By Fred G. Haseney
(Editor’s Note: Today we switch from satire to serious in a report filed by our West Coast Correspondent. — JennyAtLAX.)
When I returned to the Sea Org in 1980 under an Amnesty, little did I know that I would be “forced” to take over the department that had previously employed “Auditor” editor Diane H. Colletto who had been murdered by her own husband a year or so before:
“One night, he [Mark ‘Marty’ Rathbun] was assigned to escort Diane Colletto, the twenty-five-year-old editor of Scientology’s ‘Auditor’ magazine, from the publications building to the Scientology complex [aka “Pacific Area Command Base”; “PAC Base”; “Big Blue”] in Hollywood where they both lived.
“Diane’s husband, John Colleto, a highly trained auditor, had recently been declared a Suppressive Person [an “SP” is excommunicated from the church, and is sometimes a person who is against the spiritual freedom of another or others]. John had gotten into an argument with church officials over a matter of policy. After being declared, he went to visit a Scientology chaplain, who could see that he was having a breakdown. He kept crying and grabbing his head in despair. At that point, he was forcibly detained in the RPF [the “Rehabilitation Project Force,” Scientology Inc’s internal prison where members of the Sea Org—a fraternal religious order—are sometimes held against their will, punished severely, and forced to do menial labor with almost no sleep or a proper diet]. He spent several weeks there, but managed to escape. Diane was ordered to disconnect from him. She told the chaplain that John had threatened her, saying that if he couldn’t have Scientology, then neither could she.” — Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, & the Prison of Belief by Lawrence Wright (New York: Vintage Books, 2013), page 233.
A County of Los Angeles Police Report filed Aug. 19, 1978, reports, “a suspect, tentatively I.D.’d as her husband, fired one shot through the driver’s side of the auto.” Diane died in Rathun’s arms; a shoulder along the Ventura Freeway claimed John’s decomposing corpse (a life taken by his own hands) a few days later.
Flash forward to 1980. I’ve accepted a Sea Org “amnesty” and have reported to the American St. Hill Organization (“ASHO”) Day, located in the same Scientology complex in Hollywood where John murdered his wife. The first thing that I’m to do at ASHO is get through the Estates Project Force (“EPF”), a program designed to train you for the job you’ve been hired to do. Before I can complete the EPF, however, two senior officials at ASHO, Eddie and Debbie Hanson (I think I’ve remembered their names correctly), escort me into an empty office, close the door, and intimidate me to the point that I’m forced to accept my new job without completing the EPF (an action that is not per Church policy—accepting the job before graduating the EPF, not their intimidation).
The job: ASHO Day’s Director of Marketing and Promotion. One of my juniors is Patricia Kettler Foster, the editor of the”Auditor” magazine.
I found working in the same office as Patricia almost unbearable (she would later be declared an SP). Once when ASHO Day didn’t have enough money to produce an edition of the “Auditor” magazine, Patricia threw a fit and went on a screaming rampage, insisting that the Department of Finance let her cover the expense of the promotional piece (although she couldn’t).
I successfully resisted working with Patricia until one fateful day when ASHO Day decided to send out a “special” edition of the “Auditor” because, yet again, they didn’t have enough money. In charges that have never been proven, I suspect that Patricia is responsible for mailing that edition of the “Auditor” with words, sentences and, sometimes, complete paragraphs missing. A Committee of Evidence convicted Patricia and I of wrong doings in this matter, and we were equally billed one-half the cost of that edition of the “Auditor” ($10,000 each). That special edition of the “Auditor” magazine, it turns out, had featured what we thought to be an article written by L. Ron Hubbard (entitled, “How Not to Miss Out on Gains from Your Auditing”), but was, instead, written by David Mayo, Hubbard’s personal auditor who went on to become declared an SP himself.
I hereby call a “That’s it” to rampant declarations of people Suppressive as well as rampant disconnections. Declaring a person an SP did not end in 1978 or even 1980; disconnections are also alive and well in Scientology Inc. There very well may be a few actual SPs in the world; there are even some people or situations who do need to be disconnected from (if handling is impossible). I don’t know the whole story behind John and Diane Colletto, but I do know that he was declared, was sent to the RPF, “escaped,” and murdered his wife. Later, two senior official coerced me (they wouldn’t allow me to leave the room without agreeing to their terms) to be the head of the marketing department which employed Patricia Kettler Foster, later declared an SP. It all is just too dramatic and noisy. It very well may be a bit childish if not inhumane.
What if John Colletto saw Scientology as his “salvation”? When Scientology declared him an SP, they sent him to the RPF. I would imagine that he faced excommunication from his church.
Also, when John found out that his wife, Diane, had been told to disconnect, to cut and sever completely her ties with her husband, how did that sit with him? What if John saw his wife as his “soul mate”?
John may have been a delicate spirit, and the potential loss of his “salvation” and “soul mate” may have thrown him over the edge, resulting in the murder/suicide.
My challenge to Scientology Inc. is to handle people with kid gloves. Scientology Inc. dispenses SP declarations and orders to “disconnect” without a proper license. I can’t get a vitamin shot unless I go to my doctor who has a license that tells me he’s okay to give me that shot. Scientology Inc. does not have a license to issue such extremes as an SP declaration or disconnection, and perhaps they should.
Spanky Taylor, who appeared in HBO’s Going Clear: Scientology & the Prison of Belief asked The Bunker to observe a special anniversary on April 5, 2013, on what would have been Diane’s 60th birthday.
Today, April 5, 2015, would have been Diane’s 62nd birthday. Please observe a moment of silence for her.
Auditor #151 posted a special “In Memorial” for Diane; I’ve included it in the picture; here’s what it reads:
At Hollywood, California
On August 19, 1978, OT VII, Class V, Diane H. Colletto left her body. Diane is a veteran Sea Organization Member of the Publications Organization U.S. She is a Chief Petty Officer, as well as being the spearpoint behind the National Dianetics Magazine Ads, and the Have You Lived Before This Life Campaign. The Auditor Journal U.S. is happy to say she was the best and most harddriving Editor it had in the United States. Her hand in overseeing it’s production will be missed for the time she will be gone.
In wisdom and in skill
To future dates and other smiles
And so we send into the
Chain of all enduring time
We’ll miss you, you know…
… Come friends,
She is all right
And she is gone.
We have our work
To do. And she has hers.
She will be welcome there.”
— L. Ron Hubbard, from the Founding Church of Scientology Funeral Service
Inspired by The Underground Bunker (Tony Ortega on Scientology), “Remembering Diane Colletto, Who Would Have Been 60 Today,” April 5, 2015.