Tony and Marie-Joe DePhillips ARE two very dedicated Scientologists. I have included their declaration of Independence, and two write ups telling the story of each of them. I have also included two links at the end of the write ups. I think this material should be read in full by anyone wanting to know how the church of Scientology currently treats quests for the truth even by some of its most steadfast supporters. Thank you Marie-Joe and Tony for holding your positions in space and for standing up and speaking out.
Declaration of Independence
Tony & Marie-Joe DePhillips
a.k.a. “Alex Metheny” & “Freetothink”
We have always loved the writings of L Ron Hubbard. One of my favorite LRH statements is from the lecture Differences Between Scientology & Other Philosophies: “ If it is true for you, it’s true. And if it’s not true for you, it still isn’t true. Not even if Ron told you is it true. It’s just not true, that’s all.“ ~ LRH
In addition to this as a foundation, the ARC triangle, the granting of beingness, the code of honor and not needing a license to survive, are just a few of the building blocks we’ve used to improve our lives. We have had many great wins in Scientology and know many well intentioned staff and public Scientologists.
How we got here:
Our personal story of shock, disbelief and declare will be added as an attachment for those who are interested. You will be able to see how we went from among the top opinion leaders and contributors in our area to SPs, in just a few months.
After reading The Truth Rundown and Geir Isene’s Doubt formula we were deeply troubled about what was going on in the church. These stories were believable to us because they aligned with many of our own observations and experiences. After trying to communicate about the things that were troubling us in the church, we started to get attacked as ourselves being the problem – for speaking out with any disagreement or questioning. It became very apparent that we did not have the right to say what we were observing in regards to our own church or its management. It also became very clear that we did not have the right to associate with people who the church had deemed were “BAD”. Evidently, we were supposed to give up the right to decide who we would or wouldn’t associate with. To us, these are fundamental rights of an American, fought and died for by many!
I have never been good at being bossed around. Some might think it’s a “button” (problem or character blemish) that I haven’t dealt with yet but, on the other hand, maybe it’s an ability that’s helped me retain my self-determinism and freedom of thought. We quickly realized that we had been PTS to the Church for many years, and applied handle or disconnect. When each attempt to handle was met with bigger and stronger messages to cease, desist, and “get handled” (including a Non-Enturbulation Order and ethics interviews), we decided to disconnect by officially resigning from the Church. Our resignation letter to the church pretty much sums it up:
IJC 13 January 2010
Flag AO MAA
Seattle Org Day and Fdn HCO
ASHO Day MAA
Tony and Marie-Joe DePhillips
We have both been in Scientology for over twenty years. We have contributed about xxxK to the Ideal Org and over xxK to the IAS. We have spent in the neighborhood of xxxK on services from the Church and donated a decent amount of time participating as volunteers.
We have had some great wins.
Over the last few years however we have noticed more and more things that we do not like about how the church operates. Heavy ethics, make wrong, heavy regging etc. We have made attempts at correcting these things with reports with no result.
We have seen and heard of too many abuses, human rights violations, misuse of resources [people, money,…], and worst of all, too many LRH policies being violated. We can’t, in good conscience, continue to participate and support the church as it is being managed at this time.
After making our own observations and hearing the stories of Marty Rathbun, Geir Isene, Mike Rinder, Amy Scobee, Jeff Hawkins, Mary-Jo Leavitt and many more Sea Org members, OT’s and highly trained auditors, we have made our decision.
We have always been told that these people on the internet were crazy SP’s. After hearing their stories we were not able to come to that conclusion. We were shocked to realize that many who had been painted to us as evil and suppressive were in fact whistleblowers trying to expose the abuses and violations.
We both have experienced excessive sec-checking and heavy ethics even when our contributions (money and time participating) were showing that we were stellar members of the public.
We love Scientology when it is applied with ARC and not with enforcement to get everyone to conform.
We came into Scientology to find our own self determinism and to have gains. Progressively over the years we feel that we have been forced overtly or covertly to “toe the line”, or follow “command intention”, without being able to use our own judgment or our own ethics. If you do not do what is “expected”, you are shunned/punished in various ways. When you assert your own independent thought and it doesn’t align with command intention you are quickly shown you are not a good group member.
In conclusion, we no longer feel confident in this Church’s ability to operate in a manner that we can be proud of and disseminate to others.
We hope that the Church of Scientology will get it’s ethics in and make the changes necessary for it to be a church we can once again be proud of.
Tony DePhillips Marie-Joe DePhillips
We heard the church lie about its not having a policy of enforcing disconnection – We’d already received many reports of our friends being told not to talk to us.
As someone once said “If they lie about this, what else will they lie about?”
After exhaustive research and communicating, we decided that the abuses did occur and that they were and are extensive and widespread. We also saw that the church was actively involved in creating their own enemies and seemed to take very little responsibility in remedying their wrongs. Furthermore, we wondered what kind of a leader would allow these things to continue to go unhandled and in fact seemingly encourage such activity.
We got into Scientology to become more at cause in life and to do better in life based on our own realities. We still feel that this is what LRH intended. We didn’t, and still don’t, believe or agree with everything that LRH ever uttered. But as he himself said, we don’t have to.
We believe that the church is being run in a fashion that, to us, is destructive overall, as well as destructive to our personal goals of being at cause over our own lives. The Grade Chart states that on OT 7 you will be cause over life. That may be possible, but not if the church refuses to let you be at cause over your own church!!
Also, first and foremost to us is the abuse of the Sea Org members. This to us is obscene. These people dedicate their lives to Scientology only to be treated as sub-humans. And when fed up with that treatment and wanting to leave, they are treated in an abhorrent fashion. These people are some of our best and brightest. This cannot stand. What gives DM the right to run roughshod over these people? Who anointed him to be above the law? The out-points are too many to be listed here, we’re sure you all have examples of your own.
We believe that everyone who stands up and throws off their shackles will make it that much easier for others to do so. That has been true for us. The others coming out before us have made it more real for us to take our stand.
We could not live with the idea that we were too scared or bullied into having to hide our god given rights to be here and communicate. Especially when it is the right thing to do!
So we hereby declare ourselves Independent Scientologists.
Independent: One who is independent in thinking, action, etc.
That is how we see ourselves. We do enjoy the Scientology philosophy by LRH, when we are practicing it as independent people, not having it forced down our throats.
We also very much appreciate LRH’s views on infinity valued logic. The idea of two-valued logic such as right-wrong, good-bad is too simplistic. The idea that any man or woman is infallible or perfect is not realistic. All men and women have good and bad in them, it is just a matter of degree. And the fact that we feel Mankind is basically good means that there can be salvation for all and no person has a monopoly on that. DM is not totally bad or totally good just like the rest of us. He is not above the law or above the Scientology justice system. DM IS NOT SCIENTOLOGY. We believe that it is the greatest good for the greatest number of dynamics that DM step down from his position as leader and that steps are taken to reform the church of Scientology so it reflects the values of this current culture and promotes ARC, tolerance and the values usually associated with spiritual goals. We have finally answered this question for ourselves: Does the end justify the means? For us the answer is NO!! Or another way of looking at it is: The means are the end. Scientology was supposed to give us a way of setting an example as good and honorable people. That is an end in itself. The way Scientology has been treating its own people is a disgrace and a degrade of Scientology, and has to be rejected.
Thanks for listening. Thank you all for what you are doing and will do in the future.
Tony DePhillips (Mid OTVII, Prov. Class IV Pre-GAT and Fully Hatted Ethics Officer)
Marie-Joe DePhillips (OT V,KTL/LOC, Level G SHSBC)
Church of Scientology’s Slippery Slope:
from Solo NOTs-IAS Patron-Ideal Org Humanitarians to Declared SPs
Tony’s Story: I got into Scientology in 1978, a confused Navy sailor. I joined staff in San Diego, married a Scientologist, subsequently divorced, and left staff in 1985 with a $12,000 debt to the church. I paid off that debt and moved up the Grade Chart through OT V in Los Angeles, just winning like mad through FPRD and PDC and right on up. I was a “Cadillac PC”.
And, all throughout, I was being a “good Scientologist”, deciding not to have children so I could get up the Bridge without distractions and living very modestly in order to pay for auditing. My wife, Marie-Joe, and I have spent hundreds of thousands on auditing. I spent close to $250k just on Solo NOTs, without completion.
I originally started Solo NOTs a couple of years prior to the “Golden Age of Tech”, costly even then in both dollars and time. From the time I arrived at Flag the customer service atmosphere was one of suspicion and distrust, right from the start. But, I let it go because I was at the Mecca of technical perfection and the “friendliest place on Earth” after all, so it must be “ok”.
After being on the level for about a year I was informed that I would have to retrain on everything at my expense. This was quite a shock. I’m not a wealthy man. It took me five years to regroup financially and get back onto the Solo NOTs level.
After seven intensives of sec checking prior to getting onto Solo NOTs the first time and another seven, plus the FPRD, the second time (plus the ever suspenseful wait for “eligibility”) I finally made it on again. Then 18 months into Solo NOTs round two, I was C/S’d for an advanced program of eight more intensives (five of which were sec checks).
Meanwhile, I wrote a KR on the Landlord Office regarding mismanagement of the local Ideal Org purchasing process, and in going over it with the local ED an argument ensued (I was going over my KR with him to ensure my facts were correct). He said “If you weren’t so critical and helped more we would be that much closer!” I had only donated about 30K at that point, so I guess I was down-stat. I retorted, “If I have to do whatever you want me to do to be your friend you can kiss my ass!!”
The local Org tried to issue a “non-enturbulation” order for that, but instead I got recalled to Flag at my own expense. I was upset, and when I got there I thought they would treat me as an OT and I would have a nice comm cycle and all would be good. It wasn’t. Silly me.
I was grilled for my crimes, on the meter, by the MAA. It was so frustrating I asked to get a sec check so at least I’d feel I was being heard. Those 25 hours of sec checking cost me about 14K and I felt like crap afterwards. I told Flag they could keep my Solo NOTs materials and left. To their credit, an auditing correction later handled the lingering upset.
I did a Liability formula for all of this and my wife and I donated another hefty chunk to the Ideal Org, bringing us to over $100,000 donated. My apologies, if this is boring – it certainly is therapeutic for me to write it.
Onto Solo NOTs again for the third time, after another grueling eligibility cycle (seven more intensives and the waiting “sweat out” period). The level was getting more and more solid for me. The gains I was getting on the solo auditing seemed to be negated by the sec checking and the feeling I was “bad” or a “slow case gain” or not “trusted’’.
I received PTS handlings when I didn’t feel PTS. I felt and said, “I don’t want to become what you want me to be. I want to be who I WANT TO BE!!” I have never been good at being bossed around. But it’s an ability that has helped me retain my self-determinism and freedom of thought.
I received ethics handlings on a report I wrote on DM speaking derogatorily about the U.S. President at an event, stating I thought his actions weren’t good PR for our Church or its leader. I caught flack for that! I guess they figured I had “crimes”.
This period seemed like a never ending blood bath of regging and stress. I had to live up to this state of OT being laid out for me. I had to be “helping” all the time, donating to this- that-and the other thing, buying books, going to every event…on and on and on. I started hating it. The IAS regges described the world as a nightmare, creating a very dangerous environment for all of us.
I know I’m describing what others have experienced and written. I am collaborating with you. I also witnessed it, lived it, experienced it. The more you do, the higher in the organization you get – even as public – the less respect and freedom there is if you don’t toe the line.
On my last visit to Flag, I decided if I didn’t finish it that trip, I would route off. I thought I could end off and remain friends. I figured that would be the worst case scenario. But I was nervous…why? Because of the previous heavy handed dealings I had. When, I found out that I wasn’t going to be allowed to attest, I just decided to turn in my materials, route off properly and go home in ARC with the group.
That was wishful thinking. It was off to Qual for a hefty attempt to convince me how abberated I was. Then ,to HCO where the MAA informed me that my auditor and Qual terminals were “enturbulated” by me. I said, ”They are enturbulated by me answering their questions??” Yes, that was indeed it, he confirmed, and threatened me with a Non-enturbulation order. I said, “You have to be joking!!” He wasn’t.
I wrote it up to RTC and no order was issued. But, needless to say, I wasn’t having much fun, or feelin’ the theta. The auditing was good but the other actions were painful. While I was trying to route off the Level I was informed by the Flag AO Tech Sec that if I left without my materials then all the people who’d worked with me there would be Comm Ev’d. I told her that wouldn’t be my overt but someone else’s. I held my position right up to leaving the Yachtsman motel to go to the airport. My Solo C/S, Mike, rolled up in a van with my Solo Nots D of P, Lill – Mike trying to persuade me to go home with my materials. I was in grief at this point. He told me he thought I was close to finishing the level and on hearing that, I decided to take the materials home.
Long story a little shorter (and this is abbreviated a lot!!) I sent my materials back a few months later after deciding that they couldn’t “handle” me, and that I wasn’t going to “go on hoping” while paying $7,500 per intensive for mostly sec checking and FPRD. This was the third & last time I took myself off Solo NOTs.
I continued doing volunteer work as Chaplain at the local Org, two nights a week, to good results. I let people talk and I called things as I saw them. Purely a help flow and NO REGGING…
Then, one weekend while scanning news articles, I ran across the St. Petersburg Times’ The Truth Rundown http://www.tampabay.com/specials/2009/reports/project/
– I read it all and watched all the videos. I was shocked!! Could this be true?? Marie-Joe and I spent hours filling the vacuum, looking at different web sites and blogs to fill the void.
WE WERE SHOCKED!!
I realized that I had been tricked. I was reading about, by and large, people who had been screwed over by the Church and then became enemies to it. These were not crazy SPs. These were primarily former members, “enemies” largely created by the Church!
I realized all the sec checking I had been getting was to help the church find these “enemies”. It hadn’t been for my benefit!!
By the way, I have had some great wins getting off overts and withholds. I am not rallying against that. I just think that it can get out of hand and be out tech and done for political reasons instead of for the betterment of the individual.
I was paying the price all along the way, for the CofS creating its own enemies and being afraid of its own creations. This endless sec checking was being done from fear, not because we needed or wanted it. C/S series 73 points this out nicely. There is a write-up on this subject by a woman named Virginia, that I think is definitive and awesome! I had to give her props on that!! http://www.freezone.org/reports/virginia.htm
Realizing this, I thought I would be a good boy and report in to Flag about it. My former NOTs auditor said that I had a major out-ethics situation because I said that I believed the people in the Truth Rundown article. He had asked me a question and when I started to answer, he cut me off – to which I said “don’t ask me a question if you don’t want to hear my answer”. He replied, “I don’t want to hear that natter!!”
I realized then that I couldn’t talk to the group anymore.
I have been told at various times that I was PTS, and it’s come up in my programming. I have had many handlings on this topic but none of the items have indicated until now.
I have been PTS to my own Church! And, looking for the suppressive person behind the group, it would have to be its leader, DM. I was shocked at the tales of DM abusing his fellow team members. What gives him the right?? Where is it in writing that DM is above the justice of the group, not to mention the law? What makes him the unchallenged leader of our group?
I was PTS to this group and this leader because I was becoming more and more afraid to communicate about my concerns to them without retribution. I was becoming more afraid to state the out-ethics behaviors, as LRH said is our duty. I had come to feel that if I spoke up and stated what I saw that I would be attacked unjustly. It is not safe to communicate what you want without some kind of retribution, whether it is sec checking for political purposes, invalidation and evaluation from other members, ethics actions, withholding your ability to move up the Bridge, etc.
I was embarrassed to disseminate to my associates because I was no longer proud of how the group operates. Marie-Joe and I have been told that if you don’t disseminate you are PTS. Well it’s true! We have been PTS to our own church!!
I have experienced injustice for speaking up and saying what I believe. I have read about the many injustices on the internet that have occurred to good Sea Org members and good group members who could have, and were, very valuable to the group. I cannot just sit back and say this has nothing to do with me. No more.
We are not going to be afraid of the Church anymore.
I have tried to get at cause over this situation from the inside by writing reports, to no avail. I have been made wrong for bringing up out-points and situations that I see.
More recently, I’ve heard that prior to our written resignation, while volunteering at the Org, there was an interrogatory being conducted about me. I was not informed at the time. The “out-ethics” not ever discussed with me.
Things started to escalade when one day the Fundraising I/C sent us an email to attend an Event. You will find the whole exchange in a link below. Some might find it interesting since it lead us to being Dead Filed.
A report on me for forwarding Mary Jo Levitt’s KR to one of my friends, in combination with the email exchange, did the trick – a few days later a non-enturbulation order was issued on me.
Never once did I receive one phone call or communication from the Org about the non-enturbulation order.
I have since received unofficial word that our SP Declare has been issued.
How have we gone from Solo NOTs, IAS Patrons, and Humanitarians of the Ideal Org, to declared SPs?
It is because the group has gone off course and is following the dictates of a suppressive. I have been the effect of this for too long. I am disconnecting from that suppression and using the only ethics gradient I have left to put ethics in on the group.
Did LRH ever envision that his own organization would be hijacked in this way? Was this LRH’s plan? Marie-Joe and I don‘t think so.
Nevertheless, we’re here now in this situation.
We have resigned from the current Church of Scientology. We will no longer consider ourselves a part of that group until we feel it has been sufficiently reformed.
We admire LRH’s auditing tech and many of his philosophic writings and are taking this action in our best efforts to create a better group.
Our sincere admiration for all the people who have helped Scientology make the world a better place and for those who have the guts to say what they see, despite its unpopularity.
Tony & Marie-Joe DePhillips
& Encounter w/the MAAs
I got in Scientology in the late 80’s. I’ve had many life changing wins. Many tools I learned in Scientology are now part of me and I can’t ever imagine not using them.
I spent the last four years serving as I/C (in-charge) of the files project, among other things, at my local Org. I did nearly 2000 hrs on the files project alone, while spending a lot of my own money for supplies and food for the volunteers. Within just a few months I went from being one of the most up stat Scientologists in my area to a declared SP. My crimes were standing up for my rights and the rights of others, pointing out violations of LRH policies and disconnecting from a suppressive source that I could no longer handle.
I agree with and can corroborate everything in Tony’s story. I would like to add a few comments.
For years I was given the impression that something was wrong with my husband, that most people were flying on OT VII and that Tony was one of the rare ones that was having a hard time with it. Many times I questioned how the Tech was used to handle him, and I also questioned Tony. Although Flag was allowing him on OTVII they were also treating him like he had lots of crimes (extensive Sec-checking). Although Tony is no angel, he’s a wonderful husband, a very hard worker and an extremely honest man. I was not seeing any crimes, but I often got introverted into thinking he might have hidden crimes, because of all the extensive sec-checking he was given and the resulting BPC.
I felt so betrayed by the Church when I found out that many were struggling on the Level and that the extensive sec-checking was out tech. I sincerely apologize for having doubted my husband and ever considering that he might be the problem.
As Tony mentioned, we were shocked with the Truth Rundown article. For many years, I worked on different social reform programs; Say no to drugs, World Literacy Crusade, Youth for Human Rights. I successfully used many of these tools to help others, but found myself constantly having to defend Scientology’s bad reputation and explain how it was not a cult.
In the last several months, I started realizing how it is actually, from my perspective, a cult. And that I had, in fact, been PTS. My whole world had been centered around Scientology. When I became aware of the abuses and stopped rationalizing all the out-points I was seeing, my universe started reeling. I so much wanted to handle it from inside the church, with reports and references. But, I rapidly realized it would not be possible. Even after our resignation, I spent hours with MAAs trying to sort things out. Here’s a brief description of what happened, to give you an idea of what to expect.
I met with the MAAs three times, a few hours each time. During the first two meetings I had asked them for stats of established Ideal Orgs. They showed me some of the stats of the newly opened Org in Rome, which were good, but as I pointed out to them it was not an established Ideal Org – it had just opened a few months before. These up statistics could easily have been from people flocking from all over Europe to visit the new Org. They also showed me the CGI from CC Nashville that had been opened 10 months earlier. Not bad (average 15k/week), but certainly not enough to sustain 100 staff with viable wages.
After the first few meetings, where they seem to be interested in my concerns and showed a certain willingness to resolve the issues I was bringing up, things definitely changed at the final meeting. It was made clear that they were not there to assert that everything is perfect in the Church, but that they have certainty that any out-points were being or will be address and resolved. They said that the sequence of actions would be for me to do a “standard” doubt condition and once I decide which side I’m on we could proceed with further steps. Although they were nice they made it clear, from the references they showed me, that I had committed a suppressive act by resigning (HCOPL 17 March 1965 Issue IV – Organizational Suppressive Acts) and unless I “come to my senses & recant” I would be treated as such.
Which pretty much means that I will have no contact person in the Church and can’t do any services until I first “come to my senses & recant”, then do A – E. It also meant that, although they said they do not “enforce” disconnection, any parishioners that want to stay in “good standing” and continue going up the Bridge would have to cut communication with me. But, it’s their “choice”, the Church will not “force” them. If they want to give up their Bridge or to be in communication with me it’s “their choice”.
It’s insane! Especially if I respect my friends’ choice to be part of the Church and don’t try to convince them otherwise. I asked them how someone stops being part of the Church if they choose to play another game. Their answer was showing me a reference like “you can’t be half-in or half-out”. If you’re in we treat you like you’re in if you’re out we treat you like you’re out. I said many people have left the Church a long time ago but are not subject to this because they did not resign. They admitted that my way of doing it was more honest but came with consequences. My response was that for years I defended the Church not being a cult, but now I’m confronted with the fact that it has lots of the characteristics of a cult, especially since you can’t leave it without being considered “evil” even if you have no other “crime” than leaving. They had no comments.
“If a person or a group that has committed a suppressive act comes to his, her or their senses and recants, his, her or their only terminal is the International Justice Chief,…” HCOPL 23 Dec 1965RB Revised 8 Jan 1991 (!!!!!) Suppressive Acts Suppression of Scientology and Scientologists
I asked if a CSW to declare me SP had been sent. They said no. They pointed out that whether I get declared or not I have still committed a suppressive act, so the reference still applies to me. They pointed out that the reference doesn’t say “if a person has received a declare ” but “if a person … has committed a suppressive act”. The MAA’s explained that no matter whether I think it’s not suppressive to resign, or whether anyone else agrees, it is a suppressive act since the policy (Organizational Suppressive Acts) states that it is.
They offered me a chance to do a “standard” doubt formula. They said that by exposing myself to the internet I had put myself in a very narrow world, created by SPs that are taking specific situations in Scientology and making them a generality, and that the church wanted to give me the opportunity to come back to reality and look at the true data. I felt like telling them that I was looking at reality but that they were in their cocoon of ignorance. I didn’t because I didn’t want to start invalidating them. They wanted me to read Marty, Mike and Amy’s declares. They said that a lot of the out-points had been created by Marty, Mike and Amy, and that’s why they had been kicked out. They said the group was doing a lot better since they had left. I told them I didn’t need to see their declares, because whether they are SPs or not doesn’t change what I have experienced and observed. I told them 4 – 6 months earlier I was looking, inspecting and researching, but since I’m not in doubt anymore applying the doubt formula didn’t seem right to me. In addition, I told them that from the references they just showed me the doubt formula is set up for me to either stay in the Church and conform or basically be “evil” if I choose to leave. I told them I felt it’s an unfair way to look at resolving a doubt.
Although I haven’t seen it yet, I heard that there is an SP declare now out on us.
I appreciate all that came forward before me and hope many others will follow. I will continue to listen, encourage and defend any whistleblowers that come forward. I will create new friends and I will flourish and prosper.
Now, Free To Think more than ever, Marie-Joe DePhillips.