Possibly Helpful Advice


Finding your way after leaving the cult of Scientology

CofS Repayments – Get your unused account balances returned

(This is a summation of posts,  comments, and emails I have written to help people get their money back from the CofS. It is long because it addresses the many questions I have been asked about getting money back from the CofS. It has worked reliably for everyone who asked me for help. Just follow the steps I have outlined.)

If you have decided that you are no longer interested in getting services from the Church of Scientology, you have the option of getting your unused money on account returned.

When you first decide to leave the church, this may be the farthest thing from your mind as you are probably more interested on putting distance between yourself and those attacking you for your actions. However, sooner or later, as you build a new life outside the church, you will realize that you can really use that money that you have sitting on account.

This post explains the strategies which have been successful in getting the CofS to return your money that is currently sitting in your account.

This post does not address getting money back from IAS donations, partially used intensives, or incomplete courses as those actions will require you to show that you were not delivered what you paid for. People have gotten money back under these circumstances, but they usually had to resort to legal actions. Read ESMB for accounts of how these situations were addressed.

Getting Repayments from the Church of Scientology is covered in two Policy Letters:

Refund Policy 23 October 1963 and Refunds and Repayments 9 November 1974R.

Here are the important parts to remember:

A Repayment is a return of money without the service being taken.

Both Refunds and Repayments are covered by the policies I have listed.

Here are the key milestones in your Repayment cycle:

  1. Signing a Release and Waiver and getting it witnessed
  2. Approval by the Claims Verification Board
  3. Getting your repayment request into the weekly FP so it can be approved.
  4. Getting the check and sharing the good news with the rest of us.

How to get your money back

1. Decide that you are going to ask to have your unused money on account returned to you.

2. Be willing to accept the idea that you will no longer be eligible for services from the CofS and will be Declared as a Suppressive Person. You will probably not receive notice of your Declare, but your Scientology friends will be told and the squad of toadies that watches FaceBook will send emails to all of your FaceBook Friends saying that they must “de-friend” you.

3. Find out how much money you have on account at your org. Call the Treas Sec and if you cannot reach that person, call the bookstore officer and tell them you are considering ordering some books off your account and need to know what your current account balance is.

4. Email the chaplain at your org and tell them that you are no longer interested in getting services and want the balance of your money on account back immediately. Here is an example of my initial email to the Freewinds:

—–Original Message—–

Sent: Monday, December 14, 2009 4:38 PM

To: “Freewinds”

Subject: Repayment of Unused Money on Account – Kea Verweij

I wish to request repayment of the unused money I have on account.

I will not be returning to do any further services.

Here is the last information I received:

Current balance on FSSO account: $8,074.75

Current balance on FWSO account: $1,922.50

Who is the terminal I should communicate with to handle the repayment of my unused account balances?

Please send me all necessary forms to accomplish the repayment.

Here is my contact information:

David St Lawrence

Address, town, State, Zip

Phone: xxx-xxx-xxxx

I would appreciate a timely response.

Thanks,
David St Lawrence

4. The only terminal who can handle your cycle is the Chaplain in most orgs or the KOT at Flag.

Do not bother contacting HCO, the Treas Sec, your brother in the HGC, or OSA. If you are dealing with Flag, email the KOT, Bob Bolger, who handles these cycles.

Unless you know the Chaplain personally do not bother calling, they will usually not respond. Do not bother sending snail mail unless you do not have email access. Try to send all communications via email and keep your communications very simple and to the point.

Avoid anger or sarcasm. Your comm should resemble a proper Knowledge report: just the facts with as little human emotion and reaction as you can manage.

5.  If they ask you to come in for an interview and an ARCX handling, tell them there is nothing you want handled and you have no intention of ever doing any services again.

They will say you have to come in and do a Claims Verification Board (CVB) routing form.  This is not true. You did not do a routing form to put the money on account and you will not have to do the routing form to get your money back.

Make it clear that no matter what else they send you, they are to send you a a Release and Waiver to sign.

Eventually they will send you a packet of information which should include the CVB routing form, a checksheet for you, a staff checksheet for handling the cycle, and a copy of the Release and Waiver form for that org.

6. In some cases, they will send you this package with no other information. FSSO does this as they are not very helpful.

Read steps – 7 through 16 of these instructions and follow them as slosely as possible.

Here are the Nitty Gritty Details on Getting Your Money Back with the Least Effort

7. Lay out the materials and set aside the CVB routing form and the your checksheet for handling this cycle. Read them later. You will not be following them unless you really want to go back in the org and get worked over and Sec Checked at your own expense.

8. Read the Release and Waiver and make sure you understand it. The standard form has no gotchas in it or gag orders. It is pretty straight forward. Sign it and get it witnessed or notarized depending on the form you are sent. Make sure that your amounts on account are accurate and you may want to list accommos and service accounts separately. Take a photo of the signed agreement and attach it to the email in the next step. If you do not have email, you will have to send the form with a letter as described in step 9.

9. Write a short email reiterating what you said in your first request. Keep it simple because these people are extremely PTS and cannot handle complex communications. Do not get into your past upsets and how mean they were. This is not the time to deal with that. What you want to communicate is that there is no necessity for any handling, you are long past that and only want your money back.

Keep it simple. Here is an example:

I no longer feel that the CofS can deliver what I paid for and want that money back.

I have $XXX in my services account and $YYY in my accommodations account.

I want the money returned immediately and I do not wish to come to the org and do a routing.

According to the IRS-CofS agreement, I am entitled to get my money back and I don’t expect to have to get a lawyer to press suit in order to accomplish that.

I have attached a signed and witnessed Release and Waiver Form. Please send this and any other necessary paperwork to the Claims Verification   Board immediately. (This is the most important part of the email. You can send this and leave the rest off if you choose.)

10. You will probably get a response to your letter promptly as this email is a particle they can confront.

When they respond, ask if the forms have been sent to the CVB yet. Read the staff checklist and keep the pressure on them every week.

This may sound extreme, but you must realize these staff members are under extreme pressure and many are double posted so they get dispersed easily and will forget your cycle as soon as the next emergency hits.

11. Ask only ONE question per email. That is as much as most can handle before getting dispersed.
12. Use Tone 40 with high ARC. Do not attack the terminal, just exert continuous good control. When they do something you ask for, give them an ack. They do not get many and they are quite appreciative.

Do not expect to get intelligent responses from every org. The Chaplain at FSSO is well drilled on providing cheerful no-answer answers. In twenty email exchanges, I received little useful information on where the cycle stood until someone on the ship told me that the check was approved. Your experience may be different.

On the other hand, Bob Bolger the KOT at Flag is a consumate professional. Once you get in touch with him, he makes sure that you have the information you need at every point in the cycle. Flag repayment cycles were generally fast and hassle-free. FSSO cycles took the longest of any org.

If you start getting nonsensical replies, escalate to a higher terminal and continue keeping the pressure up for data on where your cycle is and why is it taking so long. You may get no response from uplines, but your Chaplain will become more cooperative.

If you have a working relationship with a lawyer do not hesitate to copy him on important emails. You will probably get a nervous response from a legal terminal in the CofS saying this will delay the cycle. It probably will hasten the cycle.

13. Follow the steps on the Staff checklist if you were sent one and query where your cycle is at least once a week. If you didn’t get a Staff Checklist with your information pack, keep on querying these key milestones in your cycle until your cycle is complete:

  1. Signing a Release and Waiver and getting it witnessed – did they receive it?
  2. Approval by the Claims Verification Board
  3. Getting your repayment request into the weekly FP so it can be approved.
  4. Getting the check and sharing the good news with the rest of us.

Any questions and suggestions: oldauditor@possiblyhelpfuladvice.com

Number of views:131704

19 Comments

Centurion  on May 21st, 2010

Excellent information, David.

This will come in extra handy for me in the coming months as I prepare to depart publicly.

Centurion

Samuel  on May 21st, 2010

Thank you for this extremely valuable data.

Chris  on July 24th, 2010

Hello,

My name is Chris. I was a Scientologist involved in church services for 25 years. For about 12 years of this, I was receiving “CCRD setups”. This included one auditor literally falling asleep, telling me all about his sexual escapades during sessions, etc. I changed orgs but was not able to complete the countless years of CCRD setups so that I could receive my CCRD. I could not train during this time as the CS said I could not do the Pro TR’s course clay table auditing until I completed my CCRD. I tried my best, submitted LRH tech showing the out-tech, did knowledge reports, and nothing productive came of it. Watching this sad decline of the church and getting nowhere myself, I finally pullled the plug and called it quits. I don’t fell I am an ex-Scientologist, but rather a Scientologist that does not want to associate with a corrupt, out-tech group – the church.

So, in February of this year (2010) I initiated a repayment to get my money back from the church. I started with getting a full accounting of my funds on account. I received a complete list of debits and credits over the last 10 years. It totaled $12,348.35 and I was informed “and that has been the stable balance since Dec of ’08.” (Their accounting is missing a Pro Tr’s course as well.)

So, I started my repayment cycle. After five months of active, almost daily communication and lots of forms filled out, etc. I was told I had zero money in my account. Seems the church wiped my account clean with sending out materials without my knowledge or authorization. They even gave out materials to someone else and debited my account, telling me that I knew him, (which I did) and he said it was ok. I asked them if they had anything in writing, and of course they do not. The church said they have to get back their materials back before they give me any money. Of course, that is their problem, but they are refusing to give me back my money. I informed them that I was going to initiate a lawsuit if they do not fulfill their obligation. There has been no response. I will be suing for fraud as well.

repayment  on November 11th, 2010

i got my money back about 15,000 but it took calling them once a week for 1.5 years. i didn’t use the above method, did it the long route. only thing i can advise is to be very friendly with the chaplain or point of contacts because if you are a bit angry or unfriendly they will just prolong the process for you.

The Sun  on February 4th, 2011

Thanks for the valubale data. I have sent off my repayment request to Flag today and will let you know how it goes. Having been “on the other side” of this line before, my experience is that legal threats, made without HE&R are effective in expediting it along. I certainly don’t intend dragging it out 1.5 years like the previous writer! I would imagine the demand on these lines is huge due to the amount of squirrel tech delivered at Flag these days, so indicating that you wouldn’t hesitate to elevate the request with outside agencies such as the Office of the Attorney general is likely to speed things up, IMHO.

Scott  on August 2nd, 2011

The only suggestion I might make to this excellent data is to include, somewhere, the comment that if your money is not repaid with the same rapidity with which it was taken, you would, reluctanctly, have to conclude that the Org is insolvent and that it would be appropriate to take legal action to place it into Involuntary Chapter 7.

Scott  on September 25th, 2011

Well, I asked for my unspent money back from the D.C. Foundation on July 7th (if memory serves). By my calculations I was owed $16,800.00 … which the Org had promised to verify for me two or three weeks earlier, but which I never received. So, in a little while, I get a call from Stephen Lower, the Chaplain of the D.C. Foundation, and he wants to engage me in conversation, to which I say, in effect, I appreciate your efforts, but I just want my money back. I think the last time he tried responded to my calls/faxes/emails was right around the first week in August, 2011. I then wrote again about three or four weeks ago. No answer. Today I sent him, as well as Liz Clapp, the ED of the D.C. Foundation, and Cara Golashesky, the Flag Justice Chief, text messages asking them “Where is my money?” (They all know me well, by the way, so they know what I am referring to.) No answer from the FJC, no answer from the ED of the D.C. Foundation, and all the Chaplain says is “You have to contact the DSA.” Which of course, is out-tech.

It would be my supposition that the D.C. Foundation is insolvent and cannot pay its bills.

princess  on July 25th, 2012

who is the chaplain at COS celebrity centre internation at 5930 franklin avenue, hollywood Ca 90028. Do you know this person’s email address?

OldAuditor  on July 25th, 2012

Looked up the Celebrity Center on the Internet. Here are ways you can contact them: Tel: 323-960-3100
E-mail: ccint@scientology.net

You send the email to Chaplain Celebrity Center International

HCO will read it and hopefully forward it. They screen all mail.

You do not need the Chaplains name because they get demoted or sent to other posts quite frequently. Send your letters and email to the post of Chaplain.

D'Anne  on August 15th, 2012

Do you know who the current KOT of Flagg is? What email I should send my request for Repayment of Unused Money on Account to? Thank you for your help.

Joleen le Roux  on September 16th, 2013

I am trying to get some comm to Flag for a repayment of unused funds but cannot get anyone in the church to give me the email address for the KOT or the Chaplain. Can anyone help me please.

PlainOldThetan  on September 17th, 2013

The church goes out of comm when you try to get refunds. One of the convenient ways they do that is to neglect e-mail. One way that seems to work is to send a piece of surface mail to Flag with a DELIVERY RECEIPT requested (never never send it Certified Mail as there is church policy about refusing it).
When you write your letter, note in it that you are sending a copy to your attorney via certified mail. The delivery receipt will convince them that you mean business and are keeping records. The certified mail to your attorney will also convince them of that. Do not sign any waivers or releases. Do not do any routing forms. Those are just delaying tactics employed by the church in order to deny you your repayment, and are only used for the church’s benefit, not the parishioner’s. Just demand your money back. Good old TR-3. After four or five attempts, have your attorney send them a letter with a DELIVERY RECEIPT request attached.

“The church goes out of comm when you try to get refunds.” It’s how the church visibly dramatizes withholding. Withholds, of course, come after overts.

Good luck.

aldeboni  on December 15th, 2013

PlainOldThetan .. nice to get your Tips for repayment and Refund .. need that and looked for such Help ..

When you say: “The church goes out of comm when you try to get refunds.” It’s how the church visibly dramatizes withholding. Withholds, of course, come after overts.

There is something more about, much more important .. withholds and overts comes after Failed Help ..

Lisa Goosen  on December 15th, 2013

Thank you for this. We have unfortunately hit a brick wall of no communication from the church and so will have to end up in the legal route. Do you have any advice on a good attorney to use for this repayment cycle? Can we report the CofS to the IRS for non repayment???

PlainOldThetan  on December 15th, 2013

Part of the “church’s” effort to gain 501(c)(3) tax exemption was the proffer of “proof” that the “church” refunds/repays donations. This then became a condition of the IRS granting the status.

Our post at http://possiblyhelpfuladvice.com/?p=14951
has the address to report the church to the IRS.

As for an attorney, I would say to try and contact Monique Rathbun’s attorney or Luis Garcia’s attorney; if they won’t take the case, maybe they know someone who will.

Funny thought:

Ads on TV for attorneys offering to sue the church and get your money back! Talk about bad PR for Miscavige!

Lisa Goosen  on December 15th, 2013

Thank you! I like that “funny thought” It may be a great option for us!!!!! Wish me luck!!!!!!

Thetanaten  on January 3rd, 2014

princess:

Chaplain of Celebrity Center International in LA is Alicia Petit as of 1/3/2014

ccint@scientology.net

Good luck

Thetanaten  on January 3rd, 2014

PS speaking of attorneys, anyone have a good suggestion of one who has handled the church?

or at the very least which type of attorney to pursue? (bankruptcy, fraud, consumer, criminal, etc.)

Much appreciated!

PlainOldThetan  on January 3rd, 2014

Ray Jeffrey in Texas is in locked battle with the “church” now. He’s done some work other than in the Rathbun lawsuit.

But any consumer fraud attorney can look over the documents you have exchanged with the “church” and come up with a letter that states in no uncertain terms that the donations you’re eligible for and that are being denied will be returned or lawsuits will follow.

The “church” is absolutely petrified of getting sued over refunds/repayments, as a “church” loss will set a precedent for the IRS and consumer fraud agencies would love to use the precedent to leverage money out of the “church”.

Leave a Comment