Ten Gross Errors in the Free Zone and Independent Field

“I don’t gotta share no stinkin’ folders…” – (Variation of the famous line from the movie “Treasure of the Sierra Madre”)


“My heart, like a bird has escaped from the snare of the fowler…” (Psalm 122:7) – But the memory of the cage remains, so we run around in tight little circle.Matthew Laird, “Into the Silent Land”



Three years ago the popular blogger and Independent Scientologist Marty Rathbun posted my article “The FNing Chair, Ten Gross Technical Errors from the Golden Age of Tech.” (http://blog.scientologyrecovery.com/technical-matters/) It was met with enthusiasm and helped many ex-Scientology church members get relief from the abusive tech they had received. Since then I have worked with the abused from Scientology and other destructive cults.

Recently, I have encountered a new type of client; those messed up by misapplication in the Scientology Freezone or Independent Field. By definition these practitioners are free and independent. They are free from the oppression of the church, yet with freedom comes responsibility. I have found that due to lack of training, supervision, and integrity many have wrought pain and suffering to their clients.

There has been an independent field since 1983 that has recently swelled during Miscavige’s cruel reign. The field and its leaders have the potential to unify and start a reformed Church of Scientology.  Instead the field is riddled with petty squabbles, infighting, and lack of kinship without a singular strong voice. It is splintered with divergent groups instead of being a graceful movement. This post is an encouragement to ex-members to get along and also a warning for those who are seeking independent Scientology practitioners.

The Errors:

1. Unqualified and untrained in Scientology. Some who claim to be able to deliver Scientology and the upper levels are not, in fact, trained to do so. Some say they are qualified, but are actually trained on a – read it, drill it, do it – basis on the RPF (Rehabilitation Project Force). Some claim classifications, but are not interned in or out of the corporate church. Also, there is a lack of knowledge of the entirety of Scientology and what it can or can’t do.

Mental therapy can be extremely dangerous in untrained hands. It takes extreme care, knowledge, and a responsible person to guide a case through the morass of mental and spiritual difficulties. Errors in therapy can cause suicide, or its ideation, accidents, injuries, illnesses, life upheavals, and death. The poorly trained have caused this since the inception of Dianetics and Scientology in the 1950s.

2. No case supervision. Some practitioners have been trained to audit, but are not trained case supervisors. Case supervision, a CS, is a different job than counseling; it requires its own courses, internships and skills. Without case supervision there is no one to set a proper course for the client or the auditor, especially when things go off the rails. Often the auditor works alone and thinks that he or she has skills to succeed without supervision, many do not. With today’s internet and scanners there is no excuse to go it alone, especially if a case flounders.

3. Not sharing folders. It is a hardship for any auditor or CS when a client arrives from corporate Scientology without folders. You would think auditors in the Freezone would understand that fact and want to share their folders. For the most part, the opposite is true. My clients and I have pleaded with some auditors to send folders, but they refuse. This refusal is particularly harmful when the client is in a crisis. 

One veteran independent center owner feels the reasons folders aren’t shared is the fear of losing clients and jealousy. Some auditors have mentioned that they won’t share the folders due to materials being confidential, such as the Ls (Ls stands for lists. They are numbered L10, L11 and L12). There is nothing on the Ls that would impair anyone if they read them and most of the Ls material is found in the non-confidential technical volumes in the section on Expanded Dianetics and the False Purpose Rundown. The confidential “OT levels” are all over the internet and most auditors know them. There is absolutely no excuse to not share folders or pass on the listing done. When a serious illness is at hand or a life has crashed, it is vital to have folders. One can only consider it selfishness or fear of discovery due to unethical or dangerous techniques and practices. 

NB: The old Scientology org board had a post called Inter-Org Tech folder liaison officer. In the old days in Los Angeles the post was held by Jack Reno, he was always busy delivering folders between the four orgs. Maybe the Freezone and Independent auditors should find him and hire him.

4. Lack of integrity. One practitioner took advantage of a client by accepting gifts and then used his position to get a loan. This was hidden at the time, but coincidentally, I found him committing gross technical errors on cases. So did a Field Class XII CS. He then bad mouthed us. He poached clients from the independent center in Washington. He eventually fled to another state after messing up many people.  

Another auditor was found to be a drinker and abandoned a colleague in Russia. One of his former clients that I worked with said that he mixed alcohol with his coffee. Whether an auditor is celebrated or just starting out, it is important to be honest and to do stellar work. That is what the client wants, that undercuts any dispute. Money matters, but I don’t think any of us are in it for the money. If a client doesn’t wish to continue, get help and sort it out. With today’s internet and posting it only takes one or two disputes and negative comments on a popular website to hurt a career. Conflict resolution is biblical, Jesus said to solve it before you get to lawyers and courts. “Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still together on the way, or your adversary may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison” (Matthew 5:25)

We are not the Church of Scientology that creates an oppressive culture of fear. Don’t write reports on one another and get into warring, work it out. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”  (Matthew 5:9) 

5. Roteness. The quote at the top of the post about running around in circle when the cage is gone applies to this gross in the main. Since the mid 1970s Scientology has used a checklist approach to processing. It usually results in gross errors and shows a general lack of understanding what counseling is really about. The rote approach and a lack of folder sharing often leads to “jaw dropping” omissions; not handling rapes and beatings, crimes, divorces, heavy traumas and losses. One recent case was processed on major actions three times and another was put on the Bridge without fully addressing the obvious need to relieve the current trauma from disconnection and expulsion by Scientology.

6. Upper level breaches. Some auditors reveal upper level material when they don’t know how to solve routine case problems. This breach adds serious confusion and complexities to a case. One client needed help to recover from multiple traumas such as divorce, attempted suicides, drug black outs, and military abuse; instead the auditor put him on the advanced levels without training. Those serious debilitating events were not handled while he tried to fend off the added stimulation from advanced level material. Every client I have encountered from this “auditor” has been handled the same way. 

7. Petty jealousies and name calling. I wrote a post, “Mending Broken Fences.” (http://blog.scientologyrecovery.com/mending-broken-fences/) In it I mentioned that the field should try to get along. I had hoped to be a galvanizing influence and still do. But, some bloggers and “experts” in Scientology treat others in the field like the church does. Writers like Marty Rathbun and me have been called “squirrel” and were accused of treason for “mixing practices” because we dared to write about other religions violating Scientology dogma. In my case I wrote stories about Hubbard that did not treat him regally which caused heinous disconnections from legalistic and narrow minded independents. The obvious dramatization of doing what was done to them would be laughable, if not so hurtful. 

8. Pretended differences in theology. All who claim to be in the Freezone or call themselves Independent Scientologists try to follow the teachings of L. Ron Hubbard. There is not much different in the Freezone or Independent Field in terms of theology, yet they think there is. There hasn’t been any significant change in techniques since 1978. 

Some use “Captain Bill’s tech” which hobby horses science fiction mythology and claims to have “OT levels above 8. “ What Bill Robertson wrote isn’t part of Scientology. Other than that, the minor changes in the techniques and grade chart versions don’t amount to a hill of beans.

9. No Central Governing Body. Like it or not there are benefits from organization. Yes, some freedoms are lost; however, anarchy is doomed to failure and destruction. The independent field will follow its own demise if it doesn’t get organized.

One former senior administrator reminded me of the old Sea Orgs Missions that announced their arrival by sticking a dagger in the wall at the Org. We both had a good laugh about that, but despite the drama, good missions helped. No knives please, but one should try to network to get help. There are senior technical supervisors in the field and Freezone, call them and use them.

10. Lack of Charity and Cold heartedness. The attitude between one another should be helping and benevolent. Folder and Information sharing should be the norm.  Inherent in a Scientology upbringing is a lack of charity. Scientology could have had free education and trauma centers in every major city. Instead it is a corporate monolith consumed with bilking its members for money to buy buildings. Individuals who have adopted and still have this Scientology viewpoint in business and lifestyle do not believe in charity. They think that charity is rewarding a “downstat” (i.e.  a non achiever) and should never be done.  Self concerns about power and a tendency towards cold heartedness are part of the Scientology experience. If an independent Scientologist carries that paradigm forward he or she will be compassion-less and live an unfulfilled life. Compassion is one of the cornerstones of love. Generosity and compassion should be the focus of a life out of Scientology and/or the corporate church. That type of love demonstrated will bring peace and prosperity to the individual and any group.

Leave a Reply