Is Auditing a religious ritual or a form of child abuse?
Scientology adamantly insists the former.
David Miscavige’s voyeuristic proclivities have been firmly established by former members.
“At the Int base, Miscavige is known to pride himself on having memorized the sexual irregularities of practically every staff member there. He has demonstrated his ‘accomplishment’ to others by picking staff at random and announcing their most embarrassing sexual information, to prove how much he’s ‘in the know’.”
–Scientology, Abuse at the Top, Amy Scobee, Ch 7
Scobee continues, “I was in Marc Yager’s office when Miscavige called in to brief him on ‘the latest’ with a female celebrity connected with Michael Jackson. Yager kept saying ‘No way, really? That’s completely out of control!…’ When Yager hung up the phone, he told me what he had just been briefed on. Obviously these two were snooping into celebrity confessionals, then snickering about the deeply personal information they learned. I wondered what this celebrity would think if she knew this was happening by the top executives of her ‘church’.” –Ibid
Information stored in the PC Folders of members is blackmail fodder for ensuring silence and obedience.
Common sense and common human decency preclude any other function for recording and permanent storage of people’s sins.
Children are audited in Scientology. Everything they reveal during these sessions is recorded, documented and saved.
Scientology created fair game websites such as whoisamyscobee.com, whoismikerinder.com and others contain material that was written in the assumed confidentiality of the auditing confessional.
That it is maliciously revealed for the purpose of public excoriation is proof that auditing is not respected as a confidential religious rite.
This along with Miscavige’s penchant for violating members’ PC Folders for his own entertainment and one can only accept that auditing is merely a means for the collection of potentially humiliating personal information for both prurient reasons and abusive control.
There is no possible spiritual gain from the documentation and storage of one’s sins.
“Obscene material is material which deals with sex in a manner appealing to prurient* interest.”
Reading the contents of someone’s PC Folder, then discussing it with colleagues to titillate and scandalize is absolutely prurient.
Miscavige, as leader of Scientology has no right to a member’s confession.
Scientology points to other faiths, including Catholicism to justify auditing. However in the Catholic Church NO confession is ever recorded or otherwise documented. More importantly, the priest cannot discuss any penitent’s confession even with the Pope, himself. This is Canon Law. Any priest violating the Seal of the Confessional faces immediate excommunication. “Canon 983.1 of the Code of Canon Law, the Catechism states, ‘…It is a crime for a confessor in any way to betray a penitent by word or in any other manner or for any reason’”.
Amy Scobee’s experiences highlights exactly the dangers of Scientology auditing. Not only was her session used to re-victimize her after she was raped, but to the present the information gathered during her auditing is still being used as psychological terrorism to intimidate and dehumanize her.
During auditing at the age of 14, which she believed to be confidential, Scobee revealed that she had been raped by a 35 year old man. Rather than any spiritual support or comfort, she was accused of being a “repeat adulteress” all while her rapist was protected.
Echoes of Hubbard’s 7 year old girl?
Later this accusation of adultery would be repeated by Scientology in the fair game website set up to attack and discredit her. In addition, confessions she wrote while in the so called “sanctity” of the confessional of auditing have been published on this same site for the sole purpose of character assassination.
Amy Scobee was not an adulteress. She was a child victim of Statutory Rape by a 35 year old man.
Nor is Scobee’s story of shaming and betrayal during auditing an isolated incident.
Mirriam Francis, who appeared as a guest on Scientology and the Aftermath along with Saina Kamula, revealed that as a child she had been molested by her Sea Org father.
Desperately seeking help, “Mirriam revealed during an audit that her father was a ‘suppressive person,’ the auditor found her revelation impossible since her dad was a Sea Organization member, which is part of the higher ranks of Scientology.”
Speaking to The Sun, an anonymous former member recalls; “I started delivering Scientology audits to adults at about 13 or 14 and that was where I had to ask people questions about their darkest secrets especially sexual – you had to get every single little detail.”
“I remember auditing an older man who was married with a family and when I asked him about his thoughts he eventually confessed ‘I’m thinking about f**king you’. He didn’t want to say it and I didn’t want to hear it but I had to get the answer. It really messes you up.”
How many children find themselves similarly abused during Scientology auditing? There are no safeguards in place to protect minors in the auditing room.
Scientology’s publishing even a single confession by any member, current or former, nullifies their claims of Clergy/Penitent Privilege.
More importantly, not every auditor is a minister in Scientology which further removes auditing from the protection of the confessional. Even so, Scientology promises (threatens?) they will invoke Clergy/Penitent Privilege in their own defense.
Unfortunately for Scientology, the State of Florida has this loophole covered.
Members of the Clergy are Mandated Reporters and according to Florida Law Group Taylor|English; “Church Programs: The statues does not require clergy or lay leaders to give their names. The clergy/penitent privilege does not apply; clergy must report anything they learn in course of confession or counseling.”
So where are the reports with Amy, Mirriam, Serge, Saina and so many others’ names? By law, the moment a minor reveals they are being abused clergy must report it.
Not once has Scientology followed the law.
In the State of Florida, where Scientology’s Flag Base is located and where much of auditor training takes place, the legal definition of “obscenity” is:
(10) “Obscene” means the status of material which:
(a) The average person, applying contemporary community standards, would find, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest;
(b) Depicts or describes, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct as specifically defined herein; and
(c) Taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.
(A) Any right thinking person who discovers David Miscavige studies pre clear folders, then publicly shames the objects of those folders with the information contained therein can have no doubt as to his prurient interest.
(B) This is self explanatory. Any adult discussing sexual matters in explicit detail with an underage adolescent is fulfilling this requirement fully.
(C) There is no possible value in exposing minors to any adult confessions.
Despite Scientology’s bizarre and damaging teaching that children are really adults in small bodies, the Law says otherwise.
“The standard of what is harmful to minors may differ from the standard applied to adults. Harmful materials for minors include any communication consisting of nudity, sex or excretion that (i) appeals to the prurient interest of minors, (ii) is patently offensive to prevailing standards in the adult community with respect to what is suitable material for minors, (iii) and lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value for minors.”
It is clear that Scientology hides abuse behind a comfortable cloak of religious righteousness. Calling auditing a spiritual act doesn’t make it one. David Miscavige’s perverted giggles as he shares what he’s read remove any hope of sanctity from the endeavor.
Bad enough that vulnerable adults are misled into revealing their most closely held secrets which then are kept as a sword of Damocles to ensure obedience.
Untenable are the children who, like Hubbard’s 7 year old little girl, are stripped of their rights to boundaries, safety and healthy childhood years.
The difficulty of course is convincing Child Protective Services and Law Enforcement that intervention is desperately needed. To make a report one needs names, both of the abused and the abuser. No provision is made for the unannounced investigation of children being raised within an abusive cult. This is Scientology’s Stay-Out-Of-Jail-Free card.
It is a tragic oversight.
*Prurient – voyeuristic, lascivious, lecherous, lustful, lewd, libidinous, lubricious; depraved, debauched, degenerate, dissolute, dissipated
Also – having or encouraging an excessive interest in sexual matters
Part 4: Conclusion, Scientology Auditing Abuse Mirrors Parentification