Declaration of Caroline Letkeman
27 Apr 2001
DECLARATION OF CAROLINE LETKEMAN
I, Caroline Letkeman, declare as follows:
1. I am over the age of 18 years.
2. The statements herein are of my own personal knowledge and if called upon as a witness I can testify competently thereto.
3. In November 2000, I entered the LMT LITERATI 2000 contest and submitted my essay called Scientology: Soul Hackers under the pseudonym "antivirus." That essay was awarded second prize in the contest and was posted on the Lisa McPherson Trust website at the following url: http://www.lisatrust.net/literaticontest/contest2000/00antivirus.html The contest closed on November 30, 2000, and the essay was posted soon after that date.
4. The entire reason for my posting of the essay under a pseudonym was to remain anonymous. I carefully refrained from including personal information in that essay that would allow Scientology to identify me. Scientology strictly enforces their internal policy that requires their members to disconnect from critics, regardless of familial connections. My adult daughter, Ann Reinertsen, is a Scientologist, and I was very concerned about the steps that Scientology would take to destroy my relationship with Ann should they became aware of my critical essay.
5. As any Scientologist in good standing, Ann believes that her spiritual eternity depends upon strict adherence to the policies of Scientology. Those policies include the purging from their relationships anyone who is openly critical of their beliefs. Scientology labels their members "Potential Trouble Source" (PTS) when they have such connections. The PTS persons are dealt with in Scientology's Ethics department and are coercively forced to change their relationship and associations in accordance with Hubbard's policies, before they can continue with their Scientology training and counseling.
No "Potential Trouble Source" can receive auditing or training in Scientology, except for that which is designed strictly to alter their PTS situation. In the event that the member is connected with a critic, the only solution for the member is to disconnect from them. If the member fails to disconnect, they are refused Scientology training or auditing. They also run the risk of being labeled a "suppressive person" themselves by reason of non-compliance with Scientology 's disconnection policy regarding critics. L. Ron Hubbard covers many of these policies in his book called Introduction to Scientology Ethics.
6. Although we live on opposite sides of the US, Ann and I enjoyed a loving mother-daughter relationship and communicated regularly by phone and e-mail up to January 20, 2001. At no time prior to January 20, 2001 did I discuss with Ann my disillusionment with Scientology, because I feared repercussions with Scientology, and the tremendous pressure they would bring to bear on Ann to disconnect from me. I specifically did not mention anything to her about the essay that I had written. I did not speak with any Scientology member in good standing about the essay; they would have been forced by policy to alert Scientology officials, which would set in motion exactly what I was trying to avoid. I also refrained from using or making known my pseudonym of "antivirus" to any members of Scientology in good standing.
7. Alt.religion.scientology is an Internet newsgroup frequented by both specially trained Scientologists and critics of Scientology. By specially trained Scientologists I wish to point out that lay Scientologists are enjoined from reading critical material about Scientology on the Internet. Scientology software exists that filters out critical Internet content and Scientology management encourages Scientologists to install this software on their computers.
8. The Scientology personnel that frequent alt.religion.scientology are to my understanding trained by the Office of Special Affairs of Scientology to dead agent in various ways the messages posted by critics. I do not have first hand knowledge of this ongoing OSA project. However, Tory Bezazian, now a critic, has recently posted to alt.religion.scientology her account of her experience with that OSA project while she was still a member. In her statements she recounted that she was involved in procuring "throwaway" e-mail addresses for use by OSA operatives on alt.religion.scientology.
9. I had known of alt.religion.scientology prior to entering the contest and had visited a website a few times to browse some of the messages being posted there. This is a very active and prolific group, with many heated arguments going back and forth between critics and Scientologists. I subscribed to the newsgroup in April 2001.
10. A Scientologist with the e-mail address of "AJ" <AJ_member@newsguy.com posted several messages between November 2000 and January 12, 2001 with respect to an effort he was making to identify the person who wrote Scientology: Soul Hackers. On 1/12/2001 "AJ" announced to alt.religion.scientology, "It took some work to piece together all of the clues in Anti-Virus' essay but I can confirm that the individual who placed second in the LMT 2000 Literati Contest is Caroline Reinertsen. That's the name I knew her by some years ago. Hopefully she will declare this income on her tax return."
11. I don't know any person with the real name of "AJ", and the person who posted the message has never identified himself or herself. "Reinertsen" is my married name. I reverted back to my maiden name when I divorced Eric Reinertsen. This was shortly after I left the Sea Organization in 1988.
12. I understand now from reviewing previous alt.religion.scientology messages, that OSA personnel use word analysis software to identify anonymous posters. I have seen at least one other OSA post to alt.religion.scientology that showed the results of the software they used for identifying another anonymous critic.
13. I do not have first hand knowledge of what other actions OSA may have taken to confirm my identity.
14. On January 20, 2001, Ann called me and told me that she was getting handled in the Ethics Office. I immediately realized from her voice that she was very upset. She said that the Ethics Officer had shown her a Scientology ethics issue stating that I had written a bad essay about Scientology and that this was now on the Internet. She also told me that she knew I had attempted suicide. She asked me if it was true, asking it in an accusatory way that one would ask someone to admit guilt for a known act.
I did not answer her question at that point but instead told her that I would call her back in a few minutes, which I did. In the interim few minutes, I composed myself in the best way I could as now I knew the worst had happened. I was absolutely shocked that these two accusations would be connected in any way, and that the ethics issue would include such distorted and damaging information about my past.
I was not going to have the opportunity to calmly explain to Ann about my disillusionment with Scientology in my own way and time, and I was also now forced into a defensive position because of whatever the Ethics officer had announced to her. I also knew from Ann's statements that Scientology had painted a picture of me to her that I was currently insane, and that anything I said to her would be viewed as the words of an insane person. I knew that anything I said to Ann would be relayed back to the Ethics officer, as she was calling me as part of her Ethics handling.
I also suspected that an Ethics officer or other Scientology personnel were monitoring my conversation with Ann as Ann did not want me to call back in a few minutes-she wanted to have the conversation right then and there. Regardless, I did call her back in a few minutes. At that time she asked me again to admit that I had written the essay, which I did. When I told her that the information she was given by the Ethics officer referred to a situation that occurred years before I became involved with Scientology.
Ann seemed very surprised to hear that, but she was so upset overall that I was not able to fully establish and correct the facts that she was given and shown by the Ethics officer.
15. In January 1975, I became involved in Scientology in Vancouver, B.C., when I was nineteen years old. My pre-Scientology history was the subject of a petition that I was required to write to Jane Kember, head of the Guardian's Office Worldwide in order to continue with the first Scientology course that I had already purchased and enrolled on. The purpose of the petition was to allow Scientology's intelligence arm to consider my history and thereby establish my eligibility for Scientology services, according to Scientology's policy on these matters. Jane Kember approved my petition and I was cleared to receive Scientology services.
16. Subsequent to the initial petition, I wrote at least two other petitions for security clearance per Scientology's policies on security. For example, I wrote a petition to the Guardian (Jane Kember) for permission to join the Sea Organization. All petitions were approved, and I was told that I was not an "illegal preclear" by reason of my pre-Scientology history. I was given a high security clearance in Scientology's elite organization, the "Sea Org." I trained in Scientology's confidential levels and was posted as a New Era Dianetics for OTs (NOTs) auditor, where I delivered Scientology's confidential levels to paying Scientologists.
17. I had never before discussed this aspect of my past with Ann. Nor did I openly discuss with other Scientologists the details of my past. There are only a couple sources for my complete disclosure to Scientology organizations of my pre-Scientology history. The first of these sources would have been my petitions to The Guardian's Office (now known as Office of Special Affairs). Another source would have been a very detailed confidential Life History form that upper management ordered all Scientology staff members to submit to upper Scientology management.
I filled out a Life History form when I was a member of Scientology's Sea Organization sometime between 1978 and 1983. At that time there was a project to update files on all staff members' files. All staff members were ordered (under threat of Ethics penalties for non-compliance) to provide a detailed disclosure of such matters.
That life history form also required that respondents provide information such as the names and current addresses of all their family members and extended family members, and the names and addresses of all past business and social connections. The questions requiring disclosure are very similar to an OSA form that was posted to alt.religion.scientology on 4/19/2001. The form is titled "Long Form ODC Checklist", (ODC means "Overt Data Collection".)
A source for fragmented and second hand information of the details of my past would have been answers recorded by my Scientology counselors (auditors) during my confidential counseling in Scientology.
18. Scientology doctrine asserts that psychiatry and psychiatrists are the source and cause for mankind's degradation-psychiatry is Scientology's Public Enemy #1. There is tremendous stigma attached in Scientology to having any history of a mental nature--any minor association with psychiatry or history of having taken psychiatric drugs is made the subject of a petition, and interrogations with Scientology's lie detector (called the e-meter) to verify the details of this involvement. For a person to become a committed Scientologist and then subsequently denied Scientology auditing is tantamount to being spiritually doomed. That Ann was told lies about my history was terribly cruel, in light of the tragic nature and psychological effect this would have for any Scientologist learning that her loved one could not go spiritually free. That Ann was told these lies about me in connection with the writing of my essay was cruel beyond words.
19. Some time early 1999, I first broke Scientology's rule about not exposing myself to critical information about Scientology. In the breaking of Scientology's "critical blackout" rule, I became aware of many incontrovertible facts about L. Ron Hubbard and of Scientology, facts that were absolutely appalling to me in a deeply personal way. I was utterly devastated when I came to realize that my committed contributions to Scientology were actually contributions to a dangerous and criminal organization.
20. Nevertheless, learning the truth about Hubbard and Scientology led me to the inevitable conclusion that I could no longer be part of Scientology. I agonized silently for months about how to communicate the truth to my daughter and to others. I felt a personal obligation to help correct the wrongs that I had done. I also felt a need to try and uncover the reasons why I had been so completely tricked and defrauded by Scientology, and why I had spent my entire adult life trapped in the mind control of Hubbard's organization.
Having been an advanced auditor with a good grasp of Hubbard's technology, I needed to try and more completely decode the technical basis for the mind control of which I was both a victim and unwitting perpetrator. I felt that I had to come to a technical understanding of why the action of leaving Scientology did not resolve, but amplified the emotional pain I was experiencing. I knew from reading others stories on the Internet that mine was not a unique situation. The essay that I submitted to the Literati Contest 2000 was a summary of my ongoing research to that point.
I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the United States of America and the state of California that the foregoing is true and correct.
Total pages: _4______
Executed in Sunland, CA this 27th day of April 2001.
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