrage of L. Ron Hubbard psychobabble, it doesn't take long to brainwash almost anyone with into Hubbard's mindset. Hubbard claims to have the answer to the human mind, the answer to man's spiritual nature and the answers to all cosmic mysteries. These are fanciful claims and yet people want to believe them. Combine the desire to believe with the constant hypnosis and programming and you have a perfect Scientologist, a rondroid who can only think and speak, L. Ron Hubbard.
Scientology is partitioned off into lower level scientology and very secret, upper level Scientology. Here is where it gets very weird. The lower level Scientologists know nothing about what is on the very secret and very expensive upper level, "OT" Courses. Hubbard programs them to believe that if they are exposed to these secrets prematurely, they will get pneumonia and die. Upper level Scientologist who have taken the secret courses are forbidden to speak of them, even among themselves. The answers to all their problems are on these courses and the secret to their eternity.
So you have Scientologists wound up in a deadly mental trap. They are desparate to get to these upper level OT courses yet they don't have the faintest notion of what is on them. Plus most people do not have the staggering fees required for these courses.
I was a also a Scientology member when L. Ron Hubbard's son, Quentin, was found dead in a car in Las Vegas. Quentin was a bright young man in his 20s and he was being groomed as the heir-apparent. Quentin started going around within Scientology proclaiming that his father was insane. This was a very big no-no. He was found dead in Las Vegas and his death was declared a suicide. I was shocked to see that there was absolutely no compassion or feeling for Quentin from his father or from any Scientologist. He immediately became a non-person. He never existed and his name was never, ever mentioned again within Scientology. Most Scientologists today do not know that Quentin Hubbard ever existed.
The same fate has befallen Greg Bashaw. He never existed in Scientology and his name will never be mentioned again. The Church of Scientology got $500,000 out of him and left his family bereft. The letters to the Editor protesting the article and professing friendship with Greg ring very hollow. Not one Scientologist ever contacted the Bashaw family with even a condolence card after his death. If Tori Marlan's article, "Death of a Scientologist" helps one person get out of the maleovolent Scientology cult or saves one person from getting involved, it will have served a very worthwhile purpose, indeed.
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