Article in the dutch weekly " nieuwe revu " written by a very courageous journalist named Door Jeroen Kuiper, reposted & translated with permission and provided by ex scientologist 'Navy' of alt.religion.scientology and Operation Clambake.
* "I quit the Church with a debt of 150.000 Euros."
Ex members of the Church of Scientology in Holland sue COS Netherland for Harrasment and Fraud.
English transcript: Fair Use Quotes:
The scientology church in Holland was, other than Belgium and Germany, never troubled. But now ex-members file complaints at with the police for extortion and blackmail. "Scientology is one big money machine." [..]
[..] Complete brainwash.
Welcome to scientology, a religion leading you to a higher spiritual level through the bridge of total freedom according to one, a dangerous cult only greedy for your money and which should be prosecuted according to others.
The latter includes Willem Geurts. "I left the scientology church after being in for ten years, 150,000 euro's in dept (220,500 dollars. Navy)." Geurts lost everything he had: friends, his job, his home. He spent a total of 300,000 euro's on Scientology (441,000 dollars. Navy). He knows of people who have spent lots of money and are now tons in debt. "Almost every scientologist is in debt. Only during the last fifteen years it happened to at least 500 people."
The decision of the Belgian government to sue scientology was for Geurts the final reason to go to the police and press charges. "I pressed charges on extortion, swindle and practicing not allowed pressure. Because these are the ways scientology gets its money."
Geurts told the police of his experiences with the extortions , like the infamous donations. Geurts: : It is expected you donate to the church. This is how it goes: about 50 people gather at some place, a speakers stand in front of them and says 'we need 200,000 euro's for a media campaign. Or to obtain some real estate, it doesn't matter what. Nobody is allowed to leave before the money is donated. If needed the
whole group stays all night. Anyone trying to leave is pushed back in, being told he or she is behaving anti-social. It happened to me. There is tremendous social pressure to make you pay. Sometimes more then one person talk to you at the same time, it is complete brainwashing. They continue until you get psychotic and begin making mistakes. When you promised to donate, you have to confirm it in writing. When necessary, five people surround you. On the paper you sign it reads that you
voluntarily donated and there is nothing you can do about it. Subsequently they escort you to the bank. When the money isn't transferred on time, members of scientology come to visit you, or phone you, harass you at your job."
Afraid of law suits
Geurts not only pressed charges for extortion, he also pressed charges for swindle. Geurts: "The church sold me materials, known within the church as original materials. That is very important to study scientology. I found out these materials were altered. I spent tons for these materials. I want my money back. As far as I am concerned, this is swindle." A small part of his money Geurts got refunded. After
he left scientology, Geurts decided to found an organization to demand as much money back as possible: Scientologypayback.org. Geurts: "I managed to get refunds in the amount of 500,000 euro's, of which 26,000 euro's for myself. I asked an incasso office for advise."
Geurts wants other ex-members also to press charges. It wont be easy, because many ex-members are afraid of law suits. "The church always goes to court for long lasting court cases. Most people can not afford that."
Geurts: "Scientology is one big money machine. The first book I ever bought I payed 300 guilders for (200 dollars. Navy). The following books only were more expensive. Prices of courses you buy also increase very fast. They cost you thousands of euro's, up to 50,000 for courses that last one year (73,500 dollars. Navy). Then you have audits. They run from 1000 up to 2000 euro's an hour (1470 up to 2940 dollars). Someone wanting to reach clear needs 250 hours of auditing. Costs run into tons." He doesn't understand whyscientology is let free to do what it likes to. "Judicial authorities should invade them. They should confiscate the archives the church keeps of its members. They use it to blackmail tehir members. When the authorities would talk with ex-members, the end of scientology would be very near." [..] read on
Complete English Translation:
Complete Original Copy :
*foto by Clemens Rikken