Letter: Gerry Armstrong to Attorney Jonathan W. Lubell
The following excerpt of Gerry Armstrong’s 1994 letter to Scientology attorney Lubell discusses another example of Scientologists applying Hubbard’s “doing-a-bunk1” technology.
It is no secret to anyone that the organization is more than occasionally labelled in the media “the secretive Church of Scientology,” and now no secret to you that it is known as something sinister in my wide circle of professional contacts. It is a closed system based on secrets and lies. It need not be; it could be as easily an open system based on faith in courage and honesty.
It is closed, secretive and dishonest pursuant to its leader’s orders. That is how Hubbard was and how he set up his organization. Now Miscavige enforces his own secret orders on secret communication lines from secret places with secret threats of things to be done in secret. The organization’s leader could just as easily issue open orders for things to be done in the open.
What these leaders try to hide are who they are and their organization’s tragedies; what was done to whom and who ordered it; what was done in the name of Scientology or Hubbard or Miscavige which resulted in a tragedy; what potential “PR flap” was covered up; who got ripped off, who was hurt, who was abused. The coverups inevitably result in more tragedies, and more attacks and abuse.
What if, for example, Phil Valinski (I’m unsure of spelling, but will accept yours for now) didn’t die in his sleep, as his family was apparently told, and as you have apparently been told, but died while being audited. Although I was not in the auditing session, and am not the source of this information, this was the way it was described to me while I was at Hubbard’s La Quinta base, and seemed to be widely known at the base. If Phil did indeed die while being audited, shouldn’t his family have been notified of that fact, rather than that he died in his sleep. If he died while being audited, and that fact was covered up, shouldn’t his family now be told?
Shouldn’t Scientologists be told that not only did Phil die during auditing, but that Hubbard’s processes, which he claimed revived those who do die during auditing, didn’t work? Shouldn’t these processes therefore be stripped from Scientology auditing decrees as unworkable; and shouldn’t auditors be trained rather in CPR, or something workable? And shouldn’t people thinking about getting into Scientology be told up front of the actual numbers of people who have died while undergoing auditing?
Miscavige’s book What is Scientology? contains lots of pretty polychrome pie graphs, but no stats on people who died or went crazy during auditing, or even any numbers for those who feel they’ve been religiously ripped off. Honestly, aren’t these things more important to people seeking to understand what is Scientology than the claims that 2.2 percent of Scientologists golf and 16.1 percent walk? And speaking of stats, isn’t it true that the reason Hubbard and now Miscavige inflate so flagrantly Scientology’s membership (by the Miscavige method of counting now approaching ten million) is to falsely lower the organization’s per capita tragedies?
Characteristically, what Hubbard’s and Miscavige’s Scientology did with Phil was lie about the actual circumstances of his death, even to you, their attorney. And now they use you, with all the weight and threat of your stature and clout in the legal industry, to forward the lie. Their other option was to tell the truth. That is still Miscavige’s option; but that has not been his way, nor the way of Scientology under him. The fact that truth has not been his and his organization’s way is what has made the collection of information about Scientology’s untold tragedies by an outside agency such as Fact necessary.
This is the information I have about Phil’s death. He was being audited by one Dan Koon one afternoon in 1977 at the Palms house on the La Quinta base. Dan was running Phil on an upset he had had with Kima Douglas, who had been busted from her MO and HU posts and was then working in the base galley. At lunch that day Phil had requested a piece of chicken, and Kima, not having any, had not given it to him. Phil had a heart attack in session, and Dan kept right on auditing him, reportedly for many minutes, not doing CPR and not going for help. Dan apparently kept commanding him to think of his poor auditor, which is a process Hubbard claimed worked to bring people back to life if they died, or as Hubbard said, “did a bunk,” while being audited.
Following Phil’s death, Kima was accused of killing him and sec checked on her overts and withholds toward him. This is standard Hubbardian practice within the organization, because it can never be admitted that Hubbard’s processes could have contributed to harming, much less killing anyone. According to Hubbard there’s always a “who” in every flap, and Phil’s death was certainly a flap. Kima was an acceptable “who” because she was at that moment in Scientology time Hubbard’s latest scapegoat “SP.”
To the world outside, including the local authorities and Phil’s family, however, the charge or admission could not logically be made that Kima had killed Phil by refusing him a piece of chicken, because that would lead to the fact that he had died while being audited, and that would result in some “bad PR.” Therefore a “shore story” was concocted which had Phil, as you say, dying “in his sleep of a heart attack.” His family was then notified and given the shore story. Some of the personnel were also moved off the property when Phil’s family visited to cover up even what the base’s actual activities were.
It is for reasons such as what happened with Phil that the organization’s stories and data are doubted. It is not as you would like it to appear that those who question the circumstances of the organization’s tragedies are “trying to destroy the Church.” Hubbard was a judicially recognized pathological liar. His replacement acts in every way as if he is cut from the same madly embroidered cloth. Neither I nor anyone I know has any interest in destroying Scientology or causing any trouble for Scientologists. It is its leaders’ lies and enforcement of those lies, including the enforcement by its big time Philadelphia lawyers, which threaten to destroy what is good in Scientology and cause trouble for its people of good will.
I have little doubt that Dan Koon has been ordered to lie about his auditing of Phil and that the auditing reports have been falsified. It would be stupid, or malicious, of you to automatically doubt my data and automatically accept your client’s. I have confirmed what happened to Phil with four people who were in positions to know. Miscavige’s data cannot be trusted. He deals in lies; and that, not the “protection” of a few “celebrities” and not for reasons he pays you to give, is why he dismissed CSI v. Fishman. [...]2
Armstrong, G., to J. Lubell (1994, 14 May). Retrieved on 18 March 2010 from http://www.gerryarmstrong.org/50grand/writings/ga-ltr-lubell-1994-05-14.html