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The Jean-Luc Barbier Affair







The story of Jean-Luc Barbier is without a doubt the ultimate cause célèbre among the various tales and scandals that involve the Church of Scientology in Switzerland. 


In 1989 Jean-Luc Barbier moved through the Upper Levels of Scientology in Clearwater, Florida, until his progress came to an unceremonious halt after he adamantly refused membership in WISE , a Scientology affiliation seeking to run each business owned by Scientologists as if it were franchises and which exact a 15% commission of the business income.  His subsequent demands for refund of Scientology service were met by 10 years of stalling tactics from the Church. When the monies were finally paid, the Church publicly labeled him as psychotic, but Jean-Luc Barbier won a court case against the Church for slander in late 2006.


I have read numerous documents published by Mr. Barbier on the Internet and I can testify that according to my experiences and personal observations all the declarations that he has made concerning his experiences with the Church of Scientology between 1989 and 1990, are entirely accurate. 


I know this for a fact, because I was not only there, but I was also his auditor.  (An auditor is a Scientology practitioner or therapist)


An affair that turned sour



I first met Jean-Luc Barbier at Scientology's most advanced Center located in Clearwater, Florida, in early spring of 1989. Because I spoke French and was one of the qualified auditors to provide upper Level counseling that he would soon require, I started upon a program of sessions with Jean-Luc.  


I do not believe I am revealing any personal secrets of Jean-Luc if I state that he had always appeared to me to be "normal” and “balanced". I also liked him.  According to Scientology's own criteria and in sharp contrast to the outrageous statements made by official spoke-persons of the Church of Scientology, he had to be in good mental condition, in good spirits and most certainly not mentally sick, in order to be invited to do Scientology's Upper Levels. The adjudication of the mental state and hence preparedness for the Scientology Upper Levels is never granted by the auditor, but rather by a group of "Case Supervisors", who are viewed as the most technically advanced individuals in a Scientology organization. Unanimously and according to their own criteria, in 1989 Scientology Case Supervisors declared Jean-Luc Barbier to be "mentally healthy". 


Things moved along, at least according to my perception at the time, in a rather normal fashion until the moment when a number of Church salesmen, called registrars in Scientology lingo, prompted by a demonic fervor to increase the Church’s already significant wealth, put considerable pressure to extort from its parishioners, including Jean-Luc, the greatest possible amount of money they would be able to squeeze, stopping just short of beggaring them. The extraction of large sums of money from its adherents, frequently described as bilking, is a routine procedure undertaken by the Church of Scientology. Experienced and ruthless salesmen are used to subject those perceived as potential income donors to the strongest of sales pressure tactics until they eventually crack and empty their bank accounts, or they borrow up to the limits of their credit availability, and even beyond, through a number of devious schemes. 


Having had to deal over and over with the upsets and nightmarish wake that follows such unethical behavior, I frequently wrote it up, hoping that something would eventually get done about it, but it nothing ever. I eventually reached the conclusion that the entire infrastructure of the Church of Scientology is based on greed rather than serving others.


Toward the end of his trip, Jean-Luc was deeply perturbed. The reason seemed amply clear to me: he had been pointlessly threatened by arcane curses and eternal damnation by labeling him as a Suppressive Person, and was repeatedly accused of selfishness and egotism because he had challenged the idea of cleaning up all of his bank accounts in the Church's favor.


To the degree that my limited means allowed, I sought to comfort Jean-Luc, but merely seeking to handle an upset without addressing its underlying cause, obviously could not lead to any significant relief. In actual practice, the Church of Scientology currently considers itself to be not only a true jewel but also the only organization in the entire universe, capable of saving or rehabilitating Mankind.



Imbued with such beliefs, the official representatives of the Church of Scientology, a good number of whom I have personally known for years, feel completely offended at the mere suggestion that the Church of Scientology should ever redress the slightest wrong it may have caused or make any apologies, no matter how vile the treatments it may have inflicted upon those now seeking justice.


Upon return to his native Switzerland, Jean-Luc evidently came to his senses and became seriously disillusioned with the Church of Scientology

Whenever the Church is confronted by disgruntled customers or legal threats, the Church of Scientology adopts the “Safe Solution” that both the Church of Scientology and L. Ron Hubbard are infallible. Consequently, it will always retroactively deem any unpleasant outcome to be the product of “irresponsible” and unauthorized action by members who had nothing but malice on their minds. In other words they make a profuse use of scapegoats. These scapegoats are evidently never among who continue to cram more and more funds into their already brimming coffers. One of the notable exceptions occurred when the fundraisers created havoc of such magnitude that calls were made by Governments to put a cap on Scientology activities. Such happened in Sweden in 1986 and in France in 1987.


In the case of Jean-Luc Barbier, I was made the scapegoat in 1989. As described above, the current philosophy of the Church of Scientology is that L.Ron Hubbard and the Church he created are infallible. A blind faith in that infallibility leads to the unavoidable conclusion that for any non-optimum result on a person they process, both the auditor and the case supervisor have deliberately sabotaged the individual case through a combination of recklessness and malice. Any objection to the effect that the auditor and Case Supervisor have nothing to gain and everything to loose by acting in such a maliciously is countered by the explanation that non-optimum results actually prove that the case Supervisor has an evil streak and that the auditor has been busily making false session reports. 



The Scientology Justice System


The Justice system in Scientology, as it is being currently practiced in the Church of Scientology, not only presumes guilt by the accused, but views any pleas of “not-guilty as "evidence of guilt and of non-responsibility". This doctrine is based on the aberrant notion that since people are entirely responsible for their condition, they are also responsible for any mishap that ever happens to them. Hence because this means that everything is their fault, anyone daring to reject the "Scientology Justice System" or denounce the Church of Scientology or those that extort funds in its name is guilty of the most heinous of crimes and worst possible calumny. This is actually the required frame of mind of those who must operate as representatives of the Church of Scientology. Anyone operating on different premises would be ineligible to represent the position of the Church. 


The current Scientology Justice concept of Jurisprudence is deeply anchored in concepts and ideas that have fallen out of use in the Western World since the Middle Ages and the days of the Inquisition. According to those barbaric concepts, any irreverence or disagreement with the doctrine that is judged a priori to be orthodox by the inquisitor (the Ethics Officer or its delegates in Scientology lingo), is an automatic demonstration of guilt. The heretic so found is liable to the most excruciating of punishments. A rebellion against the Inquisitor (or his Superiors) is perceived as the ultimate blasphemy. Depending upon the disposition of those called to punish the guilty, cruelty and sadism may be used. Therefore should come as no great revelation to say that in 1989, I was made entirely responsible for what happened to Jean-Luc Barbier and the entire wake that followed the inept handlings done by the Office of Special Affairs.


For weeks, I was subjected to tortuous and cruel punishments with the view of humiliating me rather for the purpose of extracting from me even more than the 80 to 90 hours of work I was already subjected to every week for less than $30 pay.


Naturally those who abused Jean-Luc and treated him like dirt, were rewarded promotions and large bonuses later that year. To my knowledge, they are still doing the same thing have the same job.


Three years later it was my turn to leave the Church of Scientology for good. By then I was acknowledged as the top Class XII auditor which is not as grandiose an accomplishment as it sounds, because over thirty Class XIIs had already left, including all the most experienced. I was the best that remained. Class XII is the most advanced training level in Scientology. I had reached a level such that there was nobody left in the entire Church that could still teach me anything about Scientology. Anyone else had been conveniently been removed by the leadership.


Ultimately faced with the entire knowledge of what is Scientology and what it is not, I was finally able to see everything that was good with it as well as everything that evil.




I have fully turned the page to a very successful and rewarding life since those horrible days in the Church of Scientology. I remain a firm believer in the development and evolution of self and one's intellectual abilities. I view ultimate enlightenment and awareness as only achievable in the presence of honesty, integrity and respect for others. I now see an insurmountable chasm separating the philosophy originally proposed by Scientology in 1952 and its current application by extremists or organizations which have vested servitude and control of others as part of their agenda.



I feel no bitterness about my twenty years as a staff member in the Church of Scientology. I still have fond memories of Jean-Luc Barbier. Sometimes, I hope that he feels the same. Because I know the details of a many abominations that occurred in the Church and most of them with the sanction of its leadership, I will always view the Church of Scientology as one the vilest organizations existing on this planet. 


Pierre Ethier


Trained as Class XII auditor by the Church of Scientology



Pierre Ethier


Class XII

Copyright © 2007 by Pierre Ethier.