I have had the privilege of meeting these fine folks. Their write up may be the most damning indictment to date on Scientology Inc’s disregard and disdain for those who empower it. Btw, Seattle is rocking.
Bert Schippers and Lynne Hoverson hereby announce that we no longer support, and are no longer part of, the squirrel organization called the Church of Scientology.
So much has been written by others before us, that expressed exactly what we wanted to say when we could not. For that we thank you all very much! The histories posted helped us see that we were not alone, that the outpoints we saw weren’t just “something wrong with us.”
Who we are: Lynne joined Scientology in 1973, training on NED and then the Levels, and reaching OT III in 1986, the year Bert started in Scientology. We married in 1989 and started our own company. Since then Lynne has reached OT V and three L’s and Bert made it to OT IV.
Over the years we put off getting new cars and beautiful houses, instead donating our way to the levels of Patron Meritorious in the IAS, Double Cornerstone in the Super Power Project and Triple Humanitarian for the Seattle Ideal Org. We helped CCHR Seattle survive for decades, we worked as Volunteer Ministers and in various other church activities. We were told repeatedly that we were wonderful “Opinion Leaders,” especially during efforts to get more donations from us, but we were shunned instantly when we refused to toe the line!
You may wonder why we donated so much, may even think we were crazy to do so. Did we do it for the “statuses?” Absolutely not! Our purpose in donating was to HELP. We really thought that we were helping others, helping those less fortunate, helping protect freedoms. It made all the personal sacrifices less significant. Imagine the betrayal we felt after coming to see the fraud and human rights abuses so rampant in virtually everything involving the church!
What did we experience that brought us to the point of making this open declaration?
- Finding out that Lynne’s son in the Sea Org would no longer be allowed to have children, and having to turn a blind eye to the fact that this was a direct violation of what LRH said about balancing the dynamics.
- Being made to feel guilty about doing anything in life but what was “approved” by the church.
- Forced disconnection from Lynne’s non-Scientologist daughter in 2001 until we saw the truth in 2009.
- Inquisition-like ethics cycles at Flag with two MAAs reading the meter, baiting and badgering and then threatening expulsion for being upset with an MAA.
- Completely botched Clear cycle for Lynne’s daughter, costing tens of thousands of dollars and many years of upset, with literally zero actual care, handling, or results from CC, Flag and AOLA.
- The death of a dedicated staff member resulting in her being denigrated for abandoning her post and “pulling it in.” This person was one of the most helpful, gracious people who’d ever been on staff and everyone in the area loved her. The attitude that when something bad happens to you, it means you are a bad person, was drilled in over many years.
- Experiencing the difference in Auditing before and after the “golden age of tech” and the redefinition of an F/N; generally the difference between “win” and “no-win.” (Though as LRH says, some wins came through from the actual tech, despite the alterations.)
- SP declares on Lynne’s son and his wife for blowing the SO despite going back and completing a proper routing out cycle, leading to years of disconnection and more tens of thousands in dollars of expense in “handling.”
- Non-stop “Crush Regging” for Money.
- Lynne being treated by the Flag Rep as if she were a piece of property to be commandeered and shipped to Flag like freight.
- An OT Eligibility cycle from HELL for Bert.
- The Basics insanity – financial irregularities with the way our accounts were handled in order to “sell” Basics (we ended up with 10 sets in our basement.)
- After donating $300,000 to the Seattle Ideal Org, we were treated like enemies because we are friends with Tony & Marie-Joe Dephillips – resulting in being denied entrance to the Grand Opening. (See attachment of communication exchange that took place)
- In spite of the promise, in writing, that anyone who donated $5000 or more to the Seattle Ideal Org would have their names on a memorial plaque, our names were deliberately omitted! (See photo attachment.)
- Having all our Scientologist employees quit, including Lynne’s son and his wife, and Scientologist customers stop doing business with our company, because we would not fire Lynne’s daughter for speaking out.
- Being essentially “disconnected from” by Lynne’s son and his wife because we woke up.
Each of the above bulleted items has a long story full of church blunders and other wonders. Feel free to email us for details.
What finally woke us up? The SP Times article was too much to confront at first for Lynne. So she checked out what the church had to say instead. When Tommy Davis asserted that he had affidavits from 22 people that one person had beaten 50 people over a period of years, she immediately thought of the HCOPL “Knowledge Reports” where it says a group that allows such behavior is an out-ethics group. With a gasp she realized that Int Management was an out-ethics group!
Looking up more of Tommy Davis, she heard him lie about there being no such thing as disconnection – after all the disconnection we had gone through! That was like having a bomb dropped on her. Communicating all this to Bert, it turned out that he had already seen enough. After this we were willing to look at anything and evaluate it without the bias that had been inculcated in us over the years. Yes we saw plenty of falsehoods in the anti-church data, but we were finally exercising our right to look for ourselves and to determine for ourselves what was true. And too much of it was true, to be ignored any longer.
Why are we speaking up? Our purpose to help others is very much alive, in spite of these experiences. We still donate to charities that help orphans, the elderly and cats.
We want others in the local field to know that there is someone here to talk to. If anyone under the radar contacts us we will keep their info private until they wish to disclose it.
Now having had a review in the independent field, and an ethics program (NOT the MAA-punishment-to-protect-the-church-from-you-evil-beings type of action, but instead a true program that helps one regain certainty of self-worth,) Lynne wants to assure others that their eternity and their bridge progress are not in jeopardy if they leave the church.
We both feel that no one can force another to stand up and be counted because everybody has their own situation, just as we did. But we hope that our announcement will help inspire others to work through those situations so that they too can stand up.
Most Sea Org members and Staff members are incredible people, who also really want to help. We feel sorry for those people. They are sacrificing so much in their own lives in order to live up to the expectations of upper mis-management. There is so much that needs to be corrected, most of which we have experienced or observed for ourselves: controlled communication, enforced disconnection, forced abortions, unlawful imprisonment, human-trafficking, and demanding huge sums of money from parishioners under false pretexts. These and all other abuses perpetrated by the church must CEASE!
It is interesting that we’re now a family in a group of people with many different viewpoints on the tech and life, and we tolerate them all, just as we should have all along, instead of insisting that only one viewpoint was allowed. Lynne loved her training and wouldn’t trade the gains of going clear for the world. Bert, on the other hand, had some very discouraging experiences, and does not want to have anything further to do with organized religion. Among the large group of those who’ve left the church in the Seattle area, we know people with an even wider range of viewpoints than this, yet now we all get along.
Oh, and in case anyone from the church is reading this, WE WANT OUR MONEY BACK!
Below are our email addresses. We would be glad to help anyone in Seattle or elsewhere. Any OSA-troll or threatening emails will be submitted to the FBI to help their investigation of the church and for individual prosecution under applicable federal laws regarding harassment, hate mail, stalking, etc.
Bert Schippers & Lynne Hoverson
Seattle, WA, USA
The link below is the email, phone and text message exchange between Bert and Chris Finn, the non-staff, non-HCO lead fundraiser who tried to get us to disconnect from Tony & Marie-Joe DePhillips.
Below is a photo of the Seattle Ideal Org memorial donations plaque. Our names should be listed under the Silver Humanitarians/Excalibur heading. However, they are missing!