Author: Bent Corydon
Book title: L. Ron Hubbard: Messiah Or Madman?
Publication date: 1992
Location: Fort Lee, NJ
Publisher: Barricade Books
Description: Former Sea Org member "Elena Lorrel" discusses Scientology's intelligence operations executed from the Apollo.
WHY WAS THE APOLLO TURNED AWAY FROM ALMOST ALL MEDITERRANEAN AND EASTERN ATLANTIC PORTS AND THEN ATTACKED IN MADEIRA, PORTUGAL?
The official Scientology story was that there was an international conspiracy by the World Federation of Mental Health being orchestrated against the ship throughout the area using such agencies as the CIA, British Intelligence, Interpol and British consulates. There is, however, a consistent viewpoint expressed by the ex-Sea Org members interviewed for this book. They share a conviction that the ship’s troubles had something to do with how Hubbard and the crew conducted themselves.
There are some missing chapters in the story of this period that are completely unknown even to many veteran Sea Org members. These missing chapters have enabled lots of myths to develop. They have to do with what the ships were really doing as opposed to what we proclaimed to Scientologists we were doing. What we were doing was James Bond stuff in all these different countries.
Some of the missions that we undertook were real intelligence missions: to the U.N., and to the World Federation of Mental Health, for example, as well as to almost every government of the countries we visited.
We were infiltrating these groups… I mean we were finding the people trying to assassinate a king; we were trying to settle between one tribe fighting another tribe; trying to covertly back one political candidate versus another. All kinds of political manipulations like you’d never imagine were going on, and it was all being pulled off by a very few people.
Most Sea Org members were robotic, rigidly following Scientology think. Put under pressure and duress, they would just blab everything. So there was only a very small group of us that had to do it all over a period of 10 or 12 years. We’d been out on scenes where we had to break into presidential palace grounds, con our way past guards, and so on.
What really caused the Rock Festival was typical of what got us in trouble in most ports: The fact is that we just didn’t add up ! The Apollo would arrive in their quiet harbor and suddenly there were 47 motorcycles and three different bands playing! Here we were at the same time, supposedly, a business management operation… Also a shore unit was set up in their town by us that was working on a project we had contracted with the Lisbon government (in an attempt by us to gain influence).
I think the people in Madeira may also have thought we were spying on them (the locals) for the government in Lisbon. Another reason for our troubles was that we wouldn’t observe customs and regulations because we were so damned arrogant. LRH was creating the problem, more than not. He was getting so excited. Cathy Cariatakis or I would go into some country and ally it and he would be so excited. He was like a child with this whole new playground. He just couldn’t contain himself. He would want to get into everything. What LRH wanted to do would almost invariably involve some violation of an agreement we had made.
INFILTRATING “THE ENEMY”
LRH sent off a “SMERSH” mission to Switzerland. We were caught red-handed by the Swiss Minister of Health and received a summons to a meeting with him and the Attorney General, surrounded by security police.We were just caught, hung tied and quartered, until I somehow managed to convince the minister that I truly was a member of the World Federation of Mental Health. I told him that what we were trying to do really was the result of an internal squabble within that organization.
He finally bought this line, dropped the idea that we were impostors, and asked the law enforcement guys to leave. We had been trying to incorporate as the World Federation of Mental Health. The WFMH had never been incorporated in Switzerland. It was incorporated and started in the U.S. Margaret Mead and Brock Chisholm and some of the old-time shrinks were some of the founding members.We were going to incorporate in Switzerland and were planning, thereafter, to sabotage the entire mental health movement. In order to register in Switzerland, they had to have been incorporated first. We discovered they had registered with no prior incorporation, making them illegitimate. So we seized on this situation and decided to incorporate in their place.
We wanted to get member mental health groups all over the world to join us. We were planning to achieve that by bad mouthing the existing heads of the WFMH. One of our key weapons was the fact that we had discovered that the heads of the WFMH were creaming and skimming a lot of money off the top. We had documents to prove this. We had gotten these documents from two missions prior to mine, sent to Switzerland to ransack a couple of offices and loot the files. Among the files they brought back to the ship were documents which revealed the tracking of money which came in. It showed how it had been skimmed off the top by some of these WFMH executives. So we went to incorporate and they said, “You can’t do that. There is already a corporation of that name.” And we said, “No, you’d better check your records, and you’ll find they aren’t incorporated.” And they said, “Well they’re registered here,” and we said, “Well they’re not incorporated.” And they said, “Well, they are in Delaware.” And we said, “Yes but they’re only registered there, they’re not incorporated there.”
So when it came down to the wire (that they weren’t properly incorporated), the Swiss authorities turned it over to the Ministry of Health. This was because, while they knew we were right, they didn’t want to stab the WFMH in the back.
So the referred it to the Minister of Health for a ruling. While we were waiting for the decision, we prepared a letter-head with WFMH markings on it. We established an office and put up large posters and plastered the Federation of Mental Health name all over it. We got the program going. We sent mailings out to all the major drug companies around the world, saying that we really were in favor of euthanasia (in this case “mercy” killing on a broad scale, a euphemism for ridding society of”undesirables”) and that we wanted endowments from them to push it through in the United Nations. We figured that if the drug companies were sleazy enough to back it they would send us money, and if they were pretty cool they would realize that the WFMH were evil SOBs because they were pushing euthanasia. Either way we came out O.K. We would either make the WFMH look like a bunch of sleazebags, or we would end up with a good amount of money for operating capital. This project was one of several forerunners of the later “Operation Snow White” conducted by Scientology against agencies in the U.S. and England.
Corydon, B. (1992). L. Ron Hubbard: Messiah Or Madman? Fort Lee, NJ: Barricade Books.
- Corydon writes in Chapter 2, “Elena Lorrel, in her early twenties at the time, was as close to being Hubbard’s confidante as was possible with him, for over a decade. (She has young children. At her insistence it was agreed not to use her correct name to avoid Church harassment.)” ↩