Is Scientology breaking the law?

Allegations of threats and assault by Scientology

In 1995, Patrick Jost posted a message to the alt.religion.scientology newsgroup describing his experience with Scientology. The following excerpts highlight his allegations of threats and assault by a Scientology OT - an Operating Thetan, someone who has completed advanced levels of Scientology training.

You can read the complete text of the original post on the Operation Clambake message board, where Jost's earlier newsgroup post was discussed in 2004.

In the following text, quotes from Jost's account are indented and printed in purple text; emphasis is added in red.

Patrick Jost alleges threats and assault by an Ethics Officer

Jost begins by describing his background in Los Angeles and his initial involvement in Scientology, which consisted of auditing and courses at the Celebrity Centre there. According to his account, he was declared a natural Clear (someone who didn't have a reactive mind to begin with). He also says Scientologists initiated discussions about the possibility of Jost joining the Guardian Office.

Jost said he did an accelerated course to advance through New Era Dianetics up to OT III, but "nothing happened" - he wasn't achieving the supposed results of Scientology, such as increased intelligence and perfect memory. He became increasingly skeptical about Scientology's results, teachings, and founder. At the same time, the Celebrity Centre began asking him to pay for additional services, which had previously been free for Jost. When he discussed his concerns with his Course Supervisor, she assigned him an Ethics course. That led to a meeting with the Ethics Officer.

Finally...into the inner sanctum of the ethics officer. ... He told me that I had to stop asking questions, stop investigating, stop challenging people's claims of abilities, and so on. He wanted me to sign some forms. I refused. He produced some paperwork, and said that he'd process me for "declaration".

"Declaration" is a Scientology term for "declaring" someone a Suppressive Person - someone who criticizes or acts against Scientology. Scientologists in good standing are instructed not to have anything to do with SPs, who are considered thoroughly destructive and anti-social beings.

I said I didn't care. He then told me that he'd "take care of me" if I kept asking questions. I asked him what that meant. He said that he would certainly hurt me, maybe kill me "with his OT powers" if I did not comply with his demands.

Causing physical harm to another person is assault. Threatening to kill someone is also, of course, illegal.

Under the law, a threat typically has to be believable - to cause the person being threatened to feel genuine fear. For non-Scientologists, the idea that someone could kill you with their supernatural powers may not be believable. However, for a Scientologist who has trained to achieve those powers, and who may even have witnessed demonstrations of purported OT powers, such a threat may indeed seem believable.

At this point, I had a "cognition": Scientology is RUBBISH. I told him about my cognition, wished him well, and got up to leave. He said "you'll never get home...I'll stop you!".
I walked out, he followed me, making all sorts of threats. I got to my car, and got out my key. He grabbed me. I turned around, he hit me (not very hard). I said "try that again, and you'd better be Superman". He did, I blocked it, and hit him myself. He picked up a board and swung it at me; I knocked it out of his hands, and hit him a few times until he fell down.

This passage is as clear as can be: it explicitly alleges threats and assault.

This altercation had attracted some attention, and someone had called the police. Within (it seemed) minutes, the parking lot was full of Scientologists, and two police cars and an had ambulance had arrived.
I told my version of the story. The EO said I was "a troublemaker who needed to learn some manners". The police asked if I wanted to press charges. I said no, I just need to get home. The EO was taken to the hospital for stitches - he cut his face on the pavement when he fell (I didn't mean to hurt him, but hey...a board?!).

It's unfortunate that Jost decided not to file a police report in this case. As more individuals file official complaints with the police, the allegations of assault by numerous individuals become better documented and understood.

Shortly after this altercation, Jost had dinner with the person who had sponsored his initial Scientology training. They were joined by two Scientology representatives, who accused Jost of committing a "high crime" (a specific and extremely serious type of unethical act in Scientology's philosophy), and told Jost that his only course of action was to enlist in the Sea Org, Scientology's extremely dedicated elite corps.

I said that I was not going to join the Sea Org, not pay them anything, and not stop asking questions. One of them said "you know, I could kill you right now... with a thought". I said "well, you know, I've been asking for demonstrations for a while now, why don't you just do it and get it over with?"

This passage suggests that, at this point, Jost did not believe the threat to kill him telepathically could be carried out. However, if the OT Ethics Officer made similar threats to Scientologists who did not have Jost's doubts in OT powers, those individuals may well find such a threat credible.

The reply was something like "don't worry, we'll get you when we have to".
I said "let me give you some incentive" and poured a glass of water down the front of her blouse. I got up and left the restaurant. Yes, I know it was rude, but I did - and still do - want to see a demonstration of all these powers that I've heard about and been threatened with. I figured a little ice water ought to provoke even an operating thetan into action...
And, surprisingly, that's about it. I got an "invoice" from them about two months later, which I ignored.

While it's difficult to know whether the invoice was for Jost's initial training, which he says was "sponsored" and so completed at no charge, or for some other services, it's difficult to say. Scientology has been known to send invoices for "freeloader debt" to staff members who break their contracts early, but Jost hasn't given any indication that he was ever on staff.

So let's look at what happened...I got no results at all, that's important. If "the tech always works" then something's wrong here. I asked questions, and was accused of heresy (let's not get into the results of my research, but I will say that I think that CoS "history" is a bunch of lies). I was not only threatened, but attacked.

Jost again says explicitly that Scientology staffers (an Ethics Officer!) threatened and attacked him.

To me, false claims, no results, and attacks are not a good combination. The actions of the Church of Scientology are what has set me against it.

And to sum up, Jost points out that threatening and attacking him did not have the desired effect - rather than being cowed to stay with Scientology and become a more dedicated member, he was repulsed by their actions.

This page was last updated on April 24, 2011.