The Jeff Hawkins Story
Many of you will have heard my interview on Tom Smith's "The Edge" radio show, regarding, among other things, violence at the Int Base.
I've had a lot of comments about the show, Some old timers, who left the Sea Org many years ago, said that they never experienced physical abuse in the Sea Org. Well, I hadn't either, up to 2002. I believe this is a fairly recent trend, at least to the degree it is practiced now.
I worked at the Int Base it isn't talked about. It was only when I began to regularly attends meetings with him that I discovered that he does assault staff, and viciously. Over the last few years I was there, it was getting increasingly worse.
I first became aware of this in June 2002. I was called up to the CMO Int Conference room (which is now "The SP Hall"). I had submitted a script a few days prior to this, so I knew that's what the meeting was about. When I arrived at the conference room, it was packed - there must have been 40 executives there - most of WDC and Exec Strata, as well as key Gold execs. Everyone was crowded around one side of the big conference table, leaving the other side for DM. After the usual half hour or so wait, DM arrived, and he was fuming. He hated the script, and proceeded to mercilessly make fun of it and me. He strutted back and forth, and demanded that I "confess my crimes." Obviously I was a criminal since I had submitted such a criminal script. And he was obsessed with my facial expression (and I subsequently discovered that he is obsessed with people's facial expressions when they are in his presence - if you've read 1984, it's what Orwell describes in that book as "facecrime.") "Look how he looks at me!" he would shout. And the rest of the execs in the room, completely cowed by this, would be telling me to "knock it off," having no idea, I am sure, what he was talking about.
Suddenly, and without warning, he leapt up on the conference room table and launched himself at me. He slammed me up against a wooden partition and proceeded to hit me in the face. Then he threw me to the floor. I was in complete shock. I ended up laying on the floor with my legs entangled in his. "Let go of my legs!" he screamed. I did. Then he walked out of the room.
I was shaking, my shirt was torn, and my face stinging. An exec near me said "Get up, get up - don't make him WRONG." Imagine that. I've just been assaulted by the Chairman of the Board RTC, the head of Scientology, and all they can think of is to "not make him wrong."
Needless to say, I was the Ethics target - of course. I was put on the decks. And of course, I never spoke about this to the general staff. My wife asked me why my face was scratched and bruised, and I said I had fallen down. At this point, I was 56 years old.
Over the next few years, the assaults continued. He assaulted me and others. Once he violently and repeatedly slapped me on the side of the head, until my ears were ringing, then proceeded to hit Mike Rinder and then throw Marc Yager to the ground. I once saw him attack Lyman Spurlock, and older man many years his senior. I saw him throw Mike Rinder off a chair onto the ground (And good on you, Mike, for leaving).
Once when I was up in the "RTC Building" (Building 50), taking a tour of the place with other execs, DM was passing me as he left one of the rooms and suddenly, without warning, rabbit-punched me in the stomach. He then said "I can smell Black PR a mile away," and walked off. I tried to reply but I literally could not speak of breathe for a few seconds.
Another time, he hit me several times in the face and actually drew blood. He signaled to his assistant, Laurisse ("Lou") Stuckenbrock, and she produced a vial of mercurochrome from her purse and proceeded to dab it on my face. Like, this was business as usual. He said to me at the time, "You know why I beat you up?" I said "No, Sir." He said "To show you who's boss." He literally said this.
Another time he was talking to myself and Rick Cruzen, and he said, "Look at him (meaning me - he loves to talk about people as if they are not there). He'd like to take a swing at me. And you know what? I hope he does. Because then I could REALLY unload on him." Exact quote.
Of course, other staff picked up on this and the worst of them began imitating DM and beating up their own staff and juniors. Henning Bendorff, the "Art Director Gold" was one of the worst. His standard way of greeting me was to come up behind me and violently shove my face into my computer keyboard. Once he threw me off a chair and I ended up bleeding from the nose. What a stellar example of a "Scientologist."
DM never hit women, to my knowledge. But he would goad women execs into hitting women staff. The most willing of these was Lisa Allen (Schroer), who has been on-and-off CO Gold for a number of years. She's arrogant and vicious - the perfect DM tool. She once slapped my wife at the time hard in the face. This was the type of person DM promoted and lauded - those willing to follow his lead in the abuse of staff. Janet Light (McLaughlin), ED of the IAS, also began hitting staff, following DM's example.
In the last year I was there, the violence at the Base was escalating, due to DM's example and pressure on execs to imitate that example. When I was finally marked for "offload from the Sea Org" I not only didn't fight it, but looked forward to it. I had worked for 30 years to create what I conceived to be "a Scientology World." In my mind, that was a place of communication, love and tolerance. But when I finally saw the reality of a "Scientology World" at the Int Base, I realized it was an abusive prison. And that IS what the world would be like if organized Scientology ever got a foothold - lockstep compliance to authority, and abuse and imprisonment for anyone who questions that authority.
Some have asked, "why do people put up with this?" Well, I'll tell you. First, there are always dozens of staff and executives around - any one of them would intervene if you tried anything - to curry favor with DM. Secondly, any attempt to fight back would mean instant offload. Instant. And you can say "that's a good thing," and it is, from our viewpoint on the outside. But if you're a dedicated Scientologist, that means losing everything - your group, your friends, your spouse or children, not to mention what you conceive to be "your eternal salvation." I touched on this in the radio interview.
DM is your typical bully - a coward who only fights those who cannot fight back.
All this is a bit long and rambling, but I hope it gives you some insight into the violence. More to come on many other subjects.
More information, is available on Jeff's story on his Blog Jeff's Blog.