Scientology After Going Clear
Los Angeles Field Operations
April 18, 2015, 1400 Hours
Fred G. Haseney, your West Coast Correspondent, reporting from Scientology Incorporated’s (“SI”) West Coast headquarters, the Pacific Area Command Base (aka “PAC Base” or “Big Blue”). It’s a few days after my last Field Operations, and recent events have prompted this update sooner than expected.
With Dwyane and Daniel Powell’s full police interrogations on my mind, I took a rest from Field Operations in the City of the Angels; Scientology Incorporated, however, came to me.
As reported by Tony Ortega, in 2013, West Allis, Wisconsin police found a small arsenal in the possession of a private investigator (“PI”) hired by David “Let Him Die” Miscavige, leader of the Church of Scientology, at $10,000 a week for eighteen months (that’s over half-a-million dollars of tax-free money) to keep tabs on Miscavige’s father. Ron Miscavige Sr. left (escaped) SI the year before, and Davey doesn’t want daddy telling anyone about his son’s sins. The police take the PI, Dwayne S. Powell, into custody after a citizen reported prowlers. That’s when West Allis police found a small arsenal in the his possession, including an assault rifle with a handmade silencer:
The full police interrogations of Powell and his son, Daniel, are revealing in what they say and what they don’t say. Daniel Powell isn’t telling all; the cops know he’s withholding information from them because Daniel’s dad has already spilled his guts:
WEST ALLIS POLICE: You’re not calling shit here.
DANIEL: Nobody will tell me what’s going on.
WEST ALLIS POLICE: Well, here’s the thing. You’re not just going to walk in here, get information and walk away happy. That’s not how it works. Okay? Yes, we know what your dad is working on.
Daniel comes across as a Scientologist, perhaps even as a member of the Office of Special Affairs; he’s had some kind of SI training and it shows. Daniel’s got real big balls, but they’re about to be snipped by a policeman who wears his hat well.
DANIEL: Who’s he [Daniel’s father] working for?
WEST ALLIS POLICE: The Church of Scientology, through another private investigation firm, who is retained by an attorney, who is retained by David [Miscavige].
DANIEL: Okay, well, why can’t I talk to him? I’ve been worried about my dad all day, that’s why I’m so upset.
I don’t think so, Daniel; I think you have so much to hide that you’re in fear of being found out. I think you’re going to seriously miss this “goose,” the one that’s laid your last golden egg.
WEST ALLIS POLICE: We’re in the midst of explaining that to you, okay? But your dad’s got a bunch of crap in his car that shouldn’t have been in his car as well. Okay? And I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. Well, these are things that we’re going to talk about.
WEST ALLIS POLICE: But these are things that, basically, we’re going to have you talk to him briefly and he can tell you what his wishes are of you.
Thank God the police are in control; they’re not letting the Powells dance over, on or around them.
WEST ALLIS POLICE (Continued): And then we need to sit down and talk and at the end of that, we’ll be able to determine that everything he has told us is truthful. Know what I mean?
Another policeman explains that they don’t know if Daniel’s father is in any sort of trouble. The police confronted Dwayne who didn’t cooperate, thus the trouble he’s in. Next, Daniel’s prying question makes him sound like a Tom Cruise-like character in a cheap, tawdry television version of Mission: Impossible.
DANIEL: What was the contact made for?
WEST ALLIS POLICE: That I already explained to you.
Here’s Daniel, arrogant and daring.
DANIEL: Speeding? Prowling [as if he suddenly remembers what the police told him earlier]? He was prowling?
WEST ALLIS POLICE: Yeah. Okay.
Dwayne was found on someone’s property and wouldn’t show proper identification.
WEST ALLIS POLICE: Being PI’s, you guys are in a sort of a tricky situation. If the police think something criminal is occurring, the confidentiality with your client really doesn’t do anything for you.
The police explain that they are not the media; not a tabloid; that the information Daniel gives them isn’t going to be broadcast anywhere (except at Tony Ortega, and through various media outlets, such as the Los Angeles Times, the New York Daily News, the Tampa Bay Times, and all over the internet through the Smoking Gun, TMZ, etc).
The police have “concerns” about the Powell’s “mission” in their neck of the woods, considering the arsenal they’ve discovered in daddy’s vehicle.
DANIEL: I can tell you that those are not criminal; we collect them.
WEST ALLIS POLICE: Okay. And can you see why it might look bad?
Daniel and the police spend the next few seconds or so talking over, on or around each other, until:
DANIEL: We like fire arms.
WEST ALLIS POLICE: Uh-huh.
DANIEL: And we buy rifles and stuff. We collect them. We shoot them for fun at targets.
The police ask for details about the fire arms they’ve brought with them. Daniel tells them about a .22-rifle and, he “believes,” a .22-assault rifle. Father and son have multiple fire arms, so Daniel isn’t sure of what daddy brought with him. Daniel’s electronic device (phone?) sounds a third time, and the police have to ask him to “take it” or silence it.
You’d think that being under suspicion by law enforcement would force one to silence all electronic devices before entering a police station. Oh, wait a minute. That’s too sane. We’re talking about fools hired by Miscavige to spy on the leader of SI’s father, for goodness sake… a spy who has weapons and faces a felony charge… a spy and his son with crap to hide from the authorities in, most likely, more than one state in these here United States of America.
The police want Daniel to talk to them about fire arm “accessories” that his dad had on him for that .22-assault rifle. Daniel proceeds to “bunch up” and LIE, hoping that the police are too stupid to realize that he’s playing them. At this point, Daniel actually wears a cloak of arrogance that reminds me, strangely, of former Scientology spokeshole, Tommy Davis.
DANIEL: I don’t know.
WEST ALLIS POLICE: You remember seeing a white tube? He [referring to Daniel’s father] said you’re familiar with the white tube that he had with that.
There’s a long pause, and then Daniel LIES again. He also gets real, real quiet.
WEST ALLIS POLICE: You never saw the PVC tube…
Daniel realizes the cops aren’t dumb. The poor kid must think he’s been talking to Bernard “Barney” Oliver Fife, the deputy sheriff comically portrayed by actor Don Knotts in the hit American television program, The Andy Griffith Show.
DANIEL: Oh, yeah. [oh, you mean THAT one, yuck, yuck!]
WEST ALLIS POLICE: What’s that?
Daniel plays dumb again and the air in the room suddenly gets THICK with his insolence and stupidity.
DANIEL: I dunno. It’s just a PVC tube, as far as I know [yeah, like his dad had hired a plumber to do some plumbing on an assault rifle]. I don’t know what it does.
I can just hear Miscavige now: “Tell them ‘name,’ ‘rank,’ and ‘serial number,’ and nothing else. Let them take no prisoners!”
WEST ALLIS POLICE: Okay. He [Daniels’ father] said you helped him test fire it.
Nobody says anything; you could’ve cut the air with a butcher knife.
WEST ALLIS POLICE: What’s it designed to do?
More silence. Then, quickly, as if there’s no alternative and that there might be a slight chance the police can be molded by Daniel’s sticky little fingers:
DANIEL: Can I talk to my dad?
Pause. The police know that if they deny his request, that they’ll end up with daddy’s little boy in the palms of their hands.
WEST ALLIS POLICE: Not right now. You will be able to in the near future. But… what’s that designed to do?
More silence. I’ve been there, Daniel. I know what’s it like to have to give it up to the “authorities,” to the people in charge.
WEST ALLIS POLICE: Daniel, you’re a smart guy. You’re a gun fan. Everyone who’s a gun fan knows what that’s designed to do and that’s one of the concerns that we have, right?
It’s been like pulling teeth, but Daniel finally spills all he knows about the handmade silencer and the PVC tubing, “jimmy-made” in Tennessee. In the Grand Jury Indictment filed against Dwayne Scott Powell, Count One states that the silencer is described as “cylindrical PVC pipe with interior baffling and washers designed to fit the barrel of a German Sports Guns, 522, .22LR caliber rifle.” The police report states: “I asked [Dwayne] Powell if he was hired as a hit man to kill Ron if the Church of Scientology ordered such action and he stated that he was not.”
Lovely. So what’s with the undercover surveillance? The small arsenal? The assault rifle? A “jimmy-made” silencer? The hit-men-type pay of over HALF A MILLION DOLLARS of “church” money, of tax-free American dollars? Just how much does a hired hit man go for these days? It baffles me that David “Let Him Die” Miscavige is still at the helm of this cult.
That’s enough of the interrogation for me to know that Miscavige should be in deep, deep hot water for arranging this.
Scientology Incorporated denied EVERYTHING, of course. Here’s a written statement that PEOPLE magazine received from Miscavige’s attorney, Michael Lee Hertzberg: “Mr. Miscavige does not know Mr. Powell, has never heard of Mr. Powell, has never met Mr. Powell, has never spoken to Mr. Powell, never hired Mr. Powell and never directed any investigations by Mr. Powell.”
So, I’ve taken a break from Field Operations because if little Davey will stoop to this kind of crap to keep daddy in line, what would he or his cohorts do with someone the likes of me? Field Operations aren’t worth the risk, I reasoned, not with Davey on THIS side of a prison’s bars.
Before the severity of Davey’s crimes sunk in, however, I visited the former KCET Studios, now owned by SI.
I walked the perimeter of the new home of what SI calls the “Scientology Media Center” (“SMC”), near the junction of where Hollywood Blvd. and Sunset Blvd. meet in Los Angeles.
At about 2 PM on a Saturday, one of SI’s white buses pulls up at SMC’s front entrance, and out spills a bunch of people that enter through the front gate. I lean against a palm tree in order to capture its shade, and start snapping pictures. A black car, with the passenger window rolled down, quickly rolls into view at that gate, with a female passenger wearing sunglasses staring at me. The car, meanwhile, conveniently blocks me from snapping any further pictures of the Sea Org troop.
Yesterday, April 21, 2015, I toured some of historic Hollywood’s religious centers, past and present, all within a short walking distance of Celebrity Centre International (“CC Int”), including:
The Protection of the Holy Virgin Russian Orthodox Church, 2014 Argyle Avenue (officially part of the parish since 1952, the first parish Temple moved into its current facility, an old Catholic Church, in 1964).
The Monastery of the Angels, 1977 Carmen Avenue (the “Cloistered Dominican Nuns” belong, according to the monastery’s brochure, “to the Order of Preachers,” founded in 1207, “by Saint Dominic Guzman,” in France. The monastery has been in its present location since 1934 and is well-known for their hand-dipped chocolates and pumpkin bread. Sweets and religious items are available on site at their gift shop, and no, you don’t need to be a member of the International Association of Scientologists, er, um… I mean, of their faith to visit their facility; you won’t be watched, followed suspiciously or hounded to buy, buy, buy).
The Krotona Colony, 2130 Vista del Mar Avenue and other locations nearby (located in Ojai since 1926, Krotona, an important Theosophical colony in California, has its roots in the Hollywood Hills beginning in 1912; almost all of Krotona’s buildings still stand today, although their functions have changed and all have seen some kind of remodeling).
On my way home from the Monastery, I walked on the CC Int side of Franklin Avenue because there’s rarely anyone walking on that side of the street. There are plenty of businesses and restaurants across the street and I’d rather avoid crowds. CC Int on Franklin extends merely one block, from Tamarind Ave. east to Bronson. But in that one short block, I pull in a security guard who questions me about Field Operations that I conducted some days earlier as well as a Scientologist who has been a Bubble Dweller for 45 years and wears a “hook” for a hand.
One can’t forget that at least one security guard at CC Int carries around, or has access to, a loaded firearm. Let’s not forget the Samurai sword knife-wielding man who, on November 23, 2008, approached security guards in a “threatening manner” at CC Int; one of them shot him; he was later pronounced dead as a door nail at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center. So I proceed carefully as the security guard politely interrogates me.
Chapter V of the Manual of Field Operations* states:
“An officer can be taken by surprise when he is attacked before he has time to form any defensive disposition. Such an ambush can be a difficult enterprise, one that requires great boldness and a prompt resolution, as unforeseen events may occur at the moment of its execution; an officer should always be prepared for such.”
The good-looking security guard who I encountered during Field Operations on April 17 at CC Int (I’ll affectionately call him “Arnie”), takes me by surprise, pulls up on his mountain bike, leans against a nearby telephone pole and smiles. Arnie is so squeaky-clean, his attire so spiffy that even on a cloudy day, the gold name tag pinned to his chest simply sparkles. You can’t be deceived by first, or even second appearances, I tell myself as I recall Chapter II of the manual, Proceed with caution. Even as we exchange pleasantries, a stranger appears (he later identifies himself as Scott, a 45-year Bubble Dwelling Scientologist), the right-hand-for-a-hook man, who keeps his distance, standing a couple of feet away, but definitely within earshot. All of this happens in the span of a block, in the middle of the day. I didn’t announce myself nor did I arrive with bells and whistles on; if this isn’t an ambush, I don’t know what is.
ARNIE: How did those pictures you took the other day turn out?
FRED: Pretty good.
ARNIE: Did you post them on-line?
FRED: Yes, to Facebook.
I tell him about my ventures that afternoon to Krotona Land, and show him the monastery brochure, a place he hadn’t heard of before. As we say our goodbyes, Scott steps up to plate, and we walk together, exchanging view points on Scientology, and Scientology Incorporated, not for the next few feet or block, but we walk together from Bronson Ave. to Western Ave., a total of eight blocks, comparing notes for the next ten minutes.
First, I think that Scott is an ex-Scientologist, but he’s far from it. His main point, I believe, is his hope that I’m not antagonistic against Scientology. He speaks of the downward spiral of America and how Scientology will survive “The End” of that spiral by staying strong in households and small groups nationwide. I tell him I’m not in agreement with what Miscavige is doing to the church, I even discuss the damage an altered definition of a “Tone Arm” can do in an auditing session, but he has nothing to say to support or defend such a change, as if it’s just all natural and okay. When I mention the fact that Miscavige paid private investigators to follow his own father, Scott says has he has “no idea what that’s all about.” When I tell him that I support Scientology as a faith, and see nothing wrong with the Independent or Freezones movements, I clearly get his support of Miscavige’s Scientology and nothing else. Scott is a good talker and listener; fair in his communication, never arguing or challenging.
I can’t help but wonder about this supposed ambush: in the twenty-eight years that I’ve lived in Los Angeles, I’ve never encountered, back-to-back, two Scientologists in the space of only a block and within mere seconds of each other. Did Scientology Incorporated assign Scott as its witness when Arnie greeted me? You be the judge.
Here are photos from Field Operations to the Scientology Media Center (most were shot April 4, 2015; the most recent ones of the Sea Org members, on April 18):
* Inspired by the Manual of Field Operations by Lieut. Henry Jervis-White (London: John Murray, Albemarle Street, 1852).