Possibly Helpful Advice


Finding your way after leaving the cult of Scientology

Have you checked your CofS account balance lately?

Willing to Confront Anything? :-[   –   not for the squeamish

If you have not been checking your account balance regularly, you may be in for an unpleasant surprise. Increasing numbers of readers have discovered that their accounts have been debited for purchases they did not authorize.

In some cases, the account was totally cleaned out by staff members trying to meet impossible book sales quotas.

Desperate staff resort to unusual solutions when they are put under pressure to “make things go right” and there are no resources to draw on. This is not a new situation as I have experienced it myself in dealing with Sea Org terminals at various times since the mid 1980s.

It seems however that the level of staff  criminality has grown enormously in the past few years as the pressure from the IAS and Int Management has increased. This may be one of the reasons for the continuing staff defections, as staff members are basically decent people who start out at least with the idea that they are helping people. Once they start committing overts and false reporting to avoid being punished, they enter a dwindling spiral from which there is no retreat.

If you have distanced yourself from church activities but have resisted asking for repayment of your unused account balance because you were afraid of the consequences, you may want to rethink your decision. Too many people in your position are finding out that their account balances have been illegally withdrawn without authorization.

If you are afraid that your request for an account balance update will trigger an investigation, call your bookstore officer and order something you can use like Science of Survival and get an account update while you are at it.

I welcome your feedback because I think this practice is more widespread than anyone realizes. So far, I have not heard reports of any org where this has not happened. It would be a relief to know that some orgs are handling your accounts honestly.

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10 Comments

Centurion  on September 26th, 2010

I can attest to such theft.

As way back as late 1990, I had a reg a CC Int in LA charge my American Express $2000 without my consent. I reported it to Amex as an error, and not a crime, as I knew I would be in big trouble if I reported it as fraudulent. AMEX reversed the charge once they found out it was the Church of Scientology. And the finance people at CC threatened me with legal if I did not pay off the $2000 that was reversed. I didnt know what to do. I was weak and ineffective in those days and I did pay it off as part of payments towards my key to life LOC thing.

The staff member was RPF’d as a result, but still, it was a sign I should have paid more attention to, and not have been so lazy with my thinking.

Lesson learned.

Centurion

lunamoth  on September 27th, 2010

Centurian

The church threatened you with LEGAL? How would that work, btw? What absolute arrogance. Unbelievable.

Old Auditor, I’m so glad you are continuing to shine a light in this area. Embezzlement like this plain criminal and is likely to go unchecked because people are easily confused or intimidated about accounts, think they are the only one who this is happening to, or just plain can’t believe their own church is swindling them out of the money they’ve put aside for their bridge. By keeping this issue out on the table like this you will educate and thereby give support to many people who might not have done anything about his one their own. And public wising up and taking back their futures, their rights and their freedom to exercise them are what this is all about.

Margaret  on September 29th, 2010

Well Old Auditor, you once again have tuned into my world. It is just so interesting to read this posting tonight as I have experienced this very action at both the FSO and FSSO.

At the FSSO two years ago my account was totally wiped out and I just found it out by a fluck incident because of having a book sent to me that I didn’t order. It took 9 months and one heck of a lot of reports and finally the threat of going legal to handle it.

Anmd just last week I finally got a repayment check from the FSSO (after 7 months of constant emails). The check however was short $2500.

I wrote a not so polite email Field Control Sec regarding the shortage, since writing to the Chaplain has been a waste of time and got a reply within two days. The reply told me that my FSM (actually someone whom I have never met and have no clue who she is) had purchased some tapes for me. Gee, can you say fraud!

So, yesterday I wrote another not so polite email blasting off about the criminality of the cycle, stating off policies and demanding the return of my money.

I have no real hope at seeing it since they have already repaid most of my money and of course now that I am labeled an SP, but since I have nothing else to lose I’m going to keep sending emails.

Thanks again for all your help in the past.

KarmicKiss  on September 30th, 2010

Wow,

I love this website.

Are you fuming about funds being embezzled out of your account? I was too, but THEN I got MAD and decided to DO SOMETHING about it.

If the cult has communicated in any way about this to you using the US Mail (letters, invoices, statements, etc…) then You are the victim of US Federal Mail Fraud. This is a “go to jail” card by the way, with big nasty monetary penalties.

You can file a complaint on the website linked below, and have it discretely investigated by US Postal Inspectors, which are the Law Enforcement Arm of the US Postal Service. All this can be done in confidence, and the cult will not even know you have filed a complaint.

If the funds have already been embezzled out, then go to this website: https://postalinspectors.uspis.gov/
click on “postage or other mail fraud”
click on “mail fraud”
complete their form, for type of fraud, indicate “Harrassment” (Merchandise ordered w/o your consent).
Indicate the amount of funds deducted from your a/c (mine was in excess of $10,000.00), for any questions that you don’t know how to answer, just put “see explanation below” and explain the problem in the box provided. Fill out a separate complaint for each fraudulent transaction. Complaints have already been filed against Sandy Irgens @ AOLA and FLAG Services in Clearwater.

If these vultures are going to do the CRIME, then they are going to do the TIME.

Pericles  on October 2nd, 2010

Margaret,

Only refunds carry the SP Declare, not repayments.

OldAuditor  on October 2nd, 2010

Pericles,

I wonder where you get this misinformation?
You really need to catch up with what is going on.

My wife and I were declared for getting our refunds.
You can be declared in the Church of Miscavige for anything or nothing.
No Comm Ev is required.

Most of the people who have written me about repayments have been declared.
The rest just have not heard because declares are now kept “secret”.

Your declare is kept under lock and key in HCO where it is only pulled out to show
people that you are a source of Suppressive activity.

Synthia  on October 3rd, 2010

Hi Old Auditor,

The Chicago Org DOES NOT involve themselves in this type of criminality. I am not saying the staff there don’t buckle to suppression and do occasional questionable things but, they do not debit accounts without permission. Many, many KRs were written by our DFBO MORE for such fraudulent activity being perpetrated by mainly Flag adn ASHO. It is mostly a problem at the SO level. ASHO and Flag seem to be the worst with Flag being the worst simply because it has the most amount of money on account. I just wanted you to know that it didn’t happen at my local org. While in staff there, though, I witnessed gross criminality from Flag and ASHO. The IAS cannot take money off any org account. The IAS is separate. The IAS registration is always after new money.

lunamoth  on October 3rd, 2010

Pericles,

I’m sure you’re aware of the pointlessness of making the distinction between refunds and repayments. A good friend of mine was DECLARED
for not de-friending someone on facebook. I think
the days when you could point to policy on declares have long passed. It’s a whole new era, my friend.

lunamoth

Mary McConnell  on October 4th, 2010

Very important article, David! I read about it on exscn.net forum. I hope those ripped off follow your good advise. This criminal activity has to stop and every complaint will help.

plainoldthetan  on October 11th, 2010

I had my account at a PAC org drained of $7500 without my permission during the ACC fiasco. Yes, I was talking to a Materials Insultant at the time about ACCs, but I in no way authorized the debit of a set of ACCs.

Was I surprised one Monday morning when I opened my door and found 21 boxes of ACC lectures sitting there I hadn’t ordered.

Talk about pissing off the pope!

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