Analysis of the Debbie Cook interview

Is Debbie Cook the new hero of the anti-Scientology movement? The anti-Church, pro-Hubbard crowd certainly seems to love her, and she’s getting a lot of sympathy from those who protest Scientology. Today, I want to take a closer look at some of what Debbie Cook said in her post-trial press interview. The pull-quotes are all from Debbie.

“I have grown up with Scientology my whole life. I feel that Scientology religion and Mr. Hubbard are kind and caring and wonderful, and I really don’t want people who don’t know anything about Scientology to hear these things that went on and to have it reflect badly towards Scientology, because really the reality is that this is coming from one person. These things that happened, these horrible things that I spoke about, are coming from one person… How many times in history has this happened, where you get some tyrant in charge of… a group of whatever size, or an organization or whatever, and, you know, it happens. It happens often.”

Ah, the Miscavige Is Hitler argument. Anyway, we see that Ms. Cook’s mindset is similar to Marty Rathbun and many other ex-Churchies. And this shows what a real problem we face. Unlike Marty, Ms. Cook doesn’t seem to be poised to open up her own auditing business. She really believes this — that Hubbard is altruistic and Miscavige is the problem.

How can this be? Obviously, Ms. Cook is well-versed in LRH tech. She’s read the policies. Those of us on the outside, we read the policies and it’s clear that Hubbard is scamming his followers. That’s why I like to quote Hubbard on this blog; his bullshit stands for itself. And yet people like Ms. Cook, who have been in their whole lives, just don’t see it. It’s amazing how the human mind can see what it wants to see and throw out the rest. Especially if it’s been carefully conditioned to do so.

“I feel that this will help the Church, and ultimately help Scientologists, and others, hopefully to recover it back to its origins, its original goodness and kindness, and… everything relaly that it was originally intended to be.”

We have no shortage of evidence that Scientology under Hubbard was no better than Scientology under Miscavige. I’ve written about why Scientology seems to get worse as you progress, in a blog entry called Dark Ride. If we skip ahead a bit, we get to another quote that shows where Ms. Cook is blind to the past – or at least has had it kept from her:

“I was there for 29 years… a lot of these that you heard about yesterday were things that happened in the last seven months of my being here… and that ultimately is what put me in the position of leaving.”

This is important. Remember, Marty Rathbun was complaining about these allegations — physical torture, intimidation, and imprisonment against one’s will — nearly a decade ago. Ms. Cook is saying she only saw them for the last seven months. Is she protecting herself? Is she in denial? Or did she really not see any of these things… because she did not want to see them?

Okay, I’ve skipped ahead here, let’s go back a bit…

“This has been a learning process for me… I’ve never been able to talk to an attorney, and so in talking to Mr. Jeffries, been able to learn so much about the law and the protection that you have within the law. There were a lot of things I really thought I couldn’t do until now.”

Again, more evidence of how Scientology works to isolate its members. This is a 50 year old woman, for goodness’ sake, and she knows almost nothing about her legal rights. Amazing.

“I’m hoping… [my actions] will open the eyes of more members, so that they will be more active in keeping Scientology to it’s purity and to its founders original intentions. I’m hoping it will create a reformation from within.”

**eyeroll** See above.

“There is also, as we explained, this other factor that [is] always held over your head, of, if you do just take off, well, then, the Church basically excommunicates you, and then, you know, all of your… family members who are Scientologists, your clients, all your friends of 20 years… everybody is basically made to stop communicating with you, and that’s also something that weighs very heavily… it weighs very heavily on you, In fact, it was a major factor in any delay.”

Debbie is, of course, talking about disconnection. Now, we’ve all heard Hubbard apologists insist that Hubbard cancelled the disconnection policy. In fact, Ms. Cook herself is about to do just that. Clearly, disconnection is alive and well, but that’s not the point.

The point is that Hubbard invented disconnection in the first place. He said the handling for someone who was a suppressive person (SP) was to handle or disconnect. One way to be declared an SP is to commit high crimes, which according to Hubbard policy*, include “Public disavowal of Scientology or Scientologists in good standing,” “Giving anti-Scientology information to the press,” “Testifying against Scientology in public,” and “Maintaining a relationship with a declared Suppressive Person.”


Remember, this is the religion and the man that Ms. Cook describes as “kind and caring and wonderful.”

Back to the issues of imprisonment, abuse, etc., we get to see that even Ms. Cook has bought into the PR:

“Those are not things, also, directed by Mr. Hubbard. Those are things that have been put in by Mr. Miscavige. it’s not supposed to be that way. Quite the contrary.”

Clearly, Ms. Cook has been isolated from the accounts by Sea Org members of the Apollo days, when Hubabrd would have people (including small children… sorry, “thetans in little bodies”) locked in the chain locker, sent to work in the bilges, or pitched overboard (even if they couldn’t swim). Or sometimes he’d just scream in their face.

“In fact, Mr. Hubbard cancelled disconnection in 1968. Cancelled it as a practice, because it caused hardship to families. It was Mr. Miscavige who brought it back in.”

Hmm. HCO PL 15 November 1968, CANCELLATION OF DISCONNECTION, reads, in its entirety, as follows:

“Since we can now handle all types of cases disconnection as a condition is cancelled.”

Nothing in there about families. And again I ask: Why does “kind” and “gentle” Mr. Hubbard get a free ride for coming up with the disconnection policy in the first place?

Furthermore, Ms. Cook seems to miss out on the fact that disconnection was “officially” reinstated in 1983, before Miscavige took over. From HCO PL 10 Sept 1983, PTSness AND DISCONNECTION, which justifies disconnection (as defended by Marty Rathbun) and goes on to say:

“Earlier, disconnection as a condition was cancelled. It had been abused by a few individuals who’d failed to handle situations which could have been handled and who lazily or criminally disconnected, thereby creating situations even worse than the original because it was the wrong action…Therefore, the tech of disconnection is hereby restored to use, in the hands of those persons thoroughly and standardly trained in PTS/SP tech…. The technology of disconnection is essential in the handling of PTSes*. It can and has saved lives and untold trouble and upset.”

* PTS: Potential Trouble Source, someone who is connected to a Supressive Person, i.e. one who is antagonistic towards Scientology or Hubbard.

The policy is signed by LRH. So no, Ms. Cook, Miscavige did NOT bring disconnection back. Hubbard did.

Debbie’s husband then speaks:

“Hubbard policy on those who wish to leave is that they should be allowed to leave.”

This is true. But Hubbard also said that once you leave, you were at risk of being declared an SP and you were pretty much out for good (you might be able to get back in with a lot of groveling and a lot of money). Hubbard probably knew that once people are out and exposed to life among “wogs,” they will see that Scientology is bullshit. I think Miscavige realizes this too. Miscavige’s barriers are physical, and they don’t work. Hubbard’s barriers are mental, and they do work. Debbie Cook’s own view of Scientology is proof of that.

Ms. Cook again:

“The things that are actually giving Scientology a black eye are things that are being put in that were never based on the writings of L. Ron Hubbard.”

This line of bullshit — and it is pure bullshit — is one of the main reasons I started this blog. With any luck, the public will see through it… and the reporters will report it. (I’m lookin’ at you, Tony Ortega.)

Lastly, Ms. Cook is asked how the Church could be reformed — what steps would have to be taken to recover the Church.

“I mean, you know, I don’t know that I know the full answer to that. I have certianly thought about it, but I don’t know. I mean, all I know is examples in history that have occured over and over again, you know. A group, you know, has a way of ousting the bad and recovering its original purposes and goals… taking a, the most basic, you know, basis, which it was conceived and getting back to its roots… I don’t know, exactly.”

A non-answer from one of the highest ranking Scientology managers? I think I know why Debbie can’t answer: Because the truth is that it can’t be done.

Scientology is what it is. And what it is, is bad to the core.

More than anything, I hope this is Debbie Cook’s first, teetering step into the real world. Hopefully she will keep her distance and not allow Rathbun and Rinder to get their meat hooks into her. Hopefully she will open her eyes and learn the truth about Hubbard and Scientology.

If that happens, then she truly will be a hero.


10 responses to “Analysis of the Debbie Cook interview

  1. There is evidence to suggest that RVY wrote the disconnection restoration policy at Miscavige’s behest. Hubbard may well have ordered Miscavige to do so but it’s inconclusive.

    However, it is kind of irrelevant because the cancellation was as much of a sham as the fair game cancellation. Apparently it was written and selectively distributed to respond to criticism but was never widely circulated and there are plenty of disconnections stories from the period when it was allegedly cancelled.

    As for Debbie not seing the violence earlier, this is plausible. She was not moved to Int Base until very late in her career and the evidence is that the majority of the physical abuse went on there where Miscavige was in total control.

    Otherwise yes, like Marty I can’t decide if she is lying to herself or just telling an acceptable truth.

  2. Having been in the SO during the late 70’s when the RPF was exported to land, I know that every SO member I knew at the time, knew what it was and that even though it was called rehabilitation the only thing that made it respite-like was that holding a regular SO position could be extremely stressful to say the least. And the RPF has gotten worse over the years, at all levels, by the accounts of many.

    I have a very hard time imagining that there’s any SO member that doesn’t have some knowledge of the the horrors of RPF, or that there’s any exec or senior exec who hasn’t been a party to assigning staff to time served in the RPF – especially those with any tenure at all.

    I think Debbie may be comparing her past (before Int) to the time at Int, and we all know the “good old days” are often sweetened by the distance of time. It seems to be a natural progression of waking up, to take a smaller bite of the elephant, to say the “religion” is good but the organization has gone bad.

    Hopefully, Debbie and Wayne will keep looking, listening, and learning from people like their attorney and others who have or have gained some objectivity about Scientology as a whole.

  3. Hi Caliwog,
    Let’s approach the problem a different way, using logic and “reduction ad absurdum” (if I’m using that term correctly.)
    The premise is: Hubbard (and Scientology) was OK, but Miscavige is a turd who single-handedly messed it all up. Do I have this right?
    OK. That means that if you remove Miscavige from the problem, and replace him with someone normal, the problem will resolve.
    This is how scientific people test things. If you think that malaria is caused by mosquitoes, then you kill the mosquitoes, destroy their breeding ponds, and have the people sleep under nets at night so mosquitoes can’t bite. And, if the cases of malaria drop off dramatically, you have proven your premise. Otherwise, your premise is mistaken.
    So, by way of modeling our solution, let’s replace Miscavige with someone normal.
    Debbie Cook?
    Now we have Debbie Cook running all of Scientology with complete power to do whatever she wants (per policy) and spend the money as she sees fit per policy.
    There are many large potholes Ms. Cook will run into. How will she respond when people ask about the many crazy things that Hubbard said, such as women are only fit to be wives and mothers and should not have any professional training whatsoever (Science of Survival)? How will Ms. Cook handle Hubbard’s numerous false claims such as all the ailments that Dianetics and Scientology supposedly cure, but in fact do not affect whatsoever? How will she address the numerous outpoints in Hubbard’s personal life that show Hubbard was actually quite a bastard and not at all the benevolent super being he demanded worship for? And, most of all, what is Ms. Cook going to do as it becomes more and more apparent that there is no “OT”, and there never was? That the basic premise of the entire Scientology religion (sublimation to an independent spiritual state) is an utter invention by Hubbard with no objective evidence whatsoever? In short, that the entire religion is based upon a lie.
    See where I’m going with this? There are lots of other huge potholes for any “leader” of Scientology to navigate: NOTS does not do anything, Hubbard’s policy of viciously attacking anyone who disagreed with him is in fact quite counterproductive, Hubbard’s “management by statistics” (The Birthday Game) creates a one-week short term desperation to push stats, and so on, and so on.
    It does not matter who you put in the Scientology driver seat, the road inevitably leads right over the cliff. Not because I say so, there is just no other possible conclusion.
    At that juncture, Ms. Cook (or whoever) will have only two choices: 1. Lying and bullying to keep the sham going and critics quiet (hmmm . . . who does that sound like?) 2. Adjusting Scientology to make it the organization it claims to be, or at least personally interpreting Hubbard’s “tech” to adapt it in a positive way (both things that Hubbard/Scientology strictly forbid).
    So, looked at this way, Caliwog is correct: The problem is Hubbard.
    Fiat Lux

    • I tend to agree. Hubbard was able to keep people engaged by constantly changing the goal posts with new “tech breakthroughs”. Miscavige has tried to do the same with his various “Golden Age of Woo” projects but clearly is running low on ideas, hence the “Ideal Org” project.

      A Miscavige successor would be able to easily buy a few years by claiming that no one is OT because they were all PTS to a giant SP and engaging in a counter-reformation on the Scientology texts, which probably means everyone has to re-buy all the books that they burned when the Basics came out.

      But even that is likely to reduce attrition but not do anything to help recruit raw meat, and they will still require a steady supply of Emmanual Goldsteins to blame on the fact that there are still no OTs.

      Actually, that is one area where I think Marty would do a better (or worse, depending on your point of view) job than Miscavige. Miscavige could have made a lot more of Anonymous than he has. I think if Marty was back on the inside he would really push Anonymous as an existential threat.

    • I’ve been trying to see this from Debbie’ perspective and in fact may write a blog entry about it.

      The crush regging has certainly increased a lot. AFAIK it’s not something Hubtard did (although even when Paulette Cooper wrote her book, people were complaining about the costs). But it is an inevitable by-product of Hubbard’s “management by statistics” scheme. Stats must ALWAYS go up. And Gross Income is one stat you just can’t get around or change. Sooner or later, they’re going to have to find a way to make more money.

  4. johnny d / thetan-x

    Mamma Says….Life is Like a Bo……………doH.!

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