While we have been out of the Church of Scientology since about 1998, and have been on the Indy 500 list since just after its inception, we have not told our story until now.
Vic did the Comm Course in 1968 at ASHO, and his first event was the grand opening of the first Celebrity Center, hosted by Heber and Yvonne Jentzsch. We met in Chico in 1974 and Vicki was introduced to Scientology in 1976. Vic went on staff at the Chico Mission in 1977 and we were married later that year. We moved to Sacramento so Vic could work with the GO (Guardians Office) as a volunteer working on various social reform programs including Citizen’s Commission on Human Rights, and American Citizens for Honesty in Government. Vicki worked as an RN supporting the family financially while Vic was working with these groups.
We moved off lines around the time that the Mission Network was crushed and de-dinging started and did not get back on lines until these activities had ceased.
With law suits and other threats creating very serious problems for the church, Vic joined staff at the Sacramento Org working in the local DSA (Director of Special Affairs) office there doing PR and then became the Director of Special Affairs (local org Office of Special Affairs rep ). He was one of the first fully hatted DSAs . Vicki continued to support their family by working full time as an RN while working part time in the DSA office. Vic was frequently fired out by OSA across the country on missions to handle a variety of situations. Vicki kept the home fires burning while managing her job, the kids, and the finances, as well as being part time on staff.
In 1989, Vic was recruited to work in a special unit dedicated to keeping the churches open under increasing IRS pressure. One of the outcomes of this unit was the establishment of Citizens for an Alternative Tax System (CATS), a group working to replace the federal income tax with a national sales tax. While working as the ED of CATS, he lived in crew berthing in LA on the Pac Base for a year while Vicki took on his DSA post in Sacramento. This was a particularly trying time for the family as Vic was in LA, and Vicki was supporting the family financially by working full time as a nurse, managing the kids, the house, and holding the Director of Special Affairs post (winning the Birthday Game many weeks).
With all of this going on, Vicki was crush regged at the org after she got off post to put a second mortgage on our house. This went into the late night hours on more than one occasion even though she had to be back at work very early in the morning as a nurse. And when she replaced herself with new staff on two separate occasions, so she could move to LA to be with Vic, SO recruiters ripped them off, as well as our 12 year-old son. After about a year of this situation, Vicki and our daughter moved to LA to be with Vic and be closer to our son, who was now stationed on the PAC Base.
While life was better after that, it was becoming obvious that all was not well in the church.
One of the first big negative indicators was when Vic was asked to go up to the church’s international headquarters to do a video with David Miscavige promoting LRH’s idea of a national sales tax to replace the income tax. He noticed that the staff at Golden Era Productions, where the video was filmed, was in pretty much a constant state of fear. It was obvious who they feared and caused warning bells to go off for Vic. Also the clearance checks which were required for Vic to go up to Gold were very weird; imbedded with questions which seemed paranoid to be blunt.
In order to meet the corporate requirements (IRS provisos making substantial political activity a disqualifying factor for church tax-exempt status) for such blatant political/economic reform activity, CATS needed to operate independently of the church. It was a constant battle to keep CATS activity off of OSA social reform lines. OSA Social Reform, and even the PR Bureau execs kept wanting to count the production of CATS (e.g. media interviews done, political allies made, etc.) as part of the PR and/or social reform network of groups. This seemed silly since it would collapse CATS into the church and create yet another IRS tax code violation.
With the end of the battle for church religious organization exemption, an IRS-COS settlement was announced at an event in Los Angeles. At the end of the event Vic was approached by then Deputy CO OSA INT Linda Hamil about whether he wanted to drop CATS or continue on with it. In large part because he realized it would be a way to move further off church lines, Vic indicated that he wanted to continue with CATS.
With a move from LA to the DC area, Vic and Vicki were able to find an LRH HCOB which allowed them to get their son routed out of the SO and he joined them on the east coast. By 2002 they had faded into the background and had only occasional contact from church officials (usually from OSA). The only exception to this was the myriad of blocked calls from church staffers trying to sell us the Basic book packages.
After this gradual withdrawal from the church, our entire family began to live happier and more productive lives. It wasn’t until June 2009 that we suddenly started getting numerous calls per week, and even per day. Vic started to wonder what was going on and did an internet search and found Marty’s and Mike Rinder’s interviews and the St. Petersburg Times article, “The Truth Rundown.” Shortly after that both Vicki and Vicki registered on Steve Hall’s Indie 500 list – numbers 71 and 72 we’re proud to say.
Now we savor our freedom and enjoy our children and their children as they lead happy busy lives.
So many amazing people have helped us on our journey out of the darkness which has become the cult of scientology. In addition to Marty and Mike, their wives Mosey and Christie, Steve Hall and Jim Logan, we have also had wonderful support from our dear friends Ken and Yvonne Schick. And there are many more in the indie movement who have given us encouragement.
And a recent trip we both made to visit with Mosey and Marty at Casablanca Tejas has made the present even more enjoyable.
We wish this freedom and joy for all of our friends still in the church’s clutches. Yet we understand that some may not be able to confront becoming free or are trapped in one of the many mind games the church currently uses as a substitute for actual LRH technology applied with the intention to help.
Finally, it doesn’t matter whether you are a church member, independent scientologist , or former all-of-the above, Marty and Mosey, Mike and Christie, Ken and Yvonne, and Steve Hall and so many others are there to help folks on their road to freedom, despite whatever obstacles may be placed in their paths. And for this we are particularly grateful.