Monday, June 22, 2009

SP Times Scientology article on Lisa McPherson

Part two of the three-part series in the St. Petersburg Times on Scientology has been published, and it's a detailed account of the death of Lisa McPherson. Some of the previously unpublished details include that David Miscavige was personally monitoring McPherson's auditing over closed circuit television and deemed her "clear" in 1995, prior to her minor car accident and subsequent death after being held for 17 days in the Fort Harrison hotel and being subjected to the "introspection rundown." This is according to Tom De Vocht and Don Jason, both former high-ranking Scientologists in Clearwater. The Church of Scientology denies that Miscavige was even present in Clearwater.

In December 1999, when a judge ruled that Miscavige could be added as a defendant in the McPherson wrongful death case, he allegedly became more abusive and irrational. The criminal case against the church fell apart when the medical examiner changed her ruling from undetermined cause of death to accidental death. Former Scientologist Marty Rathbun, one of the critics speaking out for this series, agrees with the church on this point that the medical examiner's decision was based on the evidence rather than on blackmail or pressure from the church.


(Photograph is of a Scientology Sea Org bus near the Fort Harrison Hotel, with a couple members of the Sea Org in uniform, on June 25, 2005. Sea Org members sign billion-year contracts.)

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