Sunday, March 8, 2009

LA Scientology Family Cruelty - Continued


This is an update on Susan Talbot's attempts to speak with her daughter Amanda, a Scientology Sea Org staffer. She is being blocked by Scientology's intelligence agency OSA (Office of Special Affairs) and Mandy's indoctrination in the toxic, family destroying doctrines and practices of L. Ron Hubbard.

For him and for Scientologists, nothing is more sacred than the thoughts of L. Ron Hubbard, not even your relationship with your own mother. If it gets in the way of Scientology, destroy it.

Background for new readers:

Previous article: Los Angeles: Scientology Family Cruelty Alert

Main thread on Why We Protest: HIGH PRIORITY! Mom comes from England to demand her Daughter At HGB Hollywood Raid.

Susan Talbot is a UK citizen who left Scientology with other family members over ten years ago. Her daughter Amanda (Mandy) , however, remained and was transferred to Scientology's Hollywood Guaranty Building (HGB) facility in Los Angeles.

Mandy is a member of Sea Org, the so-called religious order that runs Scientology. In accordance with Scientology's disconnection policy, which has destroyed thousands of families, Amanda was forced to disconnect from her family, refusing all communication.

The last contact Susan had with Mandy was nine years ago. She did not even know if she was alive.

In November 2008 she saw an Anonymous video of a protest at the Hollywood Guaranty Building and saw Mandy. Susan contacted the video maker, Smurf; and arranged to come to Los Angeles from England to see her. She has been hosted and supported by two wonderful activists I'mglib (Glib) and Resistance Is Futile (RIF). (See their blog Mums For Mandy)


When Susan Talbot arrived on Wednesday, she went immediately to HGB to see Mandy and was refused, as she was for the next two days.

On Saturday, Susan and her two human rights activist hosts, Glib and RIF, went to the Los Angeles Police Department Hollywood Division. They discovered a group of Scientology handlers had delivered Mandy to the station earlier in the day. Attorney Graham Berry reports:

The daughter was taken over to the Watch Commander by Scientology. He met with her alone. She told him that she did not want see her mother, she just wanted her mother and the protesters to go away, and that this is all very embarrassing
to her. The Watch Commander concluded she was acting voluntarily and therefore could not force a meeting with the mother. where she spoke with Watch Commander. Protests continued throughout the day at HGB.
The Watch Commander was a certain Sgt. Torres. He later appeared at HGB along with several cop cars. Torres and his officers huddled with Kirsten Caetano, the head of HGB's unit of OSA (The Office of Special Affairs, Scientology's intelligence and secret service agency). They threatened the protesters' right to free speech. I will address the astonishingly bad behavior of the police in another post.

What I want to focus on here is the tragedy of a mother being denied contact with her daughter because of the cruel doctrines, policies, and practices of organized Scientology. I will let participants I'mglib and Resistance Is Futile speak for themselves about Saturday's events. I have pruned the narrative a bit:

I'mglib: post #338

I was with British Mum today, and we've had some tears and some laughs and some serious talks. Also, we have had some absolutely unbelievable things happen that were really great.

A mysterious person came along and helped out in ways I can't say, but if this person reads this, I want to pass along our thanks.

Also, at a moment when we felt pretty low, I got a phone call on my cell phone from someone who I hadn't spoken to before, and magically this person called at the exact right time and said the exact right thing, and I want to say thanks for that, too.

So, this morning we got to HGB at a little after ten, and set up with our signs and some donuts, and stood by the door where the Sea Org come and go. ...

After a while, we decided to go over to the Hollywood police department, to see about having the police do a welfare check.

There was a young guy who took the information, but as soon atthe word Scientology was mentioned, they went and got the Watch Commander, named Torres.

He said that the daughter had come to see him that morning to say she was fine, and that she didn't want to see her mother.

He said it like he had spent hours being worked over by Scientologists. It really reminded me of [Supervisor] Jeff Stone in Riverside.

We asked if she came alone, and he said she came with a group. We pointed out that she couldn't speak freely, because if she did she would have to go through all this interrogation and indoctrination afterwards. I am pretty angry at this cop. Now that some time has passed I realize how badly he behaved.

How dare he make assumptions about this mother and daughter based on one (brainwashed) side of the story?

This is a wonderful woman who is INCREDIBLY brave who was extremely close to her daughter. Her daughter did not want to be in LA when she first got here, and called home many times about it.

Her mother told her if she wanted to come home she would
come and get her. The ONLY THING that came between them was Scientology. Grrrrr.

Anyway, after talking to this cop who obviously had been harangued by Scientology, ... we were pretty low. Then the magic phone call came, and this person said that we shouldn't give up, and not to let them know we were down (ooops, was that me crying?). Well, that was like a shot in the arm. We wouldn't
let them get to us like they had gotten to the cop, and everyone inside.

We wouldn't let them mess with us.We went to lunch after a bit, and when we came back, guess who was at HGB? Two squad cars, and several cops, including our friend Torres. Now he was telling people they might be arrested for harassing, or for blocking people's passage. WTF?

Now we knew he was drinking the Scientology Koolaid. We talked for a few minutes, and decided we would continue.
Of course we weren't blocking anyone's passage, and since when is asking if a mother can see her daughter harassment?

I resumed my position by the side door, while several people stood out front. We were joined by Tory [Christman], Graham [Berry], Xenubarb and friends, several anons, an ex or two, Smurf, Casper, and some lovely people who read this mom's story.

There was some really great energy. That's the only
word for it. It was a beautiful day, and everyone reading the message on the signs (This mom loves her daughter, Scientology won't let this mother see her daughter, etc) either gave the thumbs up, honks, words of encouragement, or
simply asked, "Really?"

We said things like, Why not just let this mom see her daughter face to face? We're not leaving until she sees her face to face.
This mom loves her daughter. Etc.

At this point Franck and Andy [two Scientology security guards] looked just grim. The joking and talking that took place
earlier was gone. Andy looked especially bad, and I truly hope he gets out one day.

Of all the people I have ever seen there, you look into this man's eyes and you see some spark of humanity there. I don't know if that's just his demeanor, but I just want to hug him and take him and abused puppy you'd find at an animal shelter.

The sea orgers raced across the street, and studiously
tried not to look at us. Some did though.So, the bottom line is, this is a beautiful, lovely (our new word) woman who just wants a better life for her daughter.

We've been saying she just wants to see her but here's the truth, and this is the part that really really gets me:

This woman would sacrifice her relationship with her daughter, if she knew it meant she could have a better life.

Mum described the conditions as "a shithole" and that's no exaggeration. She wants her daughter to be in a better place with a future, with a family if she wants. I didn't get the part about sacrificing her relationship at first, but now I totally get it, and it's beautiful.

It's like how any mom would stand in front of a bus for their kid, if it meant a better life for them. That's it right there. Maybe she won't get her daughter back, but that's not the point.

She doesn't want a phony happy lunch with her daughter, with a handler along, and then the daughter goes back to the shithole. She wants her to have a better life.

As if this is not moving enough, hear what Resistance Is Futile has to say:

Resistance is Futile post #399

A few words about this experience. I know the videos are telling the story beautifully, but I'd like to share a few things that cannot be captured on film. This is my way of thanking everyone for sending out such strengthening good

First, some words about my wonderful new friend, Susan Talbot. Susan Talbot is a quiet, dignified, and unassuming woman. All this attention is hard for her. She didn't come here to become a media star. She just wanted to sit and talk with the daughter she has never stopped loving over the years and miles
that have separated them, if only for one hour.

She just wanted to take her daughter to lunch and tell her she loves her to her face, and to hear from her daughter's own lips that she is happy and that it really is her choice to remain
in Scientology. Susan does not care if her daughter wants to remain a Scientologist - so long as that's her choice and that's what she really wants to do with the rest of her life.

That's all Susan wants for her daughter. She wants her to be happy. Susan Talbot is pretty much on her own back in England. It wasn't easy for her to save the money for airfare and arrange the time off from work to come to America on the off chance Scientology management would allow her to spend an hour alone with her daughter. She knew it would be a battle.

She's not like me and Glib - women who (strangely) call protesting "fun". It has been a grueling roller coaster ride subjecting herself to this process. But Susan is a good mother and she feels the need to do everything in her power to reach out to her daughter, Mandy.

She can't live out her life wondering in silence if Mandy is happy. She wants to hear it for herself. She has been steadfastly
turned away by Scientology since the moment she first walked into the HGB last Wednesday.

Glib and I are trying very hard to not make this about ourselves. We are not the story here. But Susan Talbot is a very shy person and the camera makes her nervous, so we try to run nterference. She's embarrassed to be seen smoking or gum chewing, which she does to calm herself. Her lips are chapped and cracked from the wind and sun, and that embarrasses her too.

She doesn't know she is "lovely" and that people adore her just the way she is. So please forgive us when we move in to "hide" her behind a hug or some big natty hair. We're not seeking attention. We're just helping out a friend.

Now, there is one small thing I'd like to say for myself. I am not a cryer. Glib and Susan T. are cryers. I am more of a rock. Sgt. Torres says Susan can't see her daughter, they cry. Sgt. Torres says Susan can't see her daughter, I redouble my determination that, by God, she can and will see her daughter. Oh no you dit'n, Sgt. Torres.

But I do have my moments, and that explains the photo of the three of us that circulated around on Friday. Minutes before that picture was snapped (by Tom Provenzano who has been an invaluable asset to the cause since the start), Glib, Susan and I
had been sitting in a small bistro resting over a brownie and cappuccinos. We take Susan out of the action every few hours to rest her mind and to regroup ourselves since we are simultaneously protesting at two different locations at the HGB.

Glib and her group man the side door where Andy, Frank and Alex shuttle the Sea Orgers in and out of buses. I'm at the front of the building exposing this atrocity to the public and trying to interface with the Sea Orgers that scuttle across Ivar into the building next door.

Susan floats between the two hot spots. She has a sunny bench to rest on up front and a folding chair set up with Glib around on the side.

Glib and I don't see much of each other while protesting, so we take opportunities like this to touch bases and monitor progress.

And so it was that we were sitting there getting caught up over our cappuccinos when my cellphone alerted me that a text message had arrived.

I flipped open the phone and read these four words from my daughter: "I love you, Mom." My breath caught in my throat. I don't usually get emotional when those texts arrive from my children.

It usually just makes a warm spot in my heart as I type the same words back to them. But this time I instantly thought of the
woman sitting next to me and how much those words would have meant to her coming from her daughter. I believe that would have been enough for her. I believe she would have considered her nine-year wait and 6,000 mile journey completely worthwhile had Susan just heard those four words from Mandy. I tried to hold on to myself, but I lost it. It took exactly one millisecond for the other two cryers to join me.

It must have looked strange, three grown women sitting there
sobbing and hugging and sobbing some more. This went on for several minutes. It felt wonderful to get that big wad of emotion out of my chest. But then afterward...well, there is no delicate way to put this. We all looked like shit. I hardly recognize myself in that picture. I can only hope people are looking at
the signs.

Again I wish to thank everyone for being so supportive of Ms. Talbot, our lovely British Mum. You'll be hearing lot more from all three of us as we attempt to blog this unfolding operation. We certainly invite and welcome your input. Susan is reading the boards and it means the world to her that so many
people care.

If your monitor is not completely blurry, this is from Chuck Berry, one of the great figures in Scientology criticism. His knowledge of the works of L. Ron Hubbard is encyclopedic. He is the go-to man for scholars seeking out the truth about Scientology. He also spent seven years in the RPF (Rehabilitation Project Force) Scientology's reindoctrination and hard labor gulag:

Chuck Beatty: #464

Quote from a preceeding post by Resistance Is Futile:

I flipped open the phone and read these four words from my daughter: "I love you, Mom." My breath caught in my throat. ... I tried to hold on to myself, but I lost it.It took exactly one millisecond for the other two cryers to join me.

It must have looked strange, three grown women sitting there sobbing and hugging and sobbing some more.....Love to you
all, Patricia

Thanks Patricia.

I was a motherless child, which might explain why I even
ended up and could stay long long inside the heartless fortress inner worlds of the Sea Org.

Your above brings tears to even my motherless child's
eyes...Thank you.

Chuck Beatty

ex Sea Org 1975-2003

Fortunately, some Scientologists see disconnection for the cruelty it is, and chose their moms over L. Ron Hubbard, like this one interviewed at HGB:

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