Mark Fladd appeared with his wife, Stephanie, on an episode of The Aftermath. They told part of their experiences with Orange County org. Good people, chewed up and spit out by the relentless money-grubbing. Of course, instead of making things right with them, scientology sought to smear them. Mark wanted to clarify some things and I am happy to have this forum available for him to do so.
Open Letter to Church of Scientology
Clarifications and an update for the Public Record
By Mark Fladd, ex-Scientologist | Riverside County, California | 2020
The reason for the following open letter is a rebuttal of the letter posted on the Scientology exposé site leahreminiaftermath.com regarding the appearance of myself and my wife on Leah Remini and the Aftermath show.
While I was a Scientologist, during a fundraiser at the Church of Scientology of Orange County in which I signed up for my lifetime IAS membership, I was pulled into a private meeting with two staff, one being Sea Org. It was a long conversation, but one phrase stuck out in their describing of David Miscavige. Besides the fact that he apparently can stretch fundraising dollars, so somehow this makes the unrelenting requests for more donation money justified, they also said he goes after his enemies ruthlessly. I thought this an odd statement at the time because I was a member in good standing, and it was out of context with the conversation.
I was asked why did I wait this long to write a letter. I waited to show that I am not out for any money. I waited to prove them wrong on all claims, especially the Ethics actions against me. This is exclusively about the victims of Scientology, and preventing another repeat situation from happening to anyone else. This is to show others how Scientology botched the tech, covered up the executive missteps, and ultimately failed to recover me. Based on my morals from my upbringing, you never let someone get away with a wrongdoing against you. I don’t forget. If I had to state concisely why I waited to write this, I am being relentless.
When I left, AOLA dropped a line on me via a telephone conversation that I am not to speak out publicly about my experiences in the Church, and I agreed at the time because I felt that doing so would harm my third Dynamic. Now I realize that speaking out is helping that same third Dynamic in fixing issues through preventing the same abuses to persist. I am glad to have experienced being on the Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath show and to have met Leah and Mike. I am glad to bring to light my experiences through an exclusive on Mike Rinder’s blog now. This is closure for myself, and comes at a good time ending out 2020.
Letter to Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath
Here is the excerpt from the letter in regards to the episode that I appeared in, dated 4-DEC-2018. Afterwards is my response to the Church of Scientology International letter written by Karin Pouw.
Mark and Stephanie Fladd: These assertions are false. We can find no Church official who told the Fladds that they could use their donations in anticipation of future religious services in their next lifetime. That is absurd. The Church’s policy with respect to religious services is that donations are generally non- refundable. Parishioners understand that as a relatively new religion, all of our religious, social and humanitarian missions are funded through parishioner donations. A return of donations is not a legal right of a parishioner nor a legal obligation of the Church. It is longstanding Church policy that the return of donations for religious services is exclusively within the ecclesiastical authority and sole discretion of the Church and only when the parishioner follows exactly Church policy and procedures. When a donor is dissatisfied with a charity to which he has donated, his usual recourse is to cease making those donations.
Contrary to the false implications contained in your questions, all of which are rejected, parishioners donate voluntarily and generously to support their Church. Donations to Churches of Scientology, like those of any other religion, are charitable gifts and thus are not in any way refundable on demand. Mark Fladd left the Church of Scientology to pursue Mormonism and we wished him well.
My assertion is absolutely true. There was one specific registrar involved named Aryana Dangberg. She was the one who cited a Hubbard policy letter on requesting a refund, on how anyone who requests a refund is down-tone or will end up a suppressive person, as a means to dissuade me from formally requesting a refund. This was the official response after she consulted someone out of earshot for a long time, and she offered for me to formally request a refund through a committee of evidence to review the incident but additionally, as a means to dissuade, said I would never be allowed on services again if I did so. She is also the one who verbally stated that the money will be available in my next lifetime. She even cited an example of a person who returned to body, was verified by the archive file folders of the Org, and had his credit-on-file returned to his new body. The pastlife conversation occurred on the same day my refund request was denied, but she waited until I was exiting the lobby until she confronted me. Aryana made the comment with the intention of consolation due to the denied refund request.
I do agree with your statement that it is absurd that credit-on-file can be claimed after death by a Scientologist in a new body. We have reached a consensus on the concept of reincarnation identity theft.
The fact that I was sold an advanced payment, credit-on-file, for a Clear package with the only indication that the Church of Scientology intended to claim this as a donation by looking back at the writing on the receipt. Nobody verbally mentioned it was a donation, and I only found out years later looking at the receipts. The Executive Director, Cathy Moore, represented the Clear package as all the books and services necessary to obtain the state of Clear. She was the one who made the sales pitch and she was the one who personally showed up at my work and house to sell the Clear package. Aryana and Jason, both of whom were Registrars, helped with the sales pitch; however, the primary staff selling was Cathy. She also sold me a Life Repair package for my wife. Another unused pre-paid auditing intensive. Around the same time, Golden Era Productions sold me the entire Basics books. Similarly, the local IAS representative sold me a Lifetime IAS membership.
Now after all of this Craig, a Registrar from South Africa, had me pay an additional $900 to the Org as a means to claim this was a separate payment for the physical books and coursework from the Clear package and Life Repair intensive. It was not, this was only cover up work being done by AOLA and Golden Era productions, all directed by the Los Angeles MAA Sea Org member coordinating the cover up. They told Craig to keep showing up outside the course room for multiple weeks, constantly until I gave in, to request this extra payment to cover up the fact they failed to separate the physical book and services package payments previously. Cathy had promised that I would not have to make any more payments after the Clear package until I obtained the state of Clear, which I never came close to obtaining while a member of Scientology. She did not realize she failed to separate the book and services credit card payments to the Church, which is when the Sea Org stepped in via the Los Angeles MAA, Golden Era productions, and even the Sea Org girl assigned to the Church of Scientology of Orange County. They told Craig to request the additional $900 payment from the local org and to say it covered specifically the books and materials.
Now while all this was occurring, I was being mistreated by the local staff. Basically being shunned in early 2016 by the Day and even Foundation academy staff. Told no more twins were available. Told to go to the 5th floor Library to study instead of the Academy. Ultimately restricted to study the Survival Rundown (SRD) materials in the Division 6 classroom as punishment for requesting a refund in early 2016. I was even given a Potential Trouble Source 3 label both by Cathy and Aryana, mentioned in everyday conversation in passing. There was no way for me to complete the SRD course the shunning via course room staff and the failure to alleviate the situation through Barbara (recovery auditor) and Nishan (ethics officer). The Executive Director promised that her Church would not continue the sales pressure tactics after I purchased the Clear package.
The Executive Director’s word meant nothing as Org (church) staff kept up the fundraising while the held-down seven cognition was more money; in reality, it was her forgetfulness to separate the physical materials and church services Clear package receipt that the Sea Org came in to cover up her mistake through Craig.
Concerning the claim that I left Scientology for Mormonism, that statement is false and it uses confidential folder information. I was a visitor at the Latter-day Saint church for a month or two during the period of 2016 where I blew SRD and before I tried to return to SRD. I never became a member of the Mormon church. I went to this church at the recommendation of another public Scientologist at the Santa Ana org. I was told through my recovery auditor Barbara who handled my PC folder in Santa Ana for AOLA that Scientologists often have Mormons (LDS) come through for services, and the person who set me up as a visitor at the LDS church was one such Scientologist. She also claimed that Christianity and Scientology are completely compatible. Hence, why I was visiting the LDS church during the brief period that I blew SRD and prior to recovery.
Here are the reasons that I left Scientology; concisely, the shunning by staff to take me back onto the SRD course and the constant-unending requests for more, as you call them, charitable donations. As an example, most days there would be a Registrar waiting either before or after class to hit up students for more charity money. My twin had complained to the day Executive Director Ryan, so this was a widespread issue that other Scientologists knew this Org required of its public.
The incident with the Ethics Officer handling, Nishan, was that I was invited to the Golden Era Productions grand opening of the SMP building. At the last minute, I was told by the Scientology Media Production building opening event security staff via Nishan that I was a security risk for the event. I was being put onto an internal watch-list, and I was expressly barred from attending the event. I was routed onto Ethics after attempting to return to SRD after blowing due to the staff shunning, which involved the Director of Education Tony. All of this poor treatment was because I had requested a refund of the Clear package. I was called at my work by the SMP event security staff after the SMP building grand opening accusing me of showing up to the event uninvited; where in reality, I had never attended due to being banned and put on a watch-list over NOTHING.
There was never any valid concern to justify banning me from the SMP opening, nor put me on the event security watch-list; in addition, they invented a baseless claim that I had attended uninvited for who knows what purpose other than additional third Dynamic contention through being blatant liars. Overts and engramic response from self-proclaimed homo.novii?
List of clarifications, additional emphasis, and timeline events relevant to this letter.
- IRS tax exempt filing shows that the Church of Scientology declared to the IRS that Scientology provides refunds, yet my refund request was absolutely refused as it has been claimed based on a charitable donation.
- My refund request was claimed as a ‘charitable donation’ even though it included cost for physical books and physical course materials. This mistake by the local staff was covered up by Sea Org who came in to fix the mistake by prompting the South-African registrar Craig to request a race for the money to cover books. It was supposed to be an up-tone event: Winner take all, and he won the book money for the Santa Ana Org home team and even posted it on Facebook.
- In late 2015, a senior Scientologist from the Washington DC org flew and arrived at the Orange County org, hosted by the day Executive Director Ryan, specifically to interview me as part of an investigation.
- He interviewed Org staff to learn about my background and personality.
- He subsequently interviewed me in a private room with a local Org registrar Anne
- In late 2015, Santa Ana Org staff member, Adam Whitworth, told me he was going to show up to recover my wife while in the Org on SRD. The next morning after I left for work, he attempted to coerce my wife into the Org building, for her pre-paid Life Repair audit sessions. She obviously refused, being a non-Scientologist who had no willingness to participate in it.
- The next day, my house was broken into and ransacked by an unidentified person. The police Investigator claimed the burglar was somebody well-known to us, as my large dog did not attack and was left unharmed during the robbery.
- By the end of 2015, I began having symptoms of the technology of the Survival Rundown course not working correctly. Such as emotional highs and lows before or after the course ended. Lack of sleep at this time a big issue, as I was on course late into the evening seven days a week.
- Reported incident to Director of Education Tony, yet SRD issues persisted.
- Survival Rundown twin auditing went on through end of 2015.
Interestingly, I had to submit a formal request to the Academy supervisor during the survival rundown course to go see my in-laws for Christmas. In other words, SRD and Scientology in general, is extreme, intense, and fanatical commitment; thus, the lack of sleep, emotional roller-coaster, and effects on a daytime job. I witnessed a public Scientologist who had been going on for years on SRD with this type of unending control.
- In January of 2016, I blew the SRD course due and became unemployed in relation to the course-related overwhelm-upset.
- Barb, the recovery Auditor who handled the overwhelm-upset, knew that I was unemployed in early 2016. The Church of Scientology still refused to offer a refund or any kind of assistance, as they could not admit their tech failed.
- By early 2017, employed by this time on a lower single-family income, I am no longer able to make reasonable payments on the high-interest debt from Scientology, compounding out of control due to their Registrar Jason setting up high-interest credit cards for my payments to the church.
- Sold my house to pay debt, as per the episode on the show.
The Church of Scientology of Orange County said it was meant for the good of people in its community. It did no such thing for me. The academy course technology failed. The persistent and constant fundraising left me in debt. My Church failed me to provide for, alleviate, or compensate concerning their failure in the supervision, auditing, and in the services provided.
- Instead of alleviation, I was cited as a Potential Trouble Source 3 by Executive Management.
- Instead of compassion, I was shunned by the Academy staff.
- Instead of empathy, I was put on an internal church watch-list by public-event Security and barred from public Scientology events by Ethics.
- Instead of compensation, I was told by a Registrar that my credit-on-file would be available for me after I die, reincarnate, and return to Scientology in a new body.
None of the examples listed fit the conduct of a Church. The local staff failed to handle my case, and when it escalated, the Los Angeles (AOLA) staff failed to handle it. RTC through CSI now handles my case because it was made public on the show. Now I have to write this letter because you have erroneous information in my confidential PC folder made public. The Church of Scientology’s self-induced failure, primarily in the poor application of Hubbard tech, has created yet another ex-Scientologist.