Freedom Magazine - Investigative Reporting in the Public Interest, presented by the Church of Scientology Freedom Magazine - Investigative Reporting in the Public Interest, presented by the Church of Scientology
Search the Church of Scientology Freedom Magazine Site Contact the editor of Freedom Magazine, presented by the Church of Scientology Site Map for this Freedom Magazine, presented by the Church of Scientology Presented by the Church of Scientology
Church of Scientology's Freedom Magazine Homepage
What’s New? on the Official Scientology Sites
Videos - presented by Freedom Magazine, published by the Church of Scientology
Scientology Related Sites
Your View

 Published by the Church of Scientology International

Revisiting the Jonestown tragedy
Page    1  |   2  |   3  |   4  |   5  |   6  |   7  |   8  |   9  |   10  |   11  |   12  |   13  |   14  |   15  |   16  |   17  |   18  |   19  |   20  |   21  |   22  |   23  |   24  |  


The Real Cult continued

Prisons as Laboratories

     Jolly West, however, moved on. In keeping with intelligence proposals to use prisons as experimental laboratories, he drafted a plan for Atascadero State Hospital in California, which involved the use of electric shock and drugs in what was called “aversion therapy.”

     In the 1960s, West could be found in the Haight-Ashbury section of San Francisco doing more LSD experiments, this time within the nascent hippie community.

     Another West project in the late 1960s and early 1970s was the Center for the Study and Reduction of Violence. He proposed to establish one center at a remote, abandoned Nike missile base in the Santa Monica Mountains, in keeping with earlier plans by the CIA to set up “mind-control” stations off the beaten path, where experimentation could be carried out free from such concerns as “human rights.”

     West’s plans for such centers were the subject of hearings by the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary in 1974, whose members were particularly alarmed at reports that West planned to test radical forms of behavior modification, including psychotropic drugs, electric shock and chemical castration—particularly on minority citizens.

     Other sites selected for West’s violence centers were Vacaville, Camarillo and Atascadero State Hospitals in California. It has been documented that CIA drug and radiation experiments took place at Vacaville.

     Yet another study that West called for was clearly aimed at intelligence agency application: remote monitoring and behavioral control. His plan was to use psychiatric electric shock and other means to remotely control human behavior by computer.


     West remains tight-lipped about these and other experiments and past activities that are under examination by Freedom.

Anti-religious writings by psychologist Margaret Singer furnished a veneer of justification for the violent “deprogramming” activities of Steven Hassan and such felons as Ted Patrick, Galen Kelly and others.

     Walter Bowart, author of Operation Mind Control, described West as “perhaps the chief advocate of mind control in America today. From his participation in the development of brainwashing techniques for the U.S. Air Force to his involvement in the CIA’s famous MK Ultra projects, West has figured so prominently in the research and development of the invisible war that his public career appears like a carefully constructed espionage ‘cover.’”

     Between 1974 and 1989, West received at least $5,110,099 in grants from the government, channeled through the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), a major conduit for CIA programs.

     Today, West advocates psychiatric drugs to treat virtually everything, holding that “the drug-free state of mind” is an “antiquated position.”

     Throughout his career, he has sought to advance covert control of individuals and whole populations through his work with the intelligence community, and, of course, the cult of psychiatry.

Nowhere to Turn

     When West’s longtime cohort, psychologist Margaret Singer, submitted a report on her theories to the American Psychological Association’s Board of Ethical and Social Responsibility for Psychology, the board found her work and that of the Task Force she chaired to be worthless: “In general, the report lacks the scientific rigor and evenhanded critical approach needed for APA imprimatur.”

     Indeed the board was sufficiently motivated to warn her not to claim that it had approved the report—an unusual stipulation one would presume had been made because the board suspected that Singer might twist the board’s statements out of context.

     The board stated: “The Board cautions the Task Force members against using their past appointment to imply BSERP or APA support or approval of the positions advocated in the report. BSERP requests the Task Force members not distribute or publicize the report without indicating that the report was unacceptable to the Board.”

     In addition to rejecting Singer’s report outright, the APA joined 23 religious scholars in endorsing a position contrary to Singer’s “coercive persuasion” theory in an amicus brief before the California Supreme Court. Federal and state courts have likewise spurned her theories.


     While Singer’s “coercive persuasion” theory has been debunked, for some years beforehand she was able to peddle it from court to court. It has been estimated that in their heyday, she and colleague Richard Ofshe earned hundreds of thousands of dollars as “expert” witnesses.

     And while Singer’s methodology as a “scientist” has been rejected, she has nevertheless received many additional hundreds of thousands of dollars in research grants from the NIMH. For one study, she received $212,968 in NIMH funds over a four-year period. Hundreds of thousands more were granted through other entities, such as the Wright Institute, Rochester University and the Langley-Porter Neuro-psychiatric Institute.

     It was from the mid-1970s to the early 1980s that Singer published the majority of her anti-religious papers containing the theory that presented a veneer of justification to the violent “deprogramming” activities of Steven Hassan and such felons as Ted Patrick, Galen Kelly and others.

     Singer’s slipshod accounting methods and her failure to keep others appraised of her activities were questioned by Philip Sapir of the W.T. Grant Foundation.

     Sapir stated, “I assure that if you can write 55 pages of application material to the NIMH, you can squeeze out five or ten pages for us, telling us where you are in your research (that we are supporting), and what you promise to do, during the extended period of time, i.e., something a little more than the 6 1/2-line paragraph in your letter. I am sorry to take you away from your work, but that’s the way it is.”

“Junk Science”

     The Stangel case, described at the start of this article, in which sociologist Richard Ofshe’s self-styled expertise was used in an unsuccessful defense, illustrates the kaleidoscopic careers of these “authorities” in mind-control, coercive persuasion, repressed memory and now false confessions.

     Fringe theories, otherwise labeled “junk science in the courtroom” by lawyer and writer Peter W. Huber, lend themselves to being easily renamed and hawked as something else.

     While Singer and Ofshe sold their theories to whoever would buy, and while West engaged in “mind-control” projects to turn people into mindless robots who followed orders without question, an anti-religious protege of all three, Steven Hassan, applied their work to violent deprogrammings.

     One of Hassan’s victims, Arthur Roselle, then a member of the Unification Church, was kidnapped by Hassan in Michigan. Roselle, who is today 47 years old and a banker, stated in a sworn declaration:

     “When I first tried to escape from my kidnappers, they seized my arms and threw me down to the floor. This caused me to hit the tile floor with my chin and cheek. As a result, I received a cut on the inside of my lower lip and bruises on my chin and right cheek bone. My hands and feet were then tied and I was carried into a small room and placed on a cot. Professional deprogrammers Steven Hassan and Ellen Lloyd then began working in shifts to forcibly deprogram me away from my chosen religious beliefs.

     “During the entire first three days of my kidnapping and false imprisonment, I was tied up ... and I was not allowed to sleep.

     “When the deprogramming started, I decided not to speak or eat. After two days of not speaking or eating, Steven Hassan threatened to subject me to a series of shots.

     “[He] insulted me and humiliated me as a person. I felt like a captured animal in a zoo. ... The circulation in my hands was cut off because my hands had been tightly tied behind my back for the entire time. Both of my hands were badly swollen and were the color of a bruise.

     “During the first three days, I was always escorted to the bathroom while my hands were still bound and tied. I was not washed or shaved. With help, I was able to urinate into a pot. Due to the embarrassment of being watched at all times, I did not allow myself to defecate.”

     Following this unsuccessful deprogramming attempt, Roselle described the experience in an affidavit. Hassan later pressured Roselle’s parents to try to persuade Roselle to withdraw the true affidavit and sign a false one written by Hassan that exonerated him.

     In Roselle’s words, “The proposed affidavit that Steven Hassan wants me to sign is not truthful. It has many false statements, including quotes as follows, ’... there was never any time that Mr. Hassan kidnapped me, beat me, sleep-deprived me, threatened to inject me with a series of shots, or treated me unkindly or inhumanely, Mr. Hassan ... treated me with compassion and integrity.”

     Roselle refused to sign Hassan’s affidavit. “Steven Hassan now wants me to commit perjury by falsely signing,” he stated, “attesting and swearing that his proposed affidavit is true. He wants me to commit perjury so that he can use a false affidavit in court to help his current legal case. I will not do this.”

     When Hassan, associated with many other deprogramming efforts, sought to make the transition to “expert,” yet another judicial decision came out against the “experts” in “mind control.” A Massachusetts judge initially stated that Hassan might qualify as an expert on a single issue. On closer review, however, Justice Christina Harms ruled Hassan did not qualify. She withdrew Hassan’s preferred status, stating his views were “not sufficiently accepted within the applicable scientific community to constitute an area of expertise.”

     While professionals and the courts today reject pseudo-experts such as Steven Hassan, Richard Ofshe, Margaret Singer and Louis West, these individuals have nevertheless done inestimable harm to religion, law and justice in America over the last 25 years. It is time for the media to move away from their lies and into a recognition that the real “cult” is the one these “experts” embrace: that of those who will do anything for money.

     For accurate information on religions, write: Cult Awareness Network, 117 South Cook Street, Suite 354, Chicago, Illinois 60010. Or call (800) 556-3055. End

Previous Page of Freedom Magazine, presented by the Church of Scientology Next Page of Freedom Magazine, presented by the Church of Scientology
Top of the page
Previous | Scientology Glossary | Contents | Next |
| Your view | Scientology Related Sites | Bookstore | Church of Scientology Freedom Magazine |
Freedom Magazine, published by the Church of Scientology
© 1997-2008 Church of Scientology International. All Rights Reserved. For Trademark Information on Scientology Services.