Correspondence with the Church of Scientology

Here is the correspondence I had in the early 80s with the Church of Scientology about my alleged "free-loader debt". It will be fairly long, so bear with me.

(i)

First, beginning in 1979, I received a few short notes from the then Director of Income at AOSHEU&AF, Luis F. Solano; what he told me was, in essence, that I could either rejoin the Sea Org, in which case I would not have to pay any "free-loader debt"; or I could choose to come back as "public", in which case I would have to pay off this debt, before receiving further services. I wrote back to him on April 29 1980:

You are presenting me with a false alternative: either I rejoin the Sea Org (in which case my bill will grow indefinitely until my contract is completed, which will take another 999 999 995.5 years), or else I will have to pay it off before I can receive any further Scientology services.

But I have no intention to rejoin the Sea Org, nor to take any further Scientology services. Therefore, the choice you offer me is not one that I can seriously consider.

As for the moral question of repaying a bill incurred, I would like to state the following for the record:

I have worked for the services I have received for many years, working Sea Org working hours in exchange for Sea Org pay, Sea Org food and Sea Org lodgings. The idea that I should now, on top of that, use my wog working hours, ration my wog food and wog lodgings, to pay for what I have already earned through hard work, strikes me as singularly unethical.

[Note for wogs: Sea Org working hours are extremely long. Sea Org pay is extremely low. And Sea Org food is Ė well Ė not exactly delicious.]

(ii)

Later Mr. Solano was replaced as Director of Income by Christian Zülli, who wrote me the following (22 July 1980):

I am the new Director of Income and am going to collect your Freeloader bill. Is there something I can do for you?

He wrote me two more short notes of the same kind. Then, November 1 1980, I wrote him the following:

If a debt can be accumulated over a period of one billion years Ė then it can also be paid back over a period of one billion years.

That is exactly what I will do.

Starting today, I will pay back my freeloader debt in installments of 0.05 Swiss Francs every one thousandth year.

Please expect my next installment on November 1, 2980 (AD 1030).

Mr. Zülli wrote me couple of more letters, that I wonít bother to quote; then, 10 January 1981, I wrote him a fairly long letter:

Now letís go over this slowly.

First, you say that I got into this situation through my own unethical behavior. But there is certainly nothing unethical about blowing the Sea Org. In fact, this is probably the most pro-survival act I have ever committed. The unethical thing is to join the Sea Org Ė as this means signing oneself into a billion year bondage. Nobody who truly values his own life would throw it away that recklessly.

It is of course even more unethical to offer such contracts Ė and then rig it so that a contract breakage becomes more expensive the longer it is postponed.

To visualize this, imagine a movie theatre that offers free entrance, but then charges an inordinate sum in order to get out of the theatre. The customer may truly believe, when he enters, that he will never want to leave the theatre. But then one day he gets tired of the show, having seen the same reels too often with only small and superficial variations of the stories, and wakes up to the fact that it will cost him a fortune to get out into the open again. Would you blame him if he sneaks out the back door? Or doesnít the blame rest with the owner of the theatre?

There is an old German fairy-tale which also serves to illustrate this point. It is called Hans und Gretchen.

Secondly, you tell me that I "know exactly that in Scientology we are not playing a minor game". Now, you have no secret access to my innermost knowledge, so please donít pretend that you have. And the question whether Scientology is a major or minor game can hardly be answered from inside the game itself. Any game looks big while youíre in it. But you would probably be amazed how small and insignificant it becomes, once youíve stepped outside of it.

The horrible truth about the trap you are working so hard to get out of is that it simply doesnít exist. Life undoubtedly is full of traps, minor and major (such as the billion year contract trap). But The Trap with a capital T Ė so was gibt es nicht. So all youíll ever get for your hard work is just more hard work.

Ö it is our last chance.

This is simply an appeal to hysteria. There are as many chances as there are traps to escape from. The claim that Scientology is "the one and only chance to get out of the one and only trap" is an attempt to create a fence of fear around the Church, lest someone escape its entrapment. Extra ecclesiam nulla salus, as the Roman Catholics have it. ("There is no salvation outside the Church.")

We now have the technologyÖ

Iím morbidly curious to know what is meant by the word now in this context. How far back does it stretch, and how long will it last before another technical breakthrough is needed in order to remove another last barrier toward the Clearing of Earth? It would be an interesting exercise to dig through the HCOB Volumes and spot every time when LRH has made The Final Technical Breakthrough, and now was the time to clear Earth. But this is a discovery I guess that each new generation of Scientologists will have to make on its own.

Ö and it is a major crime to desert this effort.

In a free society (as opposed to a totalitarian), there can never be any question of labeling a change of occupation a crime, and much less of labeling a change of philosophical convictions a crime, not in the literal, legal sense of the term. I do hope you are using it metaphorically.

Whether the law can force me to honor an inherently absurd contract is another question, which you are of course free to put to the test.

I just wish that you would drop the pretense that you are doing me some kind of favor by offering me to pay back my "debt" voluntarily. Your final argument is that you will collect it anyway, by legal force. You are relying upon the legal machinery of the wog world, its policemen, judges and jails, to do what you cannot achieve yourself by means of persuasion. Your final word, like that of the Erlkönig, is: "Und bist du nicht willig, so brauch ich Gewalt."

You are of course perfectly entitled to the opinion that I have never understood what Scientology is all about. But if ten years as a Scientologist, six of which as a staff member, didnít bring Scientology home to me, then how do you think that a grab into my wallet will do the trick?

Of course it is true that you havenít caused the state mankind is now in. Neither have I. This fact has no relevance to the issue at hand. And I have never claimed that you owe me anything. All I have asked of you is to keep off my back.

(iii)

After this, I didnít hear from Christian Zülli again; instead, 17 January 1981, I got the following from Toni Kinzl, whose title was P/MAA HFA (MAA standing for Master at Arms):

Your letter of 10/1/81 was routed to me.

I suggest you stop writing this kind of letters to anybody in any Scientology Org; we are not interested to hear what a freeloader says in order to justify his overts.

When you come to your senses you can write me again and do steps A-E and come clean.

[Note for wogs: Steps A to E are steps a declared Suppressive Person is supposed to take in order to rejoin Scientology. Weirdly enough, I was never, to my knowledge, declared a Suppressive Person.]

My answer (20 January 1981):

May I point out to you that it wasnít I who started this cycle of communication. Christian as well as his predecessor have been very eager to get in comm with me. If they were not interested in hearing my "justifications", as you call them, they shouldnít have written in the first place.

I stated my position very clearly in my letter to Luis Solano of 29 April 1980. (Copy attached.) Luis evidently did not route that letter to Ethics. He and Christian chose to ignore it and continue to work on my presumed guilty conscience and my presumed fear of the law, alternatively. What were they counting on?

I am simply not guilty of writing unsolicited letters to anybody in the Church of Scientology, so you can spare your insults for those who do.

I received the following response from Toni Kinzl (24 January 1981):

Now you got me wrong: There is nothing wrong with communication; however sometimes there can be something wrong with the contents of a communication. I didnít mean to insult you; I just wanted to make the point clear that we are not interested to hear your justifications. This simply because neither we nor you can have any benefit out of this.

You should know enough Scientology to know that the overt/motivator sequence functions inevitably, no matter if the person "believes in it" or not, no matter if the person ever heard of it or not.

One of these days you might start to confront what you did and what you are doing now; for your sake I hope itís going to be soon.

My answer (29 January 1981):

Thank you for your letter.

I am willing to accept that Toni Kinzl, the thetan, didnít mean to insult me. But Toni Kinzl, the P/MAA HFA, certainly did. He expressed utter contempt for me as a being, and quite openly stated that I am out of my senses. He also, you may notice, expressed himself in rather wide generalities: "We (Scientologists in general) are not interested in what a freeloader (not the specific freeloader Sam Samuelsson) says in order to justify his overts (an unspecified number of overts of an unspecified nature)."

If you want to communicate with me, then you cannot attempt to dictate the contents of my answers. If you want nothing but answers that please you, then you should communicate to yourself.

If Christian Zülli is free to accuse me of unethical behavior, of having committed a major crime (by leaving Scientology), and of never having understood what Scientology is all about Ė then how come itís so horrible of me to defend myself against those charges? You cannot judge by a double standard.

Now the main point Iím trying to make is this: if a person having joined the Sea Org wishes to leave it, he cannot do so without facing personal financial disaster. Because of the length of the contract, he has no possibility to avoid this by simply completing the contract. His only chance is to blow the Sea Org, and then either go into hiding or fight back when he gets his freeloader billing.

And not only that: The more the person has contributed while in the Sea Org, the larger becomes his debt. This is true in two ways: 1) simply on account of the length of time he has served, and 2) because training and processing are regarded as rewards for up statistics, and so the Sea Org member with the best stats can be counted on to have received the most "free" services. Thus a blown Sea Org memberís past contributions not only do not count, but actually count negatively.

If these are the facts, then no amount of O/W-pulling will change the facts. [O/W standing for "overts and withholds".]

And if they are not facts, then please show me in what way Iím wrong. You wonít ever show that by telling me to shut up, or to dig for hidden misdeeds in my past, or to accept the notion that Iíve gone crazy.

Your reference to the overt-motivator sequence is illogical. If the overt-motivator sequence is an inevitable law of nature, it will work regardless of whether you collect my freeloader debt or not. And if the Church of Scientology feels that it has to collect my freeloader debt, then I must assume that it is the Church of Scientology who is pulling in motivators.

A motivator is characterized by constant complaint with no real action to resolve the situation. What Iím doing is something quite different: Iím defending my freedom to work for my own livelihood, as opposed to working for the livelihood of the Church of Scientology.

Now Iím not doing anything for your sake, so you are under no obligation to do anything for my sake. However, I do believe that it is your honest conviction that I have committed overts that I cannot confront, and that I will cave in unless you haul me out. But have you ever examined the grounds for your conviction? You believe that O/Ws and/or Mis/Us [misunderstood words] are the single cause of blows Ė because LRH has constantly told you so. You probably believe that blown Scientologists inevitably cave in Ė because Ron said so. Have you ever asked yourself what objective, factual evidence there is?

To make my own case, I blew because of my desire to live my own life, to do things that were not necessarily aligned to command intention and to every dynamic except my own first dynamic. I certainly refuse to regard that desire as "harmful" or "contra-survival", and there is really nothing in it to cause a cave-in. But as a Scientologist and as an Ethics Officer, you are bound by policy and by your dedication to LRH to reject this simple explanation and substitute for it unconfronted overts that are mere figments of imagination.

If the quest for "total freedom" has taught me anything, it is to value the limited but real freedom which I had been busily throwing away.

I realize fully that this is one of the letters I should never write to anybody in any Scientology org, and that you have no slightest interest in hearing what I have to say. But if you now want the communication cut, then you should do the cutting; you canít expect me to be talked to while deprived of my right to talk back.

And if you do want to continue the communication, then let us base it on a mutual respect for facts and for reality, not on the mutual agreement that everything LRH ever said is gospel truth. Iíve left that agreement behind me.

(iv)

And this was actually the end of this correspondence. Shortly afterwards I contacted the Swedish magazine Sökaren, and got the article I wrote published. I am fairly certain that the Church of Scientology realized they would simply ruin their PR by continuing to pester me.

There were a couple of feeble attempts in the early 80s to make me accept the regularly recurring "amnesties", but I simply rejected those. And I have not been pestered again, until recently, in 2009.

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