Friday, August 16, 2013

The Santa Rosa Press Democrat, Survivors Try To Put Jonestown Behind Them; Parks Family Tried to Leave with Rep. Ryan, by Steve Hart,

November 18, 1998, The Santa Rosa Press Democrat, Survivors Try To Put Jonestown Behind Them; Parks Family Tried to Leave with Rep. Ryan, by Steve Hart, Staff Writer,

Twenty years after Jonestown, Gerald Parks and his three children still are trying to piece their lives together.

"We did the best we could to put it behind us and move on with our lives," said Parks, 66, who returned to his job in a Ukiah supermarket a few months after the Guyana massacre.

But it hasn't been easy. "I look back and I still carry guilt for taking my family down there," he said.

Parks' family was trying to escape Jonestown on Nov. 18, 1978, when Peoples Temple gunmen attacked a nearby jungle airstrip, killing Parks' wife, Patricia, Rep. Leo Ryan and three U.S. newsmen.

A few hours later, the Rev. Jim Jones and more than 900 followers were dead inside the Temple's Guyana compound, victims of suicide and murder.

Parks and his family were longtime Temple members. Gerald's mother, Edith Parks, met Jones in Cincinnati in the 1950s and followed when he moved the Temple to Ukiah in 1965.

Edith Parks said Jones cured her cancer after doctors gave up hope. As the years went by, however, she began having misgivings about Jones, who dominated and mistreated his followers.

Still, she accepted Jones' invitation to move to Jonestown in 1978 after the preacher told her the Temple's Guyana farm colony would be good for her health. A number of Parks' family members, including son Gerald, daughter-in-law Patricia, 42, and grandchildren Brenda, 18, Tracy, 11, and Dale, 24, already were there.

Edith Parks, then 64, quickly discovered the reality of Jonestown. The jungle heat was stifling and Temple colonists were tormented by insects and strange diseases.

They worked long hours in the fields while Jones delivered endless harangues over the camp's loudspeakers. The Temple's rank-and-file members ate rice and melon for breakfast, while Jones and his inner circle enjoyed meat and coffee.

The atmosphere in Jonestown was tense. Temple leaders separated family members and administered harsh punishment to anyone who spoke out or threatened to leave. "I tried that the second day I was there and they beat the hell out of me," recalled Gerald Parks.

Parks and his son Dale tried to warn Edith Parks not to come to Jonestown, but Temple enforcers monitored their phone calls and letters.

The colonists heard gunfire at night, and Jones said armed mercenaries were roaming the jungle, waiting to attack the camp. Gerald Parks said Jones staged the shooting to frighten them. "I knew it was fake," he said.

Now addicted to drugs, Jones "became a different person," said Gerald Parks. Jones was talking about suicide and becoming less coherent by fall 1978. He made his followers rehearse mass suicide in "White Night" drills.

"He was crazy. He believed the government wanted to kill him," Parks said. The family saw their chance to get out when Ryan made his fact-finding visit to Jonestown in November.

As Ryan prepared to leave, Edith Parks approached Ryan's group and said her family wanted out. Jones tried to intervene, but she insisted, and Ryan agreed to take the Parks family with him.

A handful of other colonists joined them on the short trip to the Port Kaituma airstrip outside Jonestown. One of them, Larry Layton, 32, was a Jones loyalist who secretly carried a gun and had orders to kill anyone trying to leave.

Layton started shooting inside one of the airplanes as Jones' security men arrived on the runway and opened fire on Ryan's group. Patricia Parks was struck in the head and killed instantly as her family watched in horror.

The survivors, many of them wounded, fled into the jungle. Brenda and Tracy Parks endured two harrowing nights in the jungle before they reached a native settlement.

Edith, Gerald and Dale spent the night with other survivors barricaded in a rum house near the airport, waiting for attackers to return. They were rescued by Guyanese troops the next day.

Gerald Parks and his family later returned to Ukiah, where his brother lived, and Parks went back to work at a Ukiah supermarket.

He said friends and co-workers were supportive, taking up a collection to help the shattered family. "I was surprised by people," he said. Still, "there are always those who are going to look down at you."

Edith Parks died a few years later. Dale works at the veterans hospital in San Francisco, Tracy is married and Brenda is trying to start a business. Gerald Parks is now retired.

"For what they went through, they're doing all right," said Gerald's brother, Dennis.

Gerald Parks said he doesn't have much contact with former Temple members, even though he considers them friends. "There were a lot of good people, lovely people, in there," he said.

But he said Jonestown taught him the dangers of believing in an all-powerful leader. "No human being can tell if you will live or die. Our lives are not in another human being's hands," he said.

Parks said he has since watched other messianic figures lead people to their deaths, including David Koresh. "When this thing happened in Waco I knew how it was going to end," he said. "I don't think they've learned a thing."

He believes few of Jones' followers committed suicide. "There were a lot of them that didn't want to die and a lot who didn't know what was going on. They had no choice."

Parks said he has a hard time talking about Jonestown because it brings back such terrible memories. After 20 years, he still wonders if the killing could have been avoided.

"I still ask myself why," he said. "There's no explanation for it."

20 Years Later, Indianians Remember Jonestown; Hometown neighbors recall Jim Jones as dynamic, but..., by Rachel Sheeley,

November 19, 1998, Salt Lake Tribune - Gannett News Service, 20 Years Later, Indianians Remember Jonestown; Hometown neighbors recall Jim Jones as dynamic, but..., by Rachel Sheeley,

RICHMOND, Ind. -- As word of the Jonestown massacre spread 20 years ago Wednesday and television showed the hundreds of bodies lying in the Guyana sun, this eastern Indiana town earned an infamous title: home to the Rev. Jim Jones.

Under Jones' leadership, 913 people died at the Peoples Temple church compound on Nov. 18, 1978.
Some died willingly at Jones' urging, drinking a cyanide-laced powdered drink. Others were intimidated or shot.

The death ritual was magnified by the shooting deaths of Rep. Leo Ryan of California and four people traveling with him. Temple loyalists ambushed them as they boarded their planes near Jonestown that same day. Ryan had visited the Jonestown settlement to investigate reports that some members were being kept there against their will.

"It was a tragic human story," said Ashton Veramallay, professor of economics at Indiana University East and a Guyana native. "The intent was good -- to transform the forest lands into agricultural pursuits, and it was paying off. Then things went haywire. Ironically, now Jonestown is a ghost town. Because of the incident, it is haunted -- the forest there is taking it over."

For some here, it is unsettling that the orchestrator of history's largest cult death came from the Richmond area, graduated from Richmond High and founded his integrated Peoples Temple in Indianapolis in the mid-1950s. Jones moved it to California in 1965, then set up the Guyana compound in 1974.

Some believe he became disillusioned as he saw Christian concepts and racial integration, in particular, succumb to racism.

But one who knew him, the Rev. Dixie Miller of First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) here, said, "I don't think there is an explanation for what he did. It's one of those things that got out of control within himself. He lost the ability to discern between Jim Jones the human and God's will, and that line that differentiates became very narrow."
In the process, the Peoples Temple moved from church to cult. People gave their money to Jones, split up their families or beat their children at his command, entered extramarital relationships and finally killed themselves for him.

He had a need to lead, recalled those who knew him as a child. "He loved to be in the center, loved to be top dog," said Virgil Estep, 66, of nearby Lynn, Ind., a friend of Jones' when they were in their early teens.

Estep and others remember a complex young man: neat, good student, not an athlete. Religious at an early age. Dynamic, quick-tempered, even a bit cruel.

"I snuck out to his barn one day, and he was preaching by himself out there," Estep recalled. "Something went against him, and you never heard such a line of cuss words. Then he was just fine. It all happened that quick."

Nellie Mitchell, 91, of Lynn, remembered Jones as an "ornery" boy. "He was just a cruel fella," she said. "My husband told me he used to kill birds and have funerals for them. I think he used to have funerals for all the animals he killed."

In the end, Jones convinced his followers that death need not be feared. The goal was to die for what they believed.

"We hope that the world will someday realize the ideals of brotherhood, justice and equality that Jim Jones has lived and died for," said a note left by one follower. "We have all chosen to die for this cause."

In the weeks leading up to the massacre, Jones' wife, Marceline, had signaled her fears, talking about her husband's poor physical condition and her own need to leave Jonestown.

Three of their sons were on the Jonestown basketball team. When they traveled to Georgetown University, Marceline persuaded them to stay there, escaping the tragedy. And she got her parents out on Nov. 15.

But the Jones' children, Agnes and Lew Eric, died at Jonestown.


June 1991, North Coast Journal, Petrolia's New Neighbors -- L. Ron Hubbard's followers, the Church of Spiritual Technology, by Joe Cempa,
January 10, 1995, Volume 0, Issue 24, Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review, by Rod Keller, diigo,
January 8, 2003, San Francisco Chronicle, Nancy ‘Bart Simpson’ Cartwright Gives $10 Million to Scientology,
July 19, 2004, The Eureka Times-Standard, My search for the 'secret' Scientology vault, by James Tressler,
January 1, 2007, NPR, UFO Is Reported at O'Hare; Feds Are Silent,
January 16, 2008, NPR, All Things Considered, UFO Sightings Stream In from Texas Townsfolk, by Wade Goodwyn,
January 19, 2008, shakesville, Warning: Mocking this Tom Cruise video could lead to Scientologists murdering you, by William K Wolfrum,
January 28, 2008, The Eureka Times-Standard, Letter, Who else saw 'mystery orb'?, by Matt McGuffin,
January 30, 2008, Humboldtian, Did a UFO visit Arcata?, by Andy Bird,
January 31, 2008, The Humboldt Herald, Bart Simpson kicks down to Humboldt County?,

January 31, 2008, The Humboldt Herald, Bart Simpson kicks down to Humboldt County?,

Well, not exactly. But the voice of Bart Simpson donated $10 million to the Church of Scientology, according to the Chronicle. The Church — or cult, if you prefer — has an 8,000 square foot bunker atop a ridge outside Petrolia.

Scientologists began buying land in Humboldt County in the mid-80′s, and construction of the bunker began in 1987.

But Humboldt’s close encounters with Scientologists began decades prior. In 1961, then-District Attorney Leonard Conry "filed charges against Frank Clendon Metcalf, [who was] already in trouble with the City of Eureka for practicing and instructing courses in Scientology," according to an article in the Humboldt Standard.

Maybe the recent UFO sighting in Arcata was just Tom Cruise flying in to lay some scratch on the county coffers. Apparently the Scientologists have a history of unpaid taxes in Humboldt County.

It's too bad the Times-Standard wasn't equipped with Google Earth back when former reporter James Tressler went searching for "the secret Scientology vault." He could have zoomed around the 3,000+ acre property from the comfort of his cubicle and found the spooky crop circle-like formations on the road leading to L. Ron Hubbard’s brain. What are those anyway? Cow paths?


July 19, 2004, The Eureka Times-Standard, My search for the 'secret' Scientology vault, by James Tressler,

There's an old Humboldt County map hanging in the newsroom that has intrigued me ever since I came to work for the paper.

Actually not so much the map, but a spot on the map near Petrolia someone marked "Secret Scientology Vault." Like most people, my only knowledge of scientology is that supposedly celebs like Tom Cruise and John Travolta dabble in it.

But did the vault actually exist, or was it just an old newsroom prank? If so, why would it be on some remote hill in Humboldt County?

Turns out it does -- and, not to burst the bubble -- it's really not that much of a secret after all.

My search started, the way all quests do nowadays, with Google. Using the key words "Scientology vault Humboldt County," I yielded about seven entries. One that caught my eye was an Associated Press article dated fall 1992 -- "Neighbors suspicious of Scientology's Steel Vault." The article was written around the time the vault was being permitted.

Subsequent queries confirmed that the vault sits on a huge ranch owned by the Church of Spiritual Technology. Because of security concerns voiced by church spokeswoman Jane McNairn, I won't disclose exactly where the property is located.

Valued at more than $8 million, the vault was built to store the writings of Church of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, author of books such as "Dianetics." Hubbard, also a science fiction writer, once reportedly said, "If you want to get rich, invent a religion."

The pipe-shaped vault is as wide and high as the cabin of a Boeing 747, but more than 140 feet longer than one of the jumbo jets. The vault was designed to last 1,000 years and withstand any act short of a direct hit by a nuclear bomb.

Inside the vault the writings of Hubbard are preserved on a specially treated paper designed to last a millennium, while his lectures are stored on gold-plated compact discs.

"It was very interesting -- obviously a well-engineered and thought-out facility," said Sheriff Gary Philp, one of the few people who's actually been inside the vault. Philp was invited by the church a few years back to tour the vault, an invitation Philp said the church made in part to dispel rumors that anything illegal or sinister was happening on the property.

"It's fascinating," Philp said. "A lot of work went into preserving the items they want kept there."

Armed with a map, a pack of smokes and a digital camera, I headed out this past week in search of the "secret" vault, filled with excitement as if I were looking for the treasure of the Sierra Madre, or perhaps the Dead Sea scrolls.

The hour-long drive took me out to the Lost Coast, that misty, roaming land that looks like an abandoned set from "Lord of the Rings." I arrived in Petrolia and, hoping for help, went into the general store. The clerk, a sunny-dispositioned woman named Trish, dropped her polite smile when I asked directions.

"That's a private road," she said.

I laid my cards out, explaining who I was and what I wanted. After a few minutes, she took my name and number and said she'd pass it along to the church's caretaker, who lives on the property.

I suspected the call would never come -- and it never did. So I went out myself and -- to make a long story short -- eventually found the property. Not the vault itself, which is located somewhere deep within the 3,600-acre ranch. Freedom of the press doesn't give me the right to trespass. So I had to settle for driving up to the gate and taking a desultory picture of the "No Trespassing" sign.

Driving back to Eureka, I was disappointed. True, I'd found the vault, or at least its general location. As I drove, I waited for deep or profound thoughts to come into my head, answers to questions, as if I'd been on a quest for the Holy Grail or something. But no thoughts came into my head, except a fragment of an old song, "Never wonder why everyone's dead/never wonder about the voices in your head/Never try to understand the terrible face of summer."

Looking back, I had to be a bit stupid, or at least careless, to even look for the place. The Lost Coast doesn't get its nickname for nothing. It's a wild, mostly uninhabited place. Help could be hard to find if the car broke down on one of its lonely stretches.

When I was driving down one back road in search of the place, it occurred to me that I could be lost and wandering unawares onto some private pot grow in the hills, where some guy with a gun is waiting to blow my head off. It was a frightening moment.

So if you've got a notion to grab some buddies and a six-pack and go browsing the bushes with the ridiculous idea of running into Tom Cruise leading some backwoods ceremony, I can only tell you this -- it's a long way to go for very little.

January 8, 2003, San Francisco Chronicle, Nancy ‘Bart Simpson’ Cartwright Gives $10 Million to Scientology,

Actress Nancy Cartwright, the voice behind cartoon character Bart Simpson, has been awarded Scientology’s Patron Laureate Award after she donated $10 million to the faith in 2007.

Cartwright’s gift — almost two times her annual salary from “The Simpsons” — puts her top of a list of celebrity benefactors, who have handed over their hard-earned cash to the Church of Scientology. She gave even more than Tom Cruise — who is reported to be the controversial religion’s second-in-command — who has donated $5 million in the last four years.

According to Impact magazine, Kirstie Alley gave $5 million last year and has picked up the Diamond Meritorious Award.

Fellow followers John Travolta and Kelly Preston gave $1 million each and were awarded the Gold Meritorious Award, while Priscilla Presley was handed the Patron Award for a donation of $50,000.

The prizes were handed out at a top-secret ceremony in Florida last summer, according to the publication.

June 1991, North Coast Journal, Petrolia's New Neighbors -- L. Ron Hubbard's followers, the Church of Spiritual Technology, by Joe Cempa

Petrolia - A few miles outside of this coastal community, a massive 400-foot subterranean vault constructed of steel and concrete lies beneath a peaceful knoll overlooking the Pacific.

The breadth and dimension of the vault stagger the imagination: 100 feet longer than a football field and 20 feet in diameter, the two-story sarcophagus is almost complete. It is designed to withstand the ravages of nature as well as man-made destruction.

Humboldt County is now home to one of the most impregnable storage repositories known to man, Its prime purpose is to hold the teaching, philosophy and enlightenment of a single man: L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology, one of the most contentious, controversial religions ever founded.

The vault is one of several under construction across the country. Southern California and New Mexico have similar underground facilities that are nearly complete. Unconfirmed reports say land has been purchased in Utah for a fourth facility.

Some residents of Ferndale and Petrolia are anxious. They are in wonder at the proposed use of the vaults. Why three or four vaults of such size to store the works of one man? they ask. What else is going into the vaults?

The Church of Spiritual Technology -- A Scientology splinter group -- has bought up tracts of Southern Humboldt ranches and homesteads outside of Petrolia since 1984. Its holdings in the area total 3,600 acres.

The centerpiece of the project is the former Walker Ranch. In June of 1987 the philosophical-religious organization began constructing a storage facility its members claim will "hold the wisdom of the ages."

As the vault nears completion, Petrolia residents are no more sure of what exactly is going on up on Walker Mountain than they were seven years ago when the Los Angeles-based Church of Spiritual technology began buying land.

"We don't know what the hell is going on up there, and it stinks!" said one retired man from the steps of the Petrolia Post Office. "Some of us (locals) call if the dungeon! A lot of us do not like this one bit. Who are these people? They sure are a secretive, stand-offish lot."

That same description of "secretive" and "they sure keep to themselves" popped up again and again while researching this story. Reporters in New Mexico and San Bernardino County who were working on stories about the storage facilities under construction said they could get little or no information from CST representatives.

Dozens of phone calls to the CST office in Los Angeles were not returned. Queries to the Media Relations office of Scientology were answered with, "I really don't know who could talk to you about that. We have no information on the vaults."

In the San Bernardino Mountains another storage facility nears completion. It is 5,200 feet above seal level and it has two tunnels, connected by a metal corridor, each 104 feet long by 23 feet wide. The San Bernardino facility is surrounded by at least 10 buildings including a three-story administration office, dormitories, dining halls, residences and other buildings and offices.

No visitors are allowed, and an extensive security system surrounds the 33-acre site. A 35.5 kilovolt generator powers the facility.

According to Aileen Derdorff, San Bernardino County planner, the property was valued at $3.7 million before the vaults are constructed.

"They say they are going to store 'old and historic' documents up there," Derdorff said. "Since I hear this church has only been around for a short while, I don't know how 'old and historic' these documents can be. It sounds questionable to me."

"I have no idea what's going on in them (the vaults) or what they are doing up there. They are very secretive people, very stand-offish. In our dealings with them, it was always a 'we-don't-want-you-knowing-what-we're-doing-up-here' kind of thing," she said. "The vaults are impressive, really cold, but not damp. Actually, very dry. They want to keep them cold and dry for some reason. I've never seen anything like them."

The Church of Spiritual Technology was incorporated in California in May 1985. Based in Los Angeles, the 45-member church was created as a non-profit organization dedicated to "preserve the religious and philospohical writings of the late L. Ron Hubbard,"according to a spokesman for the church. Hubbard wrote dozens of science fiction books and is the founder of Scientology.

According to an interview published in the Ferndale Enterprise, Michel Ouelette, 40, a French-Canadian, is the manager of the Petrolia facility.

"We are not the Church of Scientology," Ouelette said in the weekly newspaper's story by Editor Elizabeth McHarry. "However, we do share a common interest with it through our belief in the value and workability of Mr. hubbard's writing in solving today's spiritual problems.

Ouelette said that "other basic religious texts" are also to be stored in the underground facility outside Petrolia.

According to CST documents, the church was formed to ensure that Hubbard's "religious works" and "other key religious works of mankind do not fall prey to the ravages of time, and will still be in existence in the centuries and millenia to come."

According to the documents, the material will be stored by microfilm, archival publishing, metal etchings, audio recordings made from pure gold and compact discs that will last 1,000 years. The church also plans to install time-capsules made of titanium, "one of the toughest and long-lasting metal there is," will be will be welded shut and the oxygen pumped out and replaced with argon gas. The capsules will be stored in stainless steel storage racks.

The Enterprise also quoted Ouelette as saying, "The church's activities include research into long-lasting archival materials, thransferring written and spoken words onto such materials to preserve them, and storing them so they will be available for future generations. We will not be conducting religious ceremonies at the ranch. The purpose of the property is for the preservation of religious wisdom..."

He said that money for the facility came from "donations." Accodring to Todd Sobolik, Humboldt County chief building inspector, the vault is estimated to cost between $3 and $5 million. An 8,000 square foot house called "The Bunker" that serves as a "caretaker's quarters" was estimated to cost $300,000. to construct, Sobolik said.

The assessed valuation of the 23 parcels owned by the church is $1.19 million, with improvements valued at $510,533., according to county records. Records also showed that the church's tax bill for 1990-01 is $18,488.

According to a six-part series in the Los Angeles Times, last year, the Church of Scientology has spent more than $15 million to protect and preserve Hubbard's writings. The paper said the CST has 45 members who function as staff. There is no "congregation."

Court documents filed by the church list its income for 1987 as $503 million. CynthiaKisser, director of the Cult Awareness Network, said in an interviewthat in 1987 the Church of Scientology reported income and fixed assets of $206 million.

The New Mexico facility is the most complete of the three known vaults. The San Miguel, NM, county planner, Hilario Rubio, said the CST has been in his area for "at least six years."

"It seems to me it is exactly what they say it is: A big tunnel in the mountains to store records. It's out in the middle of nowhere, 40 miles east of Las Vegas (N.M.). They invited county officials to tour the thing a while back. It's a real nice tunnel,away from people, that's for sure," Rubio said in a telephone interview. "To you or me it may seem absolutely ridiculous to build something so far out to store records, but I guess they have their reasons."

According to the Times articles the New Mexico vaults have "maintenance-free doors with lives of one-thousand years." The doors are "nuclear-blast resistant."

The New Mexico site is made up of two 350-foot long tunnels that make a "V." Rubio said the church owns "around 3,000 acres" in San Miguel County. "They (CST officials) told me they wanted an area 'that won't get hit by nuclear war.' They probably found it. Except, what I don't understand is who's going to be around to get the records out after the war? Who would know they were there if we're all destroyed?"

CST's Humboldt County vault lies at the end of a twisting, paved road that climbs up into the hills two miles outside Petrolia. A solitary guard shack stands shaking from the strong winds that whip up Walker Mountain from the Pacific. A sign painted with bold, red letters cautions: "NO TRESPASSING -- VIOLATORS WILL BE PROSECUTED TO THE FULLEST EXTENT OF THE LAW!" Visitors to the CST facility in Humboldt County are turned back by a security guard.

Most of the workers at the site were reluctant to talk about the vault. One unidentified concrete worker said that more than 16,000 square yards of concrete had been used in the vault's construction. "So far," he said. He estimated 16,000 yards to be the approximately the amount that was used in the building of the Humboldt County Courthouse. He also said there were plans to construct a second tunnel.

Peter brant, of Brant Electric in Arcata, worked on the 8,000 square foot "bunker" that overlooks the vault. He described the house as "very fancy."

"They call it a residence, but its built like a commercial structure. It's got 20-foot deep-poured concrete piers under it, a raised concrete floor, and steel studs in the walls. Closed circuit TV cameras are in almost every room, and there are alarm systems all over" he said.

Brant said he had installed 25 uninterruptible power circuits and data communications outlets throughout the three-bedroom structure. "It looked like they were designing it for a computer work station," he said. He noticed one room referred to as a "sewing room" in the building plans, "But it had eight computer terminals in it."

As country officials and construction workers "speculate" on the Church of Spiritual Technology, there's speculation on the breadth and power of L. Ron Hubbard's Church of Scientology.

Hubbard wrote "Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health" in 1950 and a number of other books on self-help and science fiction until his mysterious death in 1986. Long dubbed the "science fiction religion" by the press and the psychiatry community, Scientology is a religion abounding in reincarnation, galactic encounters, interplanetary civilizations and universe-hopping tyrants, according to score of expose books and first-hand encounters.

Scientology's (Hubbard's) wisdom comes with a hefty price tag. Church members are taught through a progression of sometimes-secret courses that cost thousands of dollars and take years to complete. Scientology executives say membership to be more than 6.5 million with churches in 200-plus countries.

Scientology's central belief is of an immortal soul, called a "thetan." The thetan passes from one body to the next by reincarnation and can "live" for trillions of years. When a person dies, according to Hubbard, his or her thetan goes to a "landing station on Venus," where it is re-programmed with lies about its past life and its next life. The thetan is told it will return to earth and be placed in the body of a newborn baby.

"What actually happens to you," Hubbard told his followers, "is that you're simply encapsulated and dumped in the gulf of lower California. To hell with ya! If you can get out of that, and wander around through cities and find some girl who looks like she's going to have a baby or get married, you're all set. You eventually just 'pick up a baby'."

This man, adored and respected by Scientologists, was not without his earthy problems. Lawsuits and books by former members, a federal conviction of 11 of Scientology's top members (including Hubbard's wife, for burglarizing the U.S. Justice Department in the 1970's), turmoil within the church resulting in defections and purges all resulted in a series of highly publicized situations that left the church embarassed and in the spotlight.

Former members continue to file suits accusing the church of intimidating its critics, breaking up families and using high pressure sales tactics to collect large sums of money from followers.

Recently a new chapter opened up for Scientology which has attempted to attract a new generation of supporters and followers. With a "re-born fervor" official church programs and networks of Scientology groups are reaching into American society to gain legitimacy and new members.

With an apparent attempt to position Hubbard as a 20th century Renaissance man, and give new credibility to his teachings, the church is branching out to professional groups, medical practitioners, lawyers and even schools.

Followers of Scientology have set up a number of successful consulting firms which sell Hubbard's management techniques to professionals such as doctors, dentists and businessmen. As they "learn" they are steered into the church.

The church has also begun to place his teachings in schools across the country. Seldom are Scientology connections mentioned. "The world is ours," Hubbard once told his followers. "Own it!"

The founder of Scientology, Lafayette Ronald Hubbard, was born in 1911 outside Tilden, Neb. According to Scientology writings he was an adventurer in his early years. He roamed the globe, gold mining, becoming a master sailor, an expert hypnotist, glider pilot, and studying with "Asian Holy Men" as well as "American Indian medicine men of the Blackfoot Tribe of Montana."

Documentation and eyewitness accounts published in the Los Angeles Times article dispute much of Scientology's claims of Hubbard's studies and spiritual interest. According to the article, when Hubbard visited the Great Wall of China for the first time he quipped, "If China turned it into a roller coaster it could make millions of dollars each year."

He also once wrote that "The trouble with China is that there are too many chinks here." As for Native American knowledge and spiritualism, the Times reported that a Scientologist tried to provove Hubbard to be a "blood brother" of the tribe as he'd claimed. The Scientologist -- who was part Blackfoot -- came up "empty handed."

He then created an "official document," became a blood brother with Hubbard and all was thought to be well. Tribal officials in Montana said the document should not be given very much credibility.

Hubbard claimed he had received 21 medals and decorations during his naval service. Navy documents presented in court proceedings indicate Hubbard received four medals.

During a 1984 Superior Court lawsuit which brought many of Hubbard's biographical claims into the spotlight, Judge Paul G. Breckenridge said of Hubbard, "The evidence portrays a man who was virtually a pathological liar when it comes to his history, background and achievements."

Scientology members counter such statements with remarks such as: "Any controversy about him (Hubbard) is like a speck of dust on his shoes compared to the millions of people who loved and respected him. What he has accomplished in the brief span of one lifetime will have impact on every man, woman and child for the nest 10,000 years."

Hubbard was very literal about Scientology's reincarnation beliefs. Elite members of the group belong to a sect known as the Sea Organization or "Sea Orgs." Members sign billion-year contracts to serve Scientology, not only in this life, but in future lifetimes. "We come back," is their motto.

According to Danish writer Bent Corydon, author of "L. Ron Hubbard: Messiah or Madman?" Hubbard was obsessed with the idea or returning, not only to "lead" again, but to collect his "booty," whether buried as gold or deposited in foreign banks.

The idea was that, in his next life on earth he would recall the appropriate location and so reclaim his riches. Apparently Hubbard disagreed with the saying. "You can't take it with you," Corydon writes.

Hubbard spoke to his followers of the underground storage plans before his death. Corydon explains that Hubbard planned to spend $35 million on a mausoleum to store his writings etched on stainless steel and gold bullion hidden within. "How his new incarnation would gain access to any of this is unclear," he writes.

In an interview, Corydon says of the vaults: "There had been orders from Hubbard to put otgether what was to be a mausoleum. It would contain his writings in order to survive an atomic war and all the horrible things that were going to happen to the planet. So the 'great works of the great man' would survive and perpetuate into the universe and thus 'free' the cosmos.

The author was a major figure in Scientology for more than 20 years until he became disillusioned. He was one of the first to "publicize the deceits of its founder through their corruption and mind-control aspects of the movement," according to the publisher.

Corydon and others have also dissected Scientology's direct connection with another "messiah" well-versed in mind control: Aleister Crowley, British satanist and author of "The Book of the Law." According to Corydon, much of Hubbard's Scientology philosophy comes from Crowley's book. The Los Angeles Times article reported that Hubbard admired Crowley and during a 1952 lecture described him as "my very good friend."

Corydon said interviews with Hubbard's wife, son and followers show "So much of Scientology comes out of that whole thing (Crowley's writings including 'The Book of the Law'). Hubbard's son, Ron, told me that his father would spend hours and hous poring over documents and information he'd gotten from Crowley's family in England. Hubbard would read all this stuff at night, do cocaine the next day, then lecture to Scientologists for hours. He was 'brilliant' on cocaine."

Corydon also said that according to Ron Jr., Scientology actually began Dec. 1, 1947. "That was the day that Aleister Crowley died," Corydon said.

Director of the Cult Awareness Network Cynthia Kisser said of the multi-million-dollar project Hubbard's followers have undertaken:

"The people who are running Scientology now were raised in the group. They don't really have any touch with normalcy, and you really can't tell if they have any conceptualization of even what they are doing with their projects," she said in a telephone interview from Chicago. "Or, 'it's' taken on a nature of its own -- unrelated to reality -- just 'spawning' different things."

Kisser told of her "surprise" that such a large, powerful, affluent group was not more politically active.

"If this group ever turned into a political cult - like the Moonies - it could be really dangerous," she said. "But I don't get any sense that they have any political machinery in place. I think that's the one ingredient that keeps them from becoming the ultimate horror show in the cult world. If they ever got that component together, I think it will be totally disastrous to this country."

As tales of interplanetary reincarnated encapsulated "thetans" and nuclear-war surviving documents banter about like imaginary cosmic chess pieces, it seems best to keep one's head and sense of humor about the whole "plan." As the editor of The Humanist Magazine, David Alexander, writes in a recent editorial about the Church of Spiritual Technology's storage facility construction:

"It's good to know that, if there is a nuclear war or global catastrophe, Dianetics will finally find the audience it deserves -- as the survivors (most likely primitive and illiterate hunter-gatherer humans, rats and cockroaches) entertain themselves on cold winter nights attempting to decipher those stainless steel plates or maybe trying to figure out how to play those compact disks without the use of electricity."

Meanwhile, Petrolia residents have some interesting if secretive new neighbors. And the county has added to its tax rolls.

(Joe Cempa is Humboldt County's resident gonzo journalist)

315 Kbyte image - LARGE of CST petrolia vault layout

"This is the greatest 'con' game since the pea went under the walnut," Leonard Conry, district attorney, said yesterday as he filed charges against Frank Clendon Metcalf, already in trouble with the City of Eureka for practicing and instructing courses in Scientology.

The city has brought charges against Metcalf for practicing without a business license. The District Attorney's office yesterday filed another action under violation of the state revenue and taxation code. Conry contends that Scientology is a business and not a religion. In his Eureka case, the defendant has been released on bail of $523. After posting bail, Metcalf obtained permission to go to Los Angeles to consult with leaders of his group. They have provided him with legal counsel for his pending city trial. The county case will be tried separately.

Metcalf, 29, of 412 B Street, practiced Scientology at the rate of $550 for a 25 hour course or introduction to the subject. He is a follower of L. R. Hubbard, author of a book on Scientology, who describes the subject as "that branch of psychology which treats of human ability. It is an extension of dianetics which is in itself an extension of old-time faculty psychology of 400 years ago.

Included in instruction "equipment" are two tin cans which are attached together with wire. This, according to report, is represented as being a type of lie detector.

Metcalf, prior to his arrest, had been conducting his religion — or business, as the courts decide — for several months prior to his arrest. The course is supposed to improve health, intelligence, ability, skill and appearance. Persons instructing the courses are known as "auditors". They contend that they can cure approximately 70 percent of man's ills.

January 30, 2008, Humboldtian, Did a UFO visit Arcata?, by Andy Bird,

Arcatan Matt McGuffin and his roommate spotted what they believe was a UFO around the new year in the night sky above Arcata, according to a Times-Standard letter to the editor bearing McGuffin's name. The UFO, a “red orb,” as McGuffin describes it, was moving slowly without sound from east to west. Suddenly it changed direction and shot out of sight "faster than I've ever seen anything fly, still no sound." What appeared to be a military aircraft followed the UFO. McGuffin says he served time at the Marine Corps’ air station in Yuma, and knows a little about aircraft.

Before you chalk up McGuffin’s affirmation to a phantasm induced by Arcata’s favorite leisure-time pursuit, consider Texas. If you don’t know, this month a large number of Texans have reported similar UFO sightings. The most large-scale sighting occurred in Stephenville, in the heart of Texas, where dozens of townfolk watched in awe as a UFO “larger than a Wal-Mart,” said one veteran pilot, hovered in the night sky, totally silent, before being chased off by military jets, which were badly out-maneuvered.

A number of United Airlines employees sighted a similar UFO at O’Hare airport in Chicago last year.

McGuffin says in the letter that his sighting in Arcata came before the Texas sightings and decided to go public with what he saw only after he read the news stories coming out of the Lone Star state, hoping someone else in Humboldt got a gander at his UFO.

This blogger has always been fascinated by UFOs and stories of alien abductions. When I was in late teens and early 20s, I devoured almost all the literature ever written about the subject. If you’ve never read books or watched movies about reputedly true stories involving unexplained phenomenon, here a few suggestions:

Whitley Striber, a moderately well-known writer, wrote a book about his own abduction experiences, titled "Communion," about 20 years ago. It was later made into a movie starring Christopher Walken.

By far the most terrifying book/movie I have ever read/watched about a UFO/abduction is "Fire in the Sky," the supposedly true story of Travis Walton, an Arizona logger who was allegedly abducted by aliens in the White Mountains in 1975. The final 10 or 15 minutes of 1993 movie starring D.B. Sweeney creeped me out like nothing else I've ever witnessed.

The most well-known UFO incident is probably the alleged crash of a flying saucer in Roswell, NM in 1947. Supposedly, the federal government recovered the craft and the bodies of the aliens on board, and allegedly have been storing the remains at Area 51 in Nevada ever since. At least that was the premise of the 1996 science fiction thriller "Independence Day."

Perhaps the most notorious, because it was the first widely reported, alleged alien abduction was the Betty and Barney Hill incident in 1961, which took place in the mountains of New Hampshire while driving on a lonely highway late at night.

UFO sightings in the United States and around the world suddenly spiked exponentially during the mid-1940s when the world was at war. Shortly after the war, in December 1945, five U.S. Navy Avenger torpedo bombers disappeared during a training maneuver while flying over the notorious “Bermuda Triangle” in the Caribbean. Although no UFO sighting was reported during this incident, many believed the five planes and their pilots were abducted. In Steven Spielberg’s 1977 blockbuster, "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," the five pilots walk off the giant flying saucer that lands behind Devil's Tower in Wyoming.

Sightings remained common throughout the 1950s, leading to a spate of flying saucer movies during that decade. But for a few decades now it seems that UFO sightings have been nearly dormant. I began to wonder if all the old sightings/reported abductions were visual mirages/delusions/hoaxes, which the U.S. military/government has always maintained. But with this recent spate of sightings, especially those in Texas, I am beginning to believe again.

McGuffin, the Arcatan, said he hopes his letter will bring forward other locals who might have spotted his UFO. If you know anybody else who claims to have spotted a UFO recently, please direct them to this blog.

Posted by Andy Bird on January 30, 2008 04:44 PM | Permalink


McGuffin's letter is intriguing, as are the sightings in Texas.

I've never seen a UFO but Christopher Walken scares the crap out of me. Communion is pretty creepy, too.
Posted by: Heraldo | January 30, 2008 08:28 PM

I was a big UFO fan in my early days, as well. Read everything I could about them and always wished I'd see one.

I was actually "right there" when one of the more well distributed photos of a UFO was supposedly taken. This was in the late 60s in Orange County, CA. The picture is a supposed side- view of a flying saucer hovering over a field.

That picture was supposedly taken just southeast of CE Utt Jr. High School, which I attended at the time. I was at school when the picture was supposedly taken.

The photo was published the next day in the Orange County Register and I remember being disappointed and confused.

Disappointed, because I missed the perfect opportunity to see it as it was within 1/4 mile of my school. Confused, because nobody at school, or elsewhere, claimed to have seen this supposed saucer in the middle of a clear, sunny day.

How could we all have missed it? We were right there when it supposedly happened.

Posted by: Fred Mangels | January 31, 2008 06:48 AM

Could not see the UFO......The angles' refraction of light through severe magnetism. Light is built up with the elements(for life) wrapped around and through light. When you displace the elements, you can bend light. Simple, do not know why man has not figured that one out? Or has?

Look people, if we exist from God....he never told us we were alone and singular in this universe of his....and if you are an atheist, then we are not alone!

Either way you look at it, to suggest earth is only habitable place for a species, is false.

Jeffrey Lytle

McKinleyville - 5th District
Posted by: "Hencjman of Justice" | January 31, 2008 10:54 AM

Funny how you mention a UFO hovering over Arcata.

I just saw a UFO over Arcata last night (April 10, 2008) hovering over the Humboldt State University Weight Room. It was a bright glowing star-like object that moved at a medium speed at about an estimated 800-1000 feet up. It then started to dim, and completely disappeared in the night sky before my eyes.

Because of this experience I am totally convinced there are UFO's. I don't know where these UFO's hail from, but I do believe in UFO's themselves.
Posted by: Ruben | April 11, 2008 03:13 PM

if you really think ufo activity has been quiet until recently , then do a little more research. i have personally seen ships, so i know something is out there, but it isnt hard at all to disbelieve the overwhelming number of reports. not to mention photos, videos, documentaries, interviews ,etc.look on utube, google, look up!!
Posted by: e cobb | April 22, 2008 03:05 AM

January 28, 2008, The Eureka Times-Standard, Letter, Who else saw 'mystery orb'?, by Matt McGuffin,

A few weeks before the UFO sighting in Texas, I saw something incredibly familiar in Arcata. Between probably 8 and 10 in the evening, my roommate, who was smoking a cigarette out front, yelled for me to come outside. When I did, I saw a glowing red orb moving slowly across the sky, east to west.

This "orb" was completely silent, and as I watched, it changed its direction and began to move north-northwest. It then picked up speed and flew out of sight faster than I've ever seen anything fly, still no sound.

At this point I saw another aircraft, which looked as if it was military, traveling from the south. This aircraft seemed to be following it.

I was completely blown away by what I saw, and in retrospect wish I reported it when I had seen it. I was in the Marine Corps, stationed in Yuma at the largest air field in the Corps. I have never seen anything remotely close to what I saw that night.

I checked the paper and Internet for days afterward in hopes of seeing something but I never did. Then I saw the stories in Texas, and figured I had to let someone know. I can't imagine that no one else saw this.

Matt McGuffin

January 16, 2008, NPR, All Things Considered, UFO Sightings Stream In from Texas Townsfolk, by Wade Goodwyn,

Stephenville, Texas, is abuzz with talk of UFOs. Several residents — including a pilot — have reported seeing a large silent object with bright lights flying low and fast this week, describing it as "nothing from these parts." Federal officials say there's a logical explanation, but locals insist the object was larger, quieter and faster than an aircraft.

Dozens Claim They Spotted UFO in Texas,

Listen Now [3 min 38 sec] add to playlist
Listen: Wade Goodwyn Reports on the UFO Sightings on 'All Things Considered'

Faster than a speeding bullet — and bigger than a Wal-Mart.

That's how residents near the west Texas town of Stephenville described an object they spotted in the sky one night last week.

Dozens of people — including a pilot and a police officer — said a UFO hovered over the farming community for about five minutes last Tuesday before streaking away into the night sky.

Pilot Steve Allen saw the object when he was out clearing brush off a hilltop near the town of Selden. Allen described the unidentified object as being an enormous aircraft with flashing strobe lights — and it was totally silent.

He said the UFO sped away at more than 3,000 mph, followed by two fighter jets that were hopelessly outmaneuvered. Allen said it took the aircraft just a few seconds to cross a section of sky that it takes him 20 minutes to fly in his Cessna.

The veteran pilot said the UFO, an estimated half-mile wide and a mile long, was "bigger than a Wal-Mart."

Military Dismisses Sighting

The Stephenville Empire-Tribune, which has written about the mysterious object, said about 40 people saw the thing — though some were too sheepish to admit the sighting until others came forward.

Law enforcement officer Lee Roy Gaitan said he was walking to his car when he saw a red glow that reminded him of pictures he'd seen of an erupting volcano.

He said the object was suspended 3,000 feet in the air. Gaitan said he was so awestruck that he called his son to come and see — but he didn't talk much about the sighting until he saw a story about a UFO in the local paper.

Military officials, however, were skeptical. They said the residents are letting their imaginations run wild and passed it off as an optical illusion. They said it was likely nothing more than a reflection of sunlight on two airliners.

Officials at a nearby air force base also said their fighter pilots didn't chase down anything that night.

The incident was eerily similar to a UFO sighting a little more than a year ago at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport.

As many as 12 United Airlines employees spotted the object and filed reports with United.

Reported by Wade Goodwyn; written and edited by Deborah Tedford

January 1, 2007, NPR, UFO Is Reported at O'Hare; Feds Are Silent,

In November, a gray, metallic, saucer-like object was spotted hovering above Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. As many as 12 United Airlines employees spotted the object and filed reports with United.

Officials at the airline say they have no knowledge of the incident, and the Federal Aviation Administration is not investigating.

Melissa Block speaks with Chicago Tribune transportation reporter Jon Hilkevtich, who reported on the incident.

January 19, 2008, shakesville, Warning: Mocking this Tom Cruise video could lead to Scientologists murdering you, by William K Wolfrum,

Here is Tom Cruise discussing his life in Scientology, while actively trying to get others to sign up into his pyramid-scheme cult:

Sure, it's wacky. Sure, Cruise is a soft-minded sponge spewing the calculated rantings of a failed sci-fi writer. Laugh all you want, but just remember, you could very well end up dead for mocking these scammers. I mean, I make no accusations or anything, just looking at the law of averages, is all.

Update: These videos keep getting pulled off the Internet, so click here to find the latest one. They won't disappear. It's out there forever now. Xenu out.


January 10, 1995, Volume 0, Issue 24, Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review, by Rod Keller, diigo,

Undated AP Articles From FBI Vol. 9

[PDF] Section 173 Volume 9
89-4286 Section 9 (272) pages 1-249 - The Vault - FBI
File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat -View as HTML

Page 23, Long-Distance Deliveries, [Dr. Larry Schacht, Al Touchette]


page 24,


page 154, AP, Radio Ham Tells Of Temple’s Transmissions,


page 235

page 236


page 237

page 238


page 151, AP, Brutal Discipline Crowd People’s Temple Sect,


page 155, AP, 1977 Statement Defended Cult Against Allegations,


Page 156, AP, Suicide Memorial Held At SF Bridge,


Page 157, AP, Ryan Told Visit Might Prove…People's Temple Thrived 6 Years In Downtown LA,


People's Temple Thrived 6 Years In Downtown LA

Page 158, AP, Congressman Ryan Warned Guyana 'Hostile' To Visit,


Page 162.
Mrs. Carter's Jones' Letters Made Public,


Thursday, August 15, 2013

November 21, 1978, The Tampa Tribune, Tragedy Not Surprising To Ex-Sect Member, by Jim Beamguard, Staff Writer [Tom Dickson, Rev. Harry Curran] [FBI No. 9]

Why Rockefeller Tried To Cover Up the CIA Probe,

September 5, 1975, New York Magazine, The Capital Letter: Why Rockefeller Tried To Cover Up the CIA Probe, by Tad Szulc,


Tad Szulc, "The CIA's Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test"‎

Tad Szulc : Biography - Spartacus Educational‎
by John Simkin