03 Aug 1998
[email protected] (Robert S. Minton)
Mr. Bob Minton c/o Dateline NBC, NBC News, 30 Rockefeller
Plaza, Room 510 New York, NY 10112
Dear Mr. Minton,
Thank you for appearing on Dateline with your crusade against the Church of Scientology. I was totally caught off guard as I watched Dateline. Your story came on and it was like a prayer had been answered. I actually sat and cried throughout the entire interview. Now, as you can see from the letterhead, I am a CPA and do not cry at the drop of a hat. This whole issue with the Church of Scientology is so emotional that it has practically torn me apart.
If you will allow me, I would like to tell you my story. About two years ago, in May of 1996, I received some literature from a management company by the name of Sterling Management in Glendale, California. Their \”pitch\” was to CPAs and they promised to assist them to be more profitable by showing them a way to operate their firms in a more efficient manner. I sent for the \”free\” video and listened to a two hour sales speech over the phone and it sounded real good. It cost $14,000 but, by using the technology of Scientology (of which I was totally unaware of at that time) , they convinced me that I had to do this or my business was in jeopardy. I signed on for a 10 day course in Glendale.
My husband and I arrived in Glendale on Memorial Day. Ahuda, my assigned staff person, met with us and brought out the result of the personality tests. I didn\’t know at that time that Scientology uses these tests as \”proof\” that there is something wrong which only auditing can correct. Ahuda proceeded to tell me that my test was the worst she had ever seen and the only hope I had was to receive immediate auditing. She told me that if I did not do this, my business would fail, my marriage would fail, and I would be bankrupt in no time at all! Keep in mind that I did not know Sterling Management was a front for Scientology.
If I had known that, I wouldn\’t have sent them a dime in the first place. Anyway, Ahuda totally devastated me. I know now that with the extensive personality tests, she knew exactly which of my \”buttons\” to push and, because she is an OT VIII, she did it extremely well. I couldn\’t believe the things she told me – that I was extremely negative, confrontational, and angry. Keep in mind that at this time I had a thriving CPA practice with clients who really liked me. I should have thought, how can this be true when I am such an awful person? Believe me, Ahuda had an answer for everything.
You probably aren\’t interested in all the gory details (if you are, I will give you any documentation or testimony you would like) so I Ill get to the bottom line. I signed up for introductory auditing (offered, of course, at a reasonable cost). The church had a special unit in Orange County which dealt only with professionals such as doctors, lawyers, CPAs, etc. I thought this sounded fine, not realizing that this meant they were better at getting deep into the psyche of the professional person. I went to Orange County in August of 1996 for a 10 day program.
By the 8th day my father was ready to fly down to rescue me because of the fact I had asked my broker (who also happened to be my brother, thank God) to transfer all my money into my bank account so I could withdraw it to give to the Church. We were talking over $60,000 and I was working on cashing out my husband\’s retirement funds as well. I had also agreed to max out all my credit cards. Keep in mind that I am very much a fiscal conservative and this is as far out of character as it could possibly be. When the interviewer asked you if the people who were unhappy with Scientology may have been mentally fragile, you can use my case as a resounding NO! – at least not until I had been exposed to a week of brain washing.
Anyway, bottom line, I ended up losing about $10, 000 in cash plus about $10, 000 in credit card debt in this fiasco (in addition to the $14,000 1 had given Sterling Management). I am still trying to recover financially, but the worst thing was the collapse of my 20+ year marriage. My husband decided he could no longer trust me and I\’m not convinced that someone didn\’t get hold of him and fill him with lies about me. That would be in character for the Church. My family still looks at me like I\’m possessed by a demon and I feel like such a fool.
Thank you so much for appearing on Dateline and taking the time to listen to my sad story. I have felt so alone and frightened and you are a huge inspiration to me. God Bless you.
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