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an OPEN LETTER to anyone who asks about
 run by scientologists

Promises of untold riches arising from small to medium investments abound amongst Scientologists

Blinded by the lure of  lavish returns and the problems resulting from the need to raise the hundreds of thousands (sometimes millions) of dollars demanded by the Church, every year more people fall prey to schemes that would make any banker or professional investor hair stand on end.

In fact a large number of "ex-scientologists" became so as the direct result of their disenchantment when they realized that their gullibility had purposely been nurtured for years in order to encourage them to make large investments or loans when these actually were nothing but elaborate plans to funnel millions into the Church coffers.

Anyone honest and with verifiable experience in Investing will tell people that the greater the theoretical potential for return the greater the risk and the odds that one will loose everything rather than make a small fortune. It if were not true, the numbers of millionaires in America would not be in the thousands, but rather in the millions.

Individual schemes come and go, so I do not know for a fact that the promises of any specific individual someone is now referring me to actually fall under that category, but based on my experience in life and an extensive one with investing, I would advise anyone to use extreme caution before embarking on any schemes promising extremely high returns, especially when no verifiable track of success can be provided.

When returns or promises to pay back fail to materialize, it is typical to see a series of stalling messages given to investors or lenders. Taking taking legal action by a Scientologist against another, (even when fraud or crimes are involved) is subject to the most extreme and heavy punishment by the Church of Scientology. (The one thing the Church of Scientology hates is to be publicly maligned or exposed)

Long time Church policies state that it is supreme in adjudicating disagreements among its members. Yet it has a proven track to exclusively rule with the individual who most closely align with it short term financial gain, no matter how amoral its diregard for those who have been wronged.

The penalty for any Scientologist seeking legal relief agaisnt another is

1- The automatic shunning of wife, children, parents, any associates and friends (lest they wish to share the same fate)

2- Public expulsion and humiliation, typically with slanderous generalities and fabrications, often disseminated where it will cause the maximum amount of embarassment.

3- Being branded as as a psychopath

4- Persecution by becoming the target of Hatred by zealot members who take all currently Church pronouncements as if they were divinely inspired.

5- Becoming an open target to the practice of the infamous FAIR GAME (policy cancelled only for PR purposes, but very much applied to high profile targets in current practice)

6- Official condemnation by curses of eternal damnation (Scientologese jargon actual means the same)

Authors of scams are typically given free rein to operate within the Church as long as they contribute to the filling of Church coffers (War chest in the Church lingo) until the day when they eventually lead to the creation a legal problem of the type of magnitude that induces legislation seeking to get Scientology banned in that country. Once this occurs, the Church will inevitably plead its innocence and vigorously place itself on the long list of their victim, quietly disregarding the fact that it profited obscene amounts of money from them.

I have personally met thousands of individuals on both sides of the fence in and out of the Church of Scientology.

As long as Scientology's name was kept out of the newspapers or absent from legislators agendas, the Church would turn the cold shoulder to the hundreds of desperate pleas by those who claimed they had been fleeced by con men and had now become destitute. Being now useless to them, (downstat in Scientology jargon), the Church would discard them just like a worn out doll, should the victims of schemes and defaulting loans ever revolt against the Church sanctiomonious rulings or vocalize disparaging statements agaisnt against their agressors because they were "Scientologists in Good standing". Hundreds, possibly thousands of members have been expelled that way since in the last 25 years.

Over my two decades at Flag (the highest center in Scientology, located in Clearwater, Florida), I  was called to obtain the written (and therefore entirely actionable) confessions of the perpetrators (and more sadly, provide counselling to address the upset and despondency from its victims) for dozens upon dozens of scams, swindles, pyramid or ponzi schemes and other empty promises and fraudulent loans.

For years I wrote reports on the perpetrators of such scams, appalled that they would be granted immunity by a Church I came to see every day as more corrupt. Nothing came out of it, except for my being listed as a "trouble maker" and eventually marked for "orderly disposal".

Some of the victims of those schemes became dangerously despondent and found themselves destitute. In extreme cases, suicides or murderous rages were the final result.

One of the most touching stories documenting such abuses to be posted on the Internet is "Albert Jaquier, Diary of a dying scientologist". I personally knew Albert quite well. Based on my first hand experience with Albert, I can state that his story as compelling as it was is merely the tip of a monstruous and most pernicious iceberg. I know first hand dozens of stories equally devastating (see the link for a more detailed account)

I feel no compunction to withold any of this data, because in each case prior to the the travesty of  a confessional that I was ordered to give on behalf of the Church of Scientology each parishioner was told at the beginning that "This is not auditing (Scientology word for counselling) and that everything revealed would be written up in triplicate and forwarded to a number of lay people and to the Church Intelligence agency, where privacy concerns are officially acknowledged as entirely irrelevant by long standing policy.

In every case, I was under the obligation to write a full and detailed report of the transgressions revealed to me by the parishioners, as well as any hearsay involving others, so that the Church could use it for its own lay purposes. When I eventually objected that covertly using Confession as a double standard to extort blackmail materials from its parishioners and publicly revealing their details for personal gain was morally objectionable, I found myself threatened by expulsion and blackmail. I eventually felt utter contempt for a Church acting that way, especially in the light that it has always insisted in the court and legal system that all such confessions are "priest-penitent
privileged" and has the folders containing such "confessions" so stamped. A number of disenchanted Scientology celebrities are currently being kept at bay through the "intelligence" so gathered through such chicanery. Without doubt the same fate awaits any current Church celebrity should they one day decide to defect.

It is my view that the amount of money that was lost by well meaning individuals through questionable schemes between 1980 and 1992 (the years I was the foremost and most succesful counsellor within the Church) to be well in excess of 100 millions American dollars.

In most cases the sole beneficiaries were the Church of Scientology and International Association of Scientologists, who blissfully received the millions of dollars funelled through the amoral schemes.

In the worst cases suicides were even directly linked when such schemes failed. In 1996 Scientology was almost banned in France as a result.The story of people I personally know who found themselves facing shattered lives, financial ruin and who left Scientology as a result could fill up a very large book. I also know equally well the unholy story and details of those who defrauded them.

Best Regards

Pierre Ethier