Technical Post: Portrait of a Hitter

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What does it mean when someone beats up his staff?

I was asked the other day by a former Apollo shipmate, “Why are you back in the game?”  My answer was simple, “To help.”  Abused members of destructive groups and cults need help and it takes someone who has been through it to truly understand them.

I was managing apartments in Tampa, Florida when the St. Pete Times articles about the Church of Scientology revealed that the leader, David Miscavige allegedly beat up his juniors and ordered subordinates to do the same.  I learned about other atrocities; the “hole” prison, the endless RPF (Rehabilitation Project Force), people working in toxic waste, alleged deaths on the ship Freewinds, etc, etc.  Shortly after that I decided to resume counseling.

One of the most poignant stories I read was a former chief executive’s account of being strangled and beaten by Miscavige as others stood by and watched.  Now, I knew this person from the time he was about 13 years old from the Flagship.  He was a tough kid who grew up to be a tough, but fair minded adult.  I read the article and was astonished and grieved to not only find out that he let the diminutive Miscavige choke him but that he thought the beatings were somehow his own fault!  He blamed himself, not “COB.”  (Chairman of the Board)   How could a tough guy like that let someone do this to him and then blame himself?

 Here is how: 

Someone who beats up his juniors has a psyche that has become perverted and is destructive.  Simply saying, “Oh he’s a suppressive with evil purposes” or “he is an R/Ser” is just superficial name calling and leads to no real understanding.  At some point the hitter’s psyche arrested and took a 180 degree turn into a destructive persona and then embraced it. 

There is lost tech from a series of talks from case folders given in Daytona, Florida in 1976 by LRH (L. Ron Hubbard) called the “Special Rundown.” (Remarketed as the New Vitality Rundown)  A barbell is used in the key illustration.  Imagine a barbell with two heavy weights on each end, weight A and weight B.  If you turn the barbell around it looks virtually the same.  But in fact, when you turn it around you are looking at different objects.  Even though they may look the same, weight A is not weight B.  In extreme mental and physical abuse the overwhelmed person’s psychic barbell slowly and irrevocably swings around where weight A becomes weight B.  Extreme misidentification takes place.  Say the abused person is weight A and the evil doer is weight B.  Through pain and beatings, a complete shift occurs where the evil doer, weight B, is seen by the abused individual, weight A, as himself.  He becomes weight B, the evil one.  It is more insidious than the “winning valence” written about in Dianetics.  The victim does act like and become the abuser, but here’s the twist, he now thinks the abuser is good and he is the evil one.  This happens because the victimized person who has shifted into being the evil doer, will not ultimately deem himself as evil.  The evil doer then has to be considered good.  From the point the shift occurs the victim thinks that whatever the evil person does is good.  Conversely, whatever he thinks what he does is bad.  It is very twisted, but explains how someone beaten up by Miscavige can think it was his own fault.  It is a serious condition; it has elements of misidentification and delusion.  (Secular information on this condition can be found; syndrome, and the famous case of hostage Patty Hearst who ended up helping her captors in a bank robbery.)

One of the main facets of the “barbell” phenomenon is that the victim is dependent upon the abuser for survival.  In the hostage scenario the captor aides the hostage with sustenance, such as food and shelter and there might even be some acts of kindness.  A peculiar intimacy occurs. 

The Sea Org can produce a hostage mentality; with the RPF, the hole, the beatings, threatening environment, displacement, mind control, and induced phobias about leaving.  Yet, the group led by an “inerrant” abusive leader provides room and board, money, purpose, inspiration, control, and perhaps occasional acts of kindness.  Whereas a hostage knows he is imminent danger, a destructive group member does not necessarily know they are in peril, it is not so obvious.  In some ways it can be more abusive and damaging.  The hostage does not do anything willingly or wholeheartedly, whereas the group member does.  It is a deeper betrayal and actually creates more psychic harm.  The staff member has his own noble purpose which makes him want to stay.  It is, as I said, a peculiar intimacy.

The barbell illustration above refers to both the hitter and victim.  But there is difference with the hitter.  It is true that at one point the cruel leader who beats up his staff has no doubt been beaten too, but the main difference is that a beater is predisposed to being an abuser and embraces the evil identity.  Whereas a victim fights the evil within by putting himself down, blames himself, and uses constraint.  A person who regularly beats up people is predisposed to being an abuser because of his own nature. 

At some point the hitter has decided to be evil, he has embraced it, separate from environmental overwhelm.  It is his own decision and becomes part and parcel of his own being, he clings to the idea.  He and the evil persona and intentions are nearly one and the same.  If that person is never called to task by anyone or anything forceful enough to get through to him he does not need to change.  (That in a nutshell is why a true anti-social makes no case gain.)

In a destructive church group, the leader is protected by freedom of religion laws and by his abusers.  The true believers and the abused protect and rationalize the leader’s behavior.  As the barbell illustration shows the abused person thinks the leader is good, so the victim protects the leader and inadvertently or deliberately lies about cruel acts.  The hitter who beats his staff ultimately perverts anyone in his vicinity. This is especially true in a church leader who is accountable to no one.


  1. //

    Thanks Glenn for this very good topic.

    It made me jump to another point, which is WHAT to do about David Miscavige, who has created this standoff position of himself as the final top decider, unchallenged, and NOT having normal communication back and forth with ANY of the people at the top ranks of the Scientology movement?!

    The really interesting struggle that the vast group of us ex members (including interested long term observers of Scientology history), is how to deal with David Miscavige who holds just the MOST power in controlling how official Scientology behaves tactically and strategically at this point.

    This is group political stuff.

    I’m so glad vets like you talk and share.

    The next dynamic to discuss, is how Miscavige might be dislodged, using outside world “tech” in the easiest and most sane manner.

    I’ve thought that this period of just getting detailed ex member communication going, to get us to “talk about it” is step one.

    And get outside help, from society, from knowledgeable people who then get the picture of what is going on in Scientology,and who then we learn somehow how the world has dealt with similar situations of a David Miscavige type problem, in the past.

    Unraveling Miscavige’s behavior in sociological psychological terms, and also group politics, the actual administrative rule system and how he’s using the Hubbard rules to do his dictator absolute control over the top staff, and HOW best to dislodge him sanely and legally, I think is what “we” (ex members who hate to see the abuse continue, and also all the informed observers who sympathize with the existing and ex Scientologists and continuing “independent” Scientologists), your blog topic here makes me jump to HOPING some more good advice comes “our” way on how to deal with Miscavige so his bad influence is brought to an end.

    Thanks so much for help Glenn!

    Chuck Beatty
    ex Sea Org (1975-2003)
    Pittsburgh, USA

    1. //

      Thank you Chuck,
      As far as “dislodging” Miscavige it probably should be another blog entry, but briefly; it would not be easy as he controls the money and it will not come from within Scientology.

      A couple of other ways it could occur besides natural causes are:
      1. Read the rise and fall of the Klu Klux Klan. Briefly they surged into political and popular power in the 1920s fueled by a romantic portrayal of the KKK in the movie, “A Birith of a Nation.” The leader had complete and utter control. They were a political force to be reckoned with until one day the leader in Illinois raped and beat up his secretary. She testified and it brought to light the leader’s cruelty and the KKK’s other barbaric acts against humanity. Political and press conncections could not protect him. The KKK never recovered, from then on it was no more than a radical fringe racist group. In Scientology, much the same would have to happen. Someone that Miscaivige beats up or orders beat or some other atrocity would have to go to the police right then, then not be bought off with millions in settlement money, and THEN would have to testify in open court where Miscaivige would have to attend. Summarily, if the lawyers were good, his actions and Scientology’s fair game vendettas could be exposed with true candor and credibility. Public and internal pressure would force a change and then justice could be served.

      2. From the reports I receive the church is not making auditors and from the cases I have had to repair and hear about from other auditors they are not cracking cases. More than that I get reports of illness and deaths from all over the world about advanced level cases. Much like a dentist, doctor, or therapist, or any work for hire who does you in, or simply gives you lousy service; you simply won’t go back for more. Per Rinder and Rathbun’s reports and from other people who have been to the orgs they are more or less empty. So the Church of Scientology- if it does not make a serious change within will die on its own. The leader will not be leading much of anything at that point and no one will care.


      1. //


        Great answers, thanks.

        i fear from my years doing “OFO” duties (remember the Org Flag Officer “double hat” us Flag staffers wore) that the “small and failing orgs” are actually a permanent part of the Scientology charade. Orgs have only surged occassionally in history, and more often it’s the case they slumber along with revolving door staff who put in a few years, quit, a new round of staff get buzzed to join staff and hold the fort desperately in the small and failing orgs, for a couple years, quit, etc, etc.

        Today they have in the local church areas ENOUGH older timer Scientologists to soak the funds for the buildings.

        This “real estate” phase is actually, an improvment, namely “nice quarters” for the small and failing orgs, and attrative at least for the revolving door staff suckered into coming holding the fort for their 2 1/2 years contracts as org staff.

        I think the “real estate” upgrade phrase is window dressing, BUT it is creature comfort improvements to the already LONG TERM “small and failing org” NORMAL Scientology church trend.

        Scientology’s money and buildings last LONGER than mercurial staff,who don’t do the spiritual practice.

        I have heard that the parishioner participation at the “body thetan” removal (exorcism training) centers (the “Advanced Orgs” in LA, Sydney, St. Hill UK, Copenhagen, Flag) that the parishioner volume is actually steady and relatively good.

        I think the money grubbing of IAS DOES pay off, in that staff who bird dog and reg for IAS, get their comissions, and the IAS sub offices at the Continental area DO pay their local housing and food and caretaker bills to the local Continental Estates Orgs, which in turn HELPS fund the feeding and berthing of the REST of the continental CLO staff.

        So, actually, the focus on money phase, no one is looking at the “benefits” of this, to the Sea Org and staff, who are getting the percentages that IAS leaks to the orgs via commissions and payments for housing and feeding the IAS reg staff.

        The intricacies of how Scientology is still standing, I think need be looked at in detail, because I do NOT think it will crash due to lack of application of the tenets, since the more “got bucks” Scienotlogists have ALREADY been suckered up to the AOs and to Flag and get their actual Bridge services there, the OT levels services and the Flag rundowns, etc, etc.

        The local orgs are behind the scenes, being kept afloat by the already moved pretty far “up the Bridge” local living Scientologists, and I think the IAS funding, and the “real estate” funding schemes being run for local churches, are a way the more got-bucks established local Scientologists are helping their local church, which is also a source of pride to them.

        I see longer range, is Miscavige will soften up when he sees he’s killing off his got bucks Scientologists.

        I’d agree, if Miscavige is so nuts that he never softens up, and he starts pissing off the Jensens and all the super elite Patron zillionaire ultra got bucks Scientologists, THEN, I hope some of those elite parishioners for a super OT committee, and somehow out think Miscavige, and do another round of the 1982 “Mission Holder’s Conference” and this time create a huge public uproar that really DISLODGES Miscavige, since at this juncture in history, it IS Miscavige who’s made himself the real target and block impediment to making Scientology a saner overall operation.

        One of the problems of becoming the one man band at the top, like Miscavige has done, is that he’s an easily focusable target to eject out of the way so Scientology’s reform can take place.

        I think Marty’s blog and inviting “independent Scientologists” to go public, is good.

        Depending on how many, and how influential the new independent Scientologists are, what will tell the tale is just how many Craig Jensens LEAVE and go independent!

        Or if the elite ex members form some sort of independent super OT committee and hold their own “Mission Holders” like conference, and demand some justice on DM.

        Personally, I’d like to see DM gone, an International Amnesty, and let people come and go and do Scientology freely, and have Exec Strata research and undo a lot of the policy rules that make Scientology so cult-like controlling of its members options. SP declaring would become almost none existent, and only as sparsely applied as the freezone applies it now.

        I’d say let everyone in the scientology community has rights to use these new Scientology buildings, and change the whole oppressive atmosphere.

        Scientology to me is the “lower levels” and the “upper levels” and anyone doing those practices have rights as Scientologists to use the Scientology buildings which should be used for the training and spiritual therapy practices and the exorcism practices (OT levels 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7) of Scientology, if that is what Scientologists want to do.

  2. //

    Hi Alice,
    The taped lectures are not available as far as I know. There were only about twelve or so people who were trained on it in the first place. With the advent of Dianetic Clear the special rundown and Expanded Dianetics came into disuse.
    There is a brief write up about the special rundown from a free zone library I read, but it is erroneous and has the program steps backwards.
    If you are serious about knowing about it or delievering it as an indenpendent auditor write me directly at my e mail:

  3. //

    Great post, Glenn!

    David Miscavige has betrayed many great beings who joined Scientology in order to help mankind. David Miscavige, not only betrayed all the dedicated Sea Org members, public but he also betrayed LRH.

    You are definitely an amazing soul and a great auditor with magical results. Thank you for being there and freeing those beautiful souls.

  4. //

    Glenn, excellent write up. I believe you don’t have to physically hit someone to have the same results you are talking about here. Auditing is far more powerful than someone hitting you. The Church has turned auditing into an abusive and mean tool. I have experienced, talked to and read so many accounts of auditing being used as “hitting” the being. The use of the emeter to actually negate gains by the pc. by not calling F/Ns when they actually occur. There is quite a difference to have been audited in LRHs era with auditors like yourself and than get audited now in “the Golden Age of Tech” era. The auditing today as created by Miscavige is reverse Scientology designed to make you less at cause and more dependent on the Church. Miscavige now not only beats people physically but found a far more powerful tool to try and destroy beings with awful, awful auditing. The so called Class IXs at the Sand Castle are the worst. They have bought into the invalidation of auditing that Miscavige has drilled into them. The OTs now being audited and that have been audited for the past 15 years under the Golden Age of Tech. are subject to what you describe in this writeup. People ask why dont more Pre OTs cognite on what Miscavige has done. That is because he using auditing as the tool to actually control people. With gross invalidations of there abilities. I will tell you that I have been audited by some of the best in the LRH era and was personally C/Sed by LRH and my case gain was tremendous. When I left the Sand Castle after getting the “Miscavige way of auditing”. I swore I would never let one of these Miscavige trained “Golden Age of Tech” auditors anywhere near my case again. Give me the real trained auditors like yourself. Who understand what auditing is really doing, making the Thetan more able and at cause. Keep up the good work Glenn it is good to have you in the field again. I will say to those out there if you really want to experience case gain get audited by Glenn or someone who has really duplicated the tech. The “old timers” trained by Ron are the best.

    1. //

      Thanks Robin,
      I agree, the church will be irrelevant if it doesn’t deliver standard auditing and there could be an alternitive such as an independent org, Who is gong to be the Martin Luther of Scientology?

    2. //

      Thanks Murray,
      You are so right and have said a Powerful Thing; entrapment of the soul by using auditing as a control tool, not as a freedom technique is much worse.
      Spritual abuse runs much deeper and is more harmful than physical abuse, so true.

  5. //

    Hi Glenn and Chuck

    Excellent article – many thanks – of particular interest to me personally, as I knew David Miscavige when he was a teenager of about 14 years old, back at St Hill in the mid-1970s. At that point in time, he was a likeable bright young man, and came from a very pleasant family. It is astonishing to me how he has metamorphosed into this suppressive monster.

    As for geting rid of him, it should be relatively straightforward, if the reports we hear about the beatings and false imprisonment are to be believed. It would simply take enough people reporting the criminal assaults against them to persuade the authorities to act – as long as those witnesses were not bought off by the Church.

    Alternatively, perhaps a better strategy is simply to ignore Miscavge and his Church millions, and just concentrate on delivering good quality auditing and training in the independent field – that way, hopefully, the Church will eventually become an irrelevance. My own preference is this latter alternative, since it is the more straighforward route.

    Good luck with building your own practice, my friend.

    Warmest regards, Robin & Adrienne Scott

  6. //

    Hi Mr. Samuels, I hear you have been on the Apollo with LRH. I was told about your site at Marty’s blog so I visited today and read your article. Served in the Sea Org for 9 years! I am very happy “you are back” to help! The whole globe thru the Internet is getting somehow in comm… The resources (thetans) of Scientology are now moving forward… I will be following your blog…

  7. //

    Glen, outstanding article. As you said, name-calling someone an SP or R/Ser won’t cut it. This barbell illustration brings one’s understanding about what an SP really is to a whole new level. It did for me.

  8. //

    Good points on Miscavige, but this whole violence thing in Scientology orgs and Sea Org didn’t start with DM. True, he institutionalized it and made it an accepted and expected practice, but I observed this same streak of physical violence and intimidation and coercion way before he came on board.

    So the genus of this behavior was already existence and in place. Removing DM ain’t gonna handle it, even if one handled all those who went into his valence and perpetrate it.

    LRH had it in place somewhat and it’s in his policies, such as jumping on people from a fence, giving someone a black eye, becoming meaner than Captain Bligh, etc. There’s also his Sea Org directives that tolerate physical fights between staff. Obviously, he can’t jump up and revise those PLs as he should. Someone else would have to be able to do it without being labeled a squirrel.

    LRH wasn’t perfect, as we know.


  9. //

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