Small Cracks in Scientology

Dissatisfaction with Scientology Church policies (Title on main page)
Small Cracks in Scientology (Title on follow-up page)

On Wednesday, January 7, 2004, Netwerk – a daily news background and analysis program on Dutch TV – included a 13-minute segment titled, “Dissatisfaction with Scientology Church policies.”

The item was presented by Aart Zeeman of Dutch broadcaster NCRV, and reported by Jelle Broekroelofs and Frank du Mosch.

After the broadcast, Netwerk’s web site was updated to include background information, including

an introductory overview of Scientology
• a number of links and sources (shown below)
• links to online smallband and broadband versions of the broadcast (Windows Media, .asf files)

Over the past few months, the Dutch brand of the Scientology Church has been plagued by scandals: early December the Netherlands office was placed under guardianship, members left, and recently ex-director Caspar de Rijk was branded an SP: Suppressive Person. A look in Scientology’s kitchen.

The web site of the Scientology Church states that Scientology is ‘an applied religious philosophy.’ “Scientology deals with the individual man and woman. The goals is to give the individual enough knowledge about himself and his life and to free him, so that he can apply improvements the way he sees fit,” according to the site.

Invisible Entities
The Scientology Church was founded fifty years ago in America by science fiction author Ron Hubbard. According to him all the suffering in the world can be blamed on tyrant Xenu, who millions of years ago attacked the earth with thermo-nuclear weapons. Since then, mean, invisible entities – thetans – are making life hard for us. However, according to Hubbard there is a solution: follow Scientology’s courses.

‘Bridge to spiritual freedom’
By using these courses, negative experiences can be removed. Once that has happened, the ‘bridge to spiritual freedom’ can be crossed. This will lead to optimal success.

One of the first goals is to become ‘clear.’ That entails a kind of emotional cleaning that can take a few years. After this there are eight stages of spiritual deliverance to be reached. They are indicated by the term OT: operating thetan. OT8 is the highest level. Course fees are charged by the hour. The fees can be as high as €1000 (Euro 1000 = at the time of this writing: $1,278. Some people invest tons [a ‘ton’ is colloquial Dutch for 100,000 guilders = 45,378.02 EUR = 57,997 USD at time of publication. Check this currency converter for current rates]

Five hours in the sauna
Members can also undergo a cleansing program, a so-called ‘Purf,’ after the English ‘purification.’ Participants sometimes spend weeks on end in the sauna for five hours a day, and also take heavy doses of vitamins.

Eight million members
The church now has bases around the world. According to Scientology, worldwide there are eight million members. The churches are headed by the international church in Los Angeles and de European head quarters in Copenhagen. In September the church opened an office in Brussels in order to represent the church in the European Union.

The Scientology Church has been marked as a strict, hierarchical organization. In America John Travolta and Tom Cruise are important figureheads for the church. The Dutch branch must do without such luminaries, and has – during the past few months – has trouble keeping negative publicity outside its doors.

Small Cracks
Thus the church is sporting some small cracks. Ex-followers have become whistle-blowers, and have set up an alternative branch: Ron’s org. Former director Caspar de Rijk wanted to grant Netwerk an interview, but was opposed by the Scientology Church Amsterdam. Now De Rijk is a ‘suppressive person,’ which means that [Scientology’s] adherents are strictly prohibited from having any contact with him. By the way, the interview with Netwerk has now taken place.

In addition, according to Het Parool, during the past few months seventy of the 150 active members have resigned. The news paper recently reported that the director has also been relieved of her position. ‘Not true,’ opined the Scientology Church. She herself has traveled to Copenhagen to become clear, to follow course, and to reach OT-levels.

Fact is that in place of the Dutch director the Italian Pozzi has been declared temporary director in order to get things in order. He hails from the Sea Org, a kind of elite corps fashioned after the American marines. This organization, Org in Scientology terms, is specialized in management.

Official web site Scientology Kerk Nederland
Scientology Kerk Amsterdam
Opponent of the Scientology Church
Ron’s Org
In-depth Report Scientology Kerk Amsterdam (Het Parool)
[Note: English-language translations of those articles can be found at]
Karin Spaink versus Scientology

SP-declare De Rijk (page 1)
Suppressive Person-verklaring (2)
Suppressive Person-verklaring (3)
Punishment for Scientology apostates


(Listed if other than Religion News Blog, or if not shown above)
Netwerk, Netherlands
Jan. 7, 2004 Media Preview
Jelle Broekroelofs and Frank du Mosch.
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Religion News Blog posted this on Friday January 9, 2004.
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