Leah and I are always working when it comes to advocating for victims of Scientology, whether we are vocal it about it or not. As you know Leah has focused on Shelly because she knew Shelly so well and took a stand while she was still in as well as when she got out of scientology — including filing a missing person’s report with the LAPD that they brushed under the carpet.
Journalist Yashar Ali did an incredible piece of reporting on this story recently. Important: Where’s Shelly? NEW Reporting
And following up on this work, he has come up with more invaluable information.
We have been asking for family members to come forward to help those we had to leave behind. But we can’t do it alone. Law enforcement needs you to come forward for your family members.
Leah and I want to pass on to you the latest information that Yashar discovered. It’s important to get this out to as many people as possible, and though the specifics here address the laws in California, the concept is applicable anywhere.
I want to take a moment to thank Yashar for being a tireless advocate for the victims of scientology. He has no dog in this fight, he was never a scientologist, yet he puts himself in the firing line because he cares about those being abused.
This is what Yashar found and forwarded:
Shelly is 62 years old now, which means in California, she is considered an elder (“an elder is any person residing in the State of California who is 60 years of age”); this means she can become the subject of an adult protective services investigation for elder abuse.
In Shelly’s case, we know she is being isolated which is against the law in California.
This investigation would be conducted by the Adult Protective Services Department in San Bernardino County, and they would have strong investigative powers to look into how Shelly is being isolated.
Additionally, the party that files the report has the right to be entirely anonymous or just anonymous from the perpetrator (in this case, that would be Dave Miscavige).
The definition of elder isolation under California law is pasted at the end of this document.
But it gets better…in 2021, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law another potential tool.
Under California AB 1243, interested parties (people with preexisting relationships with an elder) can file for an anti-isolation restraining order that would grant them the right to communicate with that person.
This means that family members and friends will now be able to bring a petition to enable them to maintain contact with an elderly person.
Previously, the only parties allowed to seek protection under the Elder Abuse Act for protective orders were the elder or dependent adult, their conservator, their trustee, or an attorney-in-fact acting within their authority.
The Legislature found that some elder abusers took advantage of the isolating circumstances of the pandemic “by preventing trusted friends and family members from seeing or contacting a vulnerable adult.”
The purpose of the new law is to ensure that “these vulnerable adults are able to maintain important familial and social connections that they desire, and that a perpetrator does not cut off those relationships in an attempt to take advantage of the vulnerable adult.”
Definition of Elder Isolation Under California Elder Abuse Law
Isolation constitutes a form of elder abuse prohibited under California Welfare and Institutions Code section 15600. Elder Isolation any of the following:
(1) Acts intentionally committed for the purpose of preventing, and that do serve to prevent, an elder or dependent adult from receiving his or her mail or telephone calls.
(2) Telling a caller or prospective visitor that an elder or dependent adult is not present, or does not wish to talk with the caller, or does not wish to meet with the visitor where the statement is false, is contrary to the express wishes of the elder or the dependent adult, whether he or she is competent or not, and is made for the purpose of preventing the elder or dependent adult from having contact with family, friends, or concerned persons.
(3) False imprisonment, as defined in Section 236 of the Penal Code.
(4) Physical restraint of an elder or dependent adult, for the purpose of preventing the elder or dependent adult from meeting with visitors.
Here are two forms you can click on, fill out and submit:
The majority of abused elderly people in the Sea Org are in California. The Int Base has a large number — including many formerly prominent names in the world of scientology: Heber Jentzsch, Guillaume Lesevre, Ray Mithoff, Marc Yager, Greg Wilhere, Marc Ingber, Liz Ingber, Sue Koon, John Eastment, Diana Hubbard and Norman Starkey — but this is just a handful of the Sea Org members over 60 who live on that property (or have been moved into local “assisted living” facilities that are typically the cheapest available, unlicensed and unprofessional). There are also many elderly Sea Org members in the conglomeration of organizations in Los Angeles.
If you are a family member of one of these people, please try to help them. It may result in an all too typical coerced and rehearsed speech: “What me abused by the most ethical people on earth? I am completely happy with my life. This place is a utopia” and they may even state they don’t want to speak with any family members as their “handlers” stand over them to ensure they only say the right things.
It may also be offering them the lifeline they have been waiting for, and they could tell the investigating officer, “I don’t want to be here, please take me with you.”
If you have a family member above the age of 60 who is in the Sea Org in California, please take a moment to fill out the form(s) and at least give them a chance to grab the lifeline. If any of you readers can find out if there are similar laws in Florida (where the next largest concentration of elderly SO members live) or in Ontario, Mexico, Denmark, England, Australia and South Africa where the other Sea Org facilities are around the world I will happily publish that information.
The Aftermath Foundation has already helped people in this situation. The difficulty is getting the message to these victims that there IS HELP available and there IS a way to escape. This law gives family members a means of getting that message to them directly.
If it results in just one person escaping, it will be worth it. If it results in the concerned authorities wondering why there are so many elderly people who have family members worried about them concentrated in these locations, it may generate further action.
Believe me, the twilight years of Sea Org members are unpleasant. They are treated as “non-producers” who have become a burden on the organization and the mission to “Clear the Planet.” They are afforded little attention or resources, in scientology terminology, they are “downstats.”