This teaser might get it more widely read:
TS = Tom Smith
LB = Larry Brennan
TS: Welcome to the Edge. I'm you're host Tom Smith. Many of us are not informed of the inner workings of the Church of Scientology, founded by the American writer, L Ron Hubbard. The facade maintained by organized Scientology uses celebrity poster boys and religious pretense. Today on our program we are going to strip that image aside, and look at a few things that really go on.
Our guest is Larry Brennan who has held a number of positions with organized Scientology. He's been the director of all Scientology legal operations outside a litigation area, worldwide from mid 1976 through mid 1981. As the legal Branch One Director of the Guardian's Office Worldwide, he held similar positions prior to that in the United States Guardians Office. He's worked on organized Scientology's corporate evolution in 1981 through 1983 and presented to the leader of the Scientology organization, David Miscavige the planning for that. He was in charge of the Scientology Special Unit and Watchdog Committee, which was an oversight committee designated as member X in 1982 and 1983 working directly with David Miscavige on Scientology's corporate, legal and other external affair matters.
Welcome to the Edge, Larry.
LB: Oh thanks, Tom. It's real good to be here.
TS: Shall we start? Can you kind of give us some background about your involvement with the actual Scientology corporation?
LB: Well, yeah sure. I think you summarized it very well. Bottom line, I was in the Guardians Office in the United States Guardian's Office in 85, late 84, early 86 where we were in charge of the corporate work, corporate structure, tax status, et cetera, of Scientology organizations. Got to work under Hubbard on a number of things then, which may come up on this program, including the move of Flag, the Flagship to Clearwater, Florida and how that was done undercover. We covered a little bit of that on the program we did before.
Then I went to the Guardian's Office Worldwide at Saint Hill Manor in East Grinstead Sussex, England. Was there for about five years on running the legal outside of the courts and then went and did what they call their, "corporate sort out " and worked a Special Unit. Worked directly with "DM" - David Miscavige. This was a period of time when he was supposedly in Author Services and he has said in courts and various declarations that he was not involved in running the Church then, but he was, and I worked directly under him, but.
By way of a summary I suppose, I would say that Scientology, L Ron Hubbard is the acknowledged founder of Scientology, and he always ran it when he could, despite many statements that he had retired, or what have you, as the executive director, he continued to run it. And he ran it until Miscavige ran it, underneath Hubbard in 81-82 and then finally Miscavige took over on Hubbard's demise. But, despite a religious, caring, maybe decent front, put out by the organization it was really was built and run and controlled using constant lies and deception and what I consider fraud, as well as outright brutality and abuses of countless others. And this is just a summary and we can go into details there shortly.
It was run like this at one time by Hubbard via Miscavige, that's when they did the corporate evolution in 81 - 82. But really in my opinion here, and this is just my opinion, having worked with Miscavige and seeing the Hubbard orders at that time. Miscavige was a very poorly educated, I don't think he had been through high school when he was a kid. And he worked directly under Hubbard who at that time was certainly not at his best - he was very brutal, the type of orders he was given about taking over sectors and dealing with people and spitting on people and all that.
And I think Miscavige was very impressionable and he learned how to operate under Hubbard like that and on Hubbard's demise that's all Miscavige knew was that sort of brutality. It was sort of like, you know, he saw this abuse he learned by abuse and he's now the big abuser. Anyway, he took it to an entirely new level and he controls you know, an empire, financial empire worth certainly at least, hundreds of millions of dollars if not billions. He completely controls it as a dictator and that's basically a summary of what it was, but what I can go into to whatever degree you'd like as how it got to that point, and what changed and you know, so on and so forth. But I'd like to get some background behind it, but that's sort of a summary of it.
TS: OK. Well, basically can you kind of give us some background about what you did, your roll in the whole a ?
LB: OK, well, in 1981 the Commodore's Messenger Organization acting on orders from Hubbard, and as carried out by "DM" - David Miscavige, actually ended up taking over the Guardian's Office and I was in the Guardian's Office Worldwide at the time so I was asked to go out to report to California for an urgent matter. So I went to Los Angeles and found out that they needed, that the people who were working on a Corporate Sort Out mission to corporately put right the affairs of Scientology were no longer there and they needed somebody else to run it and I ended up being the person to run what's called a "Mission," as a missionaire.
And so what we did is, well first of all, to give you a little bit of background. Just in the months - in the year prior to that, David Miscavige ran a mission called Mission Corporate Category Sort Out, it's known kind of as "MCCS" and that mission was allegedly to set the corporate affairs straight for Scientology and it had people, Gerry Armstrong was on it, he was going to get Hubbard's biography written. Laurel Sullivan was working on the corporate matters. But David Miscavige ran it. And the problem was, David was incompetent, and like I say, he didn't even have a high school education and he would not listen to the advice of the missionaires like Laurel and Gerry. Like for example, they were pointing out the things that were just fraudulent about Hubbard running the organization and yet Miscavige was trying to lie saying that he wasn't and they were trying to really get it so that Hubbard really didn't run it. So it could be run by the hierarchy of the Church and Miscavige didn't want that. Gerry Armstrong was telling them that what he needed to do, was stop all the lies about Hubbard - about his phenomenal accomplishments in life and the military and education and all that, they were totally false. And David Miscavige would not listen to that. And Hubbard was directly involved with it and I had many of Hubbard's orders at that time even in respect to that mission.
Later on, Miscavige testified in court that Hubbard was not involved, but he was. And the bottom line is that mission broke up because they wouldn't do what Miscavige and Hubbard wanted them to do and I ended up on a mission, instead of MCCS it was called Corporate Sort Out. To make along story short, we came up, the problem was, the apparent problem was, that most of the eggs of Scientology corporately were in a corporate basket of a corporation known as the Church of Scientology of California. In it was organizations like the Commodore's Messengers Organization, the Executive Director International's Organization, and major revenue-producing arms like Flag and Advanced Organization of Los Angeles, and American Saint Hill Organization, et cetera.
And what was happening was that there was alot of litigants under attorney Mike Flynn and others that were suing Scientology for various abuses and what have you. And, it was getting at that, corporate you know, big eggs in the basket organization. Really, the Corporate Sort Out was in a large part done to insulate and hide those assets from litigants. Now Miscavige specifically testified in court in the next decade, that was not the purpose, but it was really was one of the big purposes of it. The other one was to protect Hubbard and Miscavige, like the senior people in Scientology so that they could continue to run it without being legally liable for it.
So it was very complicated to say the least but that's what it was about. But what happened is, alot of us on the corporate mission thought that basically we could get it sorted out and there could be a new evolution in Scientology management. It really wouldn't be run like it shouldn't be run, it really wouldn't be money going, like millions of dollars were going to Hubbard under cover and that could stop.
What happened is, we spent millions of dollars, we spent a long time, we got a corporate planning together. I brought it to Miscavige myself and sat with him for a good five hours and answered his questions. And to summarize it all out, because alot of people here aren't going to be corporate people. There were four things that was going to be organized Scientology. the Church of Scientology International, a new corporation would actually manage Scientology. Not Hubbard, not Miscavige, it would be the Church of Scientology International. And in the Church of Scientology International would be the Commodore's Messenger Organization International, the Executive Director International's office. The real management, so that would be cool. They would have contracts with all the other Churches of Scientology, what have you and everything would be real smooth.
The second thing is, we created a body called Religious Technology Center. And it really was not supposed to be management, and it would focus on as it were, the "pureness" of Hubbard's technology covered by the trademarks. OK, that was fair enough. And then the third thing was, money could still go to Hubbard not by cover up and lies as was done before but actually by illegally defensible channels like royalties for his books and what have you. And lastly, Author Services would be created a company called Author Services International or Incorporated and it would be truly an organization that does what it says which is make money on Hubbard's fiction works, and would totally be separate out from the management of the Church of Scientology.
So really with those four things it would be a whole new evolution in Scientology's corporate status and management. It would be honest and straightforward and that's what the corporate sort out was designed to do. But the problem is - it didn't do it, it just made it look like that was the case. And, for example, and I don't want to bore anybody on this but as an example - prior to the corporate sort out, in the years prior there were several million dollars funneled to Hubbard through a phony corporation called Religious Research Foundation.
Now the Mission Corporate Category Sort Out, those guys were trying to figure out how to make that legally defensible, retroactively, like oh my God! What a mistake. What a horrible, thing, that this money, cause Hubbard was putting out issues to all scientologists that he never benefited from Scientology, he never took any money. But the fact is, he was taking several million dollars while staffs were starving.
Audio files here