From the St. Petersburg Times in the USA:
Strength in their numbers: More Church of Scientology defectors come forward with accounts of abuse
In Print: Sunday, August 2, 2009
They are stepping forward — from Dallas and Denver, Portland, Las Vegas, Montana — talking about what happened, to them and their friends, during their years in the Church of Scientology.
Jackie Wolff wept as she recalled the chaotic night she was ordered to stand at a microphone in the mess hall and confess her “crimes” in front of 300 fellow workers, many jeering and heckling her.
Gary Morehead dredged up his recollection of Scientology leader David Miscavige punishing venerable church leaders by forcing them to live out of tents for days, wash with a garden hose and use an open latrine.
Steve Hall replayed his memory of a meeting when Miscavige grabbed the heads of two church executives and knocked them together. One came away with a bloody ear.
Mark Fisher remembered precisely what he told Miscavige after the punches stopped and Fisher touched his head, looked at his palm and saw blood.
These and other former Scientology staffers are talking now, inspired and emboldened by the raw revelations of four defectors from the church’s executive ranks who broke years of silence in stories published recently by the St. Petersburg Times.
Those behind-the-scenes accounts from Marty Rathbun and Mike Rinder, the highest officials ever to leave Scientology, were buttressed by detailed revelations of highly placed former managers Amy Scobee and Tom De Vocht.
Now their stories have prompted other former Scientology veterans to go public about physical and mental abuses they say they witnessed and endured.
Some want to support and defend the initial four, whom church representatives labeled as liars attempting a coup. Others say they feel more secure now that Rathbun, Rinder and the others are on the record with their unprecedented accounts of life on the inside.
But fear still prevents many defectors from talking. For every former church staffer willing to speak out, one or two more refused.
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