Many thanks to Kent for submitting this data to BIC. Kent is an old-timer Scientologist having served on staff in various orgs (including Joburg) and the Sea Org. Earlier this year he was summoned before a Comm-Ev as a result of having commented openly on the BIC blog among other actions that fall within the ambit of the Creed of the Church.
Interestingly, one of the listed Suppressive Acts is “Pronouncing Scientologists guilty of the practice of standard Scientology”. When you read what Kent has written, it’s clear this is exactly what happened to him. He applied Scientology and got hung for it.
Kent wrote two letters to the Committee giving his viewpoint and stance on the current scene in the Church, and we are publishing them here. Due to their comprehensive nature, the letters are rather long, so be prepared for a lengthy and interesting read as you journey with Kent into the murky waters of the “Justice protocols of RCS”.
By Kent Bengtsson
One nice thing about this Blog is the variety of posts and people contributing with articles. It gives a reader many different viewpoints to consider and be aware of.
I have thought of writing something again, but never got around to it. But then I realized I have something written that might be of interest and that is my two responses to the Committee of Evidence held on me earlier this year.
In January this year I was called into HCO at St. Hill and shown a copy of a Bill of Particulars notifying me that I was to be comm-ev’d.
My Scientology history is not full of outrageous violations or suffering. I actually had a pretty good time as a staff and SO member as well as a public when I was on services. Maybe this has something to do with my outlook on life and refusal to take it too seriously. And maybe that is a viewpoint worth sharing here too.
Below are two things I wrote for the comm-ev when I was asked to come in for an interview. I have decided not to alter them, as most readers here are scientologists and are familiar with these things.
I do not have my notes from reading the Bill of Particulars, so cannot say what every point referred to with a number below, was saying. But it was pretty much the usual stuff from the Ethics Book. Not important really. This took place at Saint Hill Foundation in the UK.
DEAR COMM-EV COMMITTEE…
This is my response to the allegations made in the Bill of Particulars for Kent Bengtsson.
Dear Committee members, I have just been shown the Bill of Particulars by Isabelle in HCO this morning of Sunday 26 Jan 2014. To save us all some time, and because I think I am more coherent in my writings than in my speech, I am here going to put down what I want to say about this matter. About me: I came into Scn in the summer 1975 in Gothenburg, Sweden. In the autumn I joined staff and remained on staff until spring 1983 where I with some reluctance followed my then wife to New Era Denmark in the SO. I mainly worked in HCO, Flag Rep network and in the end as Course Admin in Got Org. I also audited book one on an all hands basis and a fair percentage of my PCs joined staff or continued on major services. In the SO, after short times as a Sales Manager (which did not suit me at all) and copying reel to reel tapes, I was working with E-meters. Mainly repair, but also a year in manufacturing of the Mk IV. Some at St Hill may remember me as the “Meter Man” in the 80’s. The Azimuth meter in Qual still bears one of my silver certs. At the end of 1989 I left the SO, having had a son and my wife was fitness-boarded. I was disillusioned with the organization, as the EU meter repair unit had been closed without warning by a Gold ED announcing that all meters would now be done at Gold. No amount of Orders Query, referencing to Policy and LRH advice had any effect. I then went to Joburg Day and remained on staff there for another year and a half, routing out in 1991. For the nineties I remained a freeloader and would listen to LRH lectures on my own and go to most events. In the early 2000’s we used credit to pay the freeloader bill and also made substantial contributions to the IAS, which put us deep in debt. But we did so willingly to assist with the attacks on our religion. I also redid the Purif and did the TR’s & Objectives Course. I had great wins on the Objectives that were done very thoroughly under great supervision. When Meryl finished her OT levels she let me use the balance on her account for a NED assist which I also had great wins from. Toward the end of the Objectives I started the Basics and have remained on them (on and off due to workloads) at least one study period a week, and came close to the end. This gave me a very firm foundation as a Scientologist and a lot of great data from a book auditor viewpoint. Scientology has made me stronger, happier and most importantly aware that I am my own immortal spirit and cannot die. It also made me less prone to accept other peoples reality as the truth, and more independent in thought and decisions. I tried to live my life in accordance with my truth and the basic datum that LRH often stresses “If it is not true for you, it is not true”. The Code of honour and other similar writings became my stable datums. It was true to me that if I did things that were contrary to my beliefs and reality I would get myself in trouble and pay for it sooner or later. During my years of staff I have seen all kinds of management methods – from screaming and threatening to hightoned motivation and spirit of play. With the first I noted that stats may have gone up initially, but then after a while tended to level off and then eventually go down, with the latter things were growing on a longer trend and everyone was more happy and willing to pitch in. I agree with LRH that the world of Scn is built on ARC and I fully subscribe to the “What is Greatness” essay. Having spent a major part of my life in Scn Orgs or practising the subject, I find it hard not to care what goes on in my religion today. I feel no hate or anger towards all the dedicated and well intentioned people working on staff and in the SO with the purpose to make a better world for all. I do not even feel anything like that with regard to terminals who do or push things I do not agree with. This Comm-Ev: I am now accused of a few things. Lets take a look at these. The first being “allegedly posted a negative comment on a blog critical to Scientology” (I was never given a copy of the Bill of Particulars, so just took down the key points, pardon me if not quoted exactly). The blog in question is called “Scientologists back in comm” and is a South African Blog that was started by someone in the wake of 18 long time Scientologist, OT’s, ex-staff members, auditors and big contributors to Scn, were allegedly declared SP’s. I know some of those people personally and don’t consider them suppressive, so followed the blog to get some of their stories and info I would not be given on church lines. I did not take an active role, but would read most posts and some comments. At one post the GAT II release event was discussed, and being the “Most important Ever” event, attendance was discussed and speculated about, with attendance figures of earlier milestone events given. I made a comment on the spur of the moment as I had just been to the Friday Night event. This was my comment: “Kent Bengtsson on November 26, 2013 at 11:29 pm said: I went to the Friday night Event at St Hill and went straight to the overfill tent. There were no more people there than at a March 13 Event I thought.” Now tell me is that a negative comment, or is it a fact as seen from my point of observation? Then we have the second part of the sentence “a blog critical to Scn”. Although there are all kinds of people commenting on that blog and many of them are negative in their outlook, I find the general tone not one of criticism of Scientology, but rather one of caring about Scientology and what has happened to our religion and of a positive spirit in practicing the Tech as it was intended by LRH. The criticism is rather of local and top management terminals for mismanaging the Orgs and altering the true Scientology that was given to us by LRH. Ask yourself, is “Scientology” the current people managing the Church, or is it the philosophy and tech for the improvement of man, that LRH left behind? Second allegation: “Looked at websites of declared SP’s and being in agreement with enemy lines promoted on these sites.” or something to that effect. This is partially true. I have kept an eye now and then on Marty Rathbun and Mike Rinders blogs. I am not an avid reader, as what goes on or not in Scn is not my major interest any more. (My main interest aside from my work is now to understand Man’s systems of law and Natural Law, with the aim to disentangle myself and others who wish to do so, from undue Government control.) Reading the above second allegation however, one could easily get the impression that I read these blogs and got my ideas from them. This is not the case. I may have picked up some quotes and arguments on these sites, but I had already formed my own conclusions from my own observations as a scientologist, by applying the datums “look don’t listen”. Let me give a short rundown of that process. I think it started with the Finance Police in 1983. I had just arrived in the SO and I was at a briefing of all the good things they did and how they weeded out some rotten apples from Orgs and Missions. Part of their method was to take someone in for a sec check and have two big men standing on each side of the “PC” while the sec check was done, sometimes dragging the person in there first. I thought that did not sound right. How can you get a proper result using force and intimidation? I then heard of a German auditor that had been subjected to this who when the check was supposed to begin, dropped the cans and told the Finance Police “auditor” that he will be happy to pick them up once the goons have left the room. I thought “Good for him”. Then came the closure of the e-meter repair. I wrote to every Int Exec I could think of being remotely concerned, putting forth the argument that this should not be implemented without a pilot project to assess if it would result in more standard meters being used or not, as per policy. I also had an LRH quote that the meters could be served locally by a competent repairman. They all understood my concern and agreed with my points, but all the same were adamant that the service would now be done at Gold only. This lead me to believe there was someone none of them dared to challenge that was behind the order. This indicated to me that in the organization, it is not what policy or what LRH says that matters as much as what the top dog(s) dictates. I made so much noise I had CMO come and inspect my area – someone that knew nothing about meter repair. There and then I decided if it ever came to a choice between my family and this organization, the family would be my priority. When on staff in Joburg, I saw the Birthday Game being “played” in an insane way. Anything that would give points in the game was done, and anything else was not done. Filing of Treasury records did not happen. Div 6 public who would not or could not buy major services were forgotten about, instead of keeping them in Div 6 until they were more competent and cause, so they could afford it. There were many more outpoints observed at this time. When viewing events over the years as public, I noticed how more and more of the various Int Execs aside from COB were disappearing from the stage, until he spoke for everyone, except maybe the Biographer/Historian or Guillaume Leserve, (who was dusted off to present the Birthday Game results). The New Years Eve events used to be presented by the heads of the different sectors, but one year not long ago they were all gone, not to return. Another thing I noticed at events were that most of the wins were from pioneer areas. I then thought that this was because in pioneer areas there are not a lot of people that interferes with what you do. One just goes ahead and does whatever one wants to do in implementing LRH’s tech in that area, and in areas closer to home there are too many stops put in place by different networks or interests. But now a new thought is coming to my mind. Pioneer area wins are great since few people know first hand what goes on there, so they can be embellished. Just a thought. I was presented with the Ideal Org concept and one of my first thoughts were “Isn’t that a violation of Be, Do & Have?”. I was however willing to give the project the benefit of proving itself. Today I view it as a failed project. The ones I have visited (Joburg, New York and London) were rather empty with few students in the academy, not the bustling hives we are shown at events. I travelled around many orgs in the mid to late Eighties and orgs like Paris, Hamburg, Munich and Zurich were to me more busy back then then these “Ideal Orgs” I visited. I know this is not a completely fair investigation, as I have not been around myself to all the orgs that are now Ideal. But when I talk to public or staff of one of them, the general picture I get is that it started off with great fanfare, then staff would drop off or not renew contracts for whatever reasons, leaving empty premises and high utility bills and taxes on the property. Then we have the IAS. This was created to safeguard my religion and I was all for it. We had some great victories against all odds. It seemed to be doing what it was supposed to do, although not fully in alignment with membership policy. Today the IAS seems to have to moved into other areas it was not meant for – like Dissemination campaigns, Real Estate management, etc. The emphasis seems to me more one of getting public to donate to the IAS, instead of donating for their own Bridge and Training so as to make more auditors needed to clear the planet and more clears and OT’s. It appears to me as this could be cutting across the expansion of Orgs and Scn as a whole. It seems almost every staff member is pulled off post to act as a reg for the IAS, when there are already full time IAS regges. Seems like a violation of the basic principles of the Org Board to me. Then there is the “Releases” that comes regularly at events. It was the KTL & LOC. This was the missing piece of the puzzle and now people could really duplicate and live their lives according to their own Org Board and purpose. This would change the face of Scientology. It soon fizzled out and few new public did this. The promised revolutionary changes for Scientology did not materialize. Then I think it was the golden Age of Tech 1. Now we would produce a volume of auditors that really knew their tech. It seems to me that did not happen, if it did, I would love to see a yearly graph of new auditors made since say 1980 to present time, not including retrained ones or Solo auditors. Then there was a new PTS/SP Course I think. Then the Basics, which I really agreed with as I always wanted to study and practice all LRH’s developments in chronological order. But the doingness part was not there and it was just the theory. I however had very good wins as mentioned above. But I did not see the changes in the Scientology scene that we were assured this would bring about. And it was not for lack of push and selling, which was quite extreme or intense at times. I think you all have reality on that. And last but not lease GAT II. It is of course too early to speak about it. Time will show if it will turn the scene around, but I doubt everyone will welcome the opportunity to retrain from the bottom again and having to buy a new E-meter to do so. Every release is announced as THE thing that will change Scn and open the floodgates to unlimited expansion, but somehow not much seems to change. Is it only me that notices this? There is another thing that has changed a lot from the days I came into scientology. In the early days, we did study and all that. We did so as almost a family. People would hang around after course and share wins. We would go out – staff and public together to a movie, a restaurant, or to a beach or lake in the summer and sit around a fire, play guitar, sing and have a great time. We worked hard and we also had some fun in between. Events were produced locally with a message from LRH and they were good for getting info as well as meeting with friends and party afterwards. These days it has gone so serious. Every event has to be used to sell something and staff are drilled on selling or surveying. I get the feeling that happy family spirit has died down and been replaced with a more business like and money oriented atmosphere. The world of scientology has never been perfect. We are building a new world with broken straws, but as far as I am concerned I liked it better when it was a bit more relaxed and things were not so serious or urgent and it seems to me more expansion was occurring back then, than is happening today. In the seventies, the Orgs did not accept Credit Cards or get involved with arranging loans. Or at least were not supposed to. I believe there was LRH policy forbidding it. Today sScientologists are pressurized to go into personal debt (a violation of finance policy) in order to donate money to IAS or Ideal Org buildings or their own training or bridge. If an FBO acted as recklessly with an orgs money, as individual Scientologists are being pushed to do with their own finances, he would be RPFed or declared in no time. These things have all been things I could observe without help of any “enemies”. Then we have the matter of the “forwarding of an enemy e-mail to several scientologists in good standing”. This was the Debbie Cook email. Enclosed herewith for reference in case someone is unfamiliar with it. I must say that I agree with this message and that I fail to see the enemy part of it. She insists on standard tech and the adherence to the management structures LRH created for us. She encourages people to get trained, audited and to disseminate to raw public. Where in this is the enemy part? That she is critical of COB and what he has accomplished? Is there anything she says about him that is not true? I forwarded it to maybe 5 – 7 people as I did not have emails for many Scientologists and I sent it to those I thought might agree with it. Not all did.
There is also the allegation that I “refused a standard ethics handling for the above”.
Isabelle offered me a program that had my name on it. I suspect this had just been slightly altered from being offered or done on others in my situation. Never mind.
What I remember of it there was a lot of references to be studied on Enemy Lines and one more subject that escapes my mind. I could clearly see how this was meant to make me see that I had accepted enemy lines etc. that that this was why I was thinking and doing what I was doing.It ended with doing a doubt formula and decide what group I was going to remain in. I had a good look at the program. I could see how studying these references would most likely just cement my conclusion that the outnesses I observed in the Church were not OK and off policy. As for the doubt formula, I could see that I was more leaning toward not be part of the Church in it’s current state. If I decided to leave the Church I would most likely be declared, which in turn would mean that some of my friends would disconnect. And this was not exactly an outcome I wanted, so I suggested that for now I will not carry on in the Church as I cannot promise not to look at comm and materials from people declared or who have left the Church. I would guess that letter is in your possession. I never got a response – except for the bill of particulars. If this is refusal to apply any tech to the situation, that would be for you to decide I suppose. I did not ask for this comm-ev. I just wanted to be left alone, and in turn I would keep my thoughts to myself. Maybe I was naïve. Maybe I was sitting on the fence, and needed to be pushed in some direction. Most likely I pulled this in. Anyway, here we are. Lets do what needs to be done. CRIMES: Now for the charges. I will just refer to them by number as they are already in the Bill of Particulars.
- I guess this refers to forwarding Debbie’s email. It is a fact I did forward this to a few. If this was forwarding of destructive rumours, – or the telling of the truth and encouraging scientologist to safeguard the tech, spending their money on the bridge and training and to disseminate to raw public rather than regging each other for donations to the IAS, is for the beholder to decide. In law in general, a judge or a court is supposed to look at the intent behind the action, as part of the consideration. I did not send that email forth with the intent to cause harm to anyone. I wanted my religion back on the track set by LRH.
- See 1. above
- I do not know what this refers to.
- Again what does this refer to? Seems like a good thing to accuse anyone of, as who has not committed a problem to someone at some time? Since listed as a Crime one would think it would have to be a pretty serious problem, and not “Kent came to Course without his dictionary today”. Maybe it is that some of the people affected by me forwarding Debbie’s email, had to be “handled”.
- Well, don’t really know what to say about that. I am not aware of having violated these points.
- I guess this refers to keeping an eye on what some people who has left the official Church of Scientology (or been booted out) have said about what they have witnessed or come to believe.
(I was asked to come in to answer some additional questions, and then submitted this):
To the Comm-evDear all, Since I am coming to see you again, I thought I put a few more things I have been thinking of on paper. There was one more thing I wanted to add to the list of things that made me question the way the Church has been changing over the years. It has to do with the F/N. When I have had Course Completions, Objectives and auditing in later years, I have noticed how I have had a hard time to F/N at exam – compared to earlier in my Scn history. I put that down to my body getting older, and tried to arrange things so that I would not need to go to exam in the evening (which seemed to be the worst time for me). Then more recently I came across the claim somewhere that the definition of an F/N had been changed by COB in later years and that one had to get 3 swings for it to count as an F/N. I did not think much of it when I read it, and kind of forgot about it as “Oh well, just another little alteration of LRH’s tech”. But when I went to attest to my last Basics Course, it was really busy with PCs at the Examiner and being a Course Grad I waited for a while for the PC line to clear. And I stood there and lookad at one PC after another coming there. Sitting down. Taking off their shoes, taking off their socks and sitting down in front of an electric heater warming their feet and hands, before they would proceed into the Examiner boot – and I thought to myself “Something is wrong with this picture. It did not use to be like this. PCs used to just come out of session, sit down, pick up the cans and be done”. Then I remembered about the three swing FN. Now when I look in my Tech Dic I do not see this definition there. If this is an LRH definition, does it say that it cancels all other F/N definitions? If this was LRH, why was it not implemented when he was still alive? Or was it a definition applicable to some very specific auditing action, that has been taken out of context and been applied to anything? I feel that when I go to exam now I have to do the emeter drill where one tries to produce an F/N – thinking and talking about wins and happy things. Where in the past I would just go to exam and have my attention on the session and what I got out of it and I usually had an F/N indicated to me. Then I want to make some comments about Communication. When I look at what I am being Comm-eved for it appears in my universe that it is for “Thinking for myself” which has been a major button promoting Scientology to raw public, and “Being there and Communicating” which according to LRH is the only crime in this universe. So I guess I am guilty of that. I just did not think that was a crime in Scientology. Add “Look don’t listen” to that list too. The subject of communication in Scientology is a bit of a contradiction I think. On the one hand we have things like: “We of the Church believe that all men have inalienable rights to think freely, to talk freely, to write freely their own opinions and to counter and utter or write upon the opinions of others” “Communication is the universal solvent” Gr 0 End Phenomena: “Ability to communicate freely with anyone on any subject” “Willing for others to communicate to one on any subject” “No longer resisting communication to oneself on unpleasant and unwanted subjects” “Willing for others to communicate freely to others about anything”. And we do TR’s over and over to perfect our Communication. I would go as far as saying Communication is a major part of the fundamentals of Scientology, as being the most important part of the triangle of ARC. Then on the other hand we have lots of things we are not allowed or supposed to communicate about or to. Talking about ones case or own track, is not really on – except to auditors and C/Ses. Talking to non-scientologists about what goes on in scientology is not OK, at least if it is in any way negative or that may seem out “R”. Talking to people that have been deemed Suppressive by some other people holding office within the Church, is not OK. Even if the person deemed suppressive is not an SP in ones own evaluation and even if that person is a wife, husband, child or parent – someone loved and close to ones heart that one knows for sure is not a 2.5% SP/Anti Social Personality. Talking to other scientologists about observed outpoints or bad experiences within the Church. We may not communicate anything about confidential EP’s of rundowns or grade chart actions. Some of these are understandable especially the last, as that would mess up the auditing of those who have not done these actions yet. But none the less these things are all qualifications and restrictions on what is said in the Creed and the EP’s of Gr 0. The disconnection thing is very real – although officially denied to take place. It is also the one that non-scientologists find it the hardest to understand or comprehend and most detestable. This is the opposite of using communication to solve matters. And it appears to be used as a threat or blackmail to silence anyone who does not agree with the current managements actions. My life is my life. Scientology and especially listening to a lot of LRH over the years have cemented in me the idea that I am the authority over my life. I am the one who looks, evaluates and decides what is true for me. I am truth. I have always been a bit like that, and think that is why Scientology appealed to me so much at first. Scientology reinforced and strengthened this a lot in me, and today I take that conviction with me, as I start to question governmental power and any man or group of men’s presumed right to dictate what I (or anyone) say, do or think. You as representatives of the Church can recommend that I get declared, or whatever you believe you must do. I proposed to Isabelle that we just keep the distance for now and she takes me off the call-in list so I do not have to lie to call-inners. The response I got was a Bill of Particulars and this Comm-ev. You can deny me access to the Church and you can cut some of my comm-lines, but you cannot take scientology, my wins and my integrity from me. Bear in mind what LRH says about Cause and Effect. You can not cause something without at the same time becoming the effect of it. If you as representatives of the Church have me declared a Suppressive Person, you are by that action causing harm to me by slandering me to other scientologists and you will be cutting some of my (fairly sporadic) comm-lines to some of my friends. If you declare me an enemy, you will by that action have made the Church an enemy of me. I am at the moment quite happy to step away from the Church and see where things are going and leave it at that. You leave me alone, and I leave you alone. A kind of “agree to disagree” arrangement. Harm me, and I may not be as quiet as I am now. Is that a threat? I prefer to call it ‘friendly advice’. Sincerely Kent Bengtsson
1 February 2014
In the second interview I was asked it I would consider doing an ethics handling on this matter, to get back in good standing again. I said that I would be happy to do so when I see that the Church changes back to something I can agree with or want to be part of. But as things stand I am not willing to get handled. I suggest we just go our separate ways for now, and see what the future will bring.
I did not hear anything on this matter for months, and started thinking that maybe they have taken my ‘friendly advice’ and just left me alone. I did not ask for any results.
But in May I think it was, a former twin and friend messaged me telling me he heard I had been declared. At least he had the decency to let me know, before he disconnected.
I contacted the MAA so I could see the Findings And Recommendations of the Comm-ev, but was told she was no longer my terminal and I had to turn to IJC via the Continental Justice Chief UK.
I have written twice to the CJC with no reply.
Until I have seen the Findings and Recommendations issue, I consider the declare to be a rumour – not fact.
This is not a big deal. I do not have big family uphevals or a Scn business. I have non-scientology friends and interests. The greatest thing is that the phone rings a lot less these days, and I do not mind answering it.
Love you all…