Scott Pilutik

I am an attorney and consultant living and working in Manhattan, focusing primarily on church/state constitutional law. I'm a recognized expert on the Church of Scientology organization. I also have strong interests in intellectual property law where it intersects with emerging media, and free speech.

I support the efforts of the Americans United for Separation of Church and State, the Freedom From Religion Foundation, the National Lawyers Guild, the ACLU, Creative Commons, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. I am a member of the New York County Lawyers Association and the New York State Bar Association. I also enjoy (watching) hockey and (doing) photograhy.

Online I can be found on Facebook, Twitter. My resume can be viewed here. I can be reached by phone at 212.645.6241 or by e-mail at pilutik[at]gmail.com.

Scientology’s OSA Public List

Marty Rathbun of ex-second-in-line-for-the-Scientology throne fame recently posted a very interesting PDF of a spreadsheet purporting to be a list of OSA volunteers for the Western United States. OSA–the Office of Special Affairs–is Scientology’s intelligence agency, and the official arm by which Scientology exerts control over its myriad entities. This list of 222 Scientology-members is not a list of OSA officials but rather persons OSA relies upon for security at events, “safepointing” its various front group initiatives, public relations, help with Internet initiatives, etc.

[NOTE: the PDF provided by Rathbun, an image of the original spreadsheet, was difficult to read (and thus unsearchable) and so Anonymous members at WWP collaboratively transcribed the document first to a Google spreadsheet (here), which I then converted to an Excel spreadsheet (here). Finally, the most easily readable and accessible version is this html version. Also, many Scientology acronyms are sprinkled throughout, most of which can be found at the the Scientology Critical Information Directory’s Glossary]

The members on the list are mostly long-time “public” (not staff) Scientologists, and is probably about two years old. Some names appearing on the list have even left the CoS, such as Natalie Hagemo, who’s exit the list’s author unwittingly foretells with this comment:

Actually right now I do not use her on anything sensitive or seriously important because she has a PTS situation and just never seems to get to an org to get it handled.

On the comments section of Rathbun’s blog, Natalie acknowledges having left and offers further background on her situation.

But the list is far more fascinating and valuable than as a who’s who of OSA volunteers. The spreadsheet is filled out extensively and provides some insight into the Church of Scientology’s paranoid mind set. The list says more about its authors than those listed. For example, one column on the spreadsheet is labeled “Trusted,” which begs the question, Trusted in relation to what? Since everyone on the list is a member of Scientology, what further trust is required than those members having already paid the organization hundreds of thousands of dollars? Perhaps OSA engages in activities that if spoken openly of by the less-then-fully-trustworthy volunteer could endanger the Church? Quite likely, given OSA’s history.

Some entries suggest as much. For example, Sheldon Hogarth of the Los Gatos, CA Org:

Volunteers on MEST [ed: Matter, Energy, Space, & Time] projects such as fixing security cameras around the building. Volunteers on Org security during the day during Anon pickets. He takes photos of them and car plates. I trust him for this type of activity.

and about Bob Johnson of the Stevens Creek, CA Org:

I trust him but don’t know if I would expose him to invest items.

|Ed: invest = investigation] But another even more reasonable explanation exists. Because OSA volunteers are often called upon to interact with the general public (that is, protestors), it is important that they be so indoctrinated as to be immune to “entheta”–i.e., negative information about Scientology. Scientology members who succumb to entheta become ex-members of Scientology, and ex-members do not purchase expensive Scientology services. Remember, this list is largely comprised of OT (Operating Thetans)–people who have spent enormous amounts of money. Getting rubes into the tent is only half the game; keeping them there–especially the wealthiest rubes–is far more important. The entry for Lorin Burton of the Santa Barbara, CA Org, demonstrates what I’m talking about:

Anon pickets. As OTV used to buffer lower grade chart staff from making contact with SPs outside.

|Ed: Anon = the group known as Anonymous; SPs = suppressive persons] In other words, as an OTV, Lorin Burton is sufficiently indoctrinated to withstand the messages delivered by protestors. The flip side of this is Catherine Emrani, who may not be indoctrinated quite enough:

Has done wildcat PR/getting articles submitted without approval. Did invocation for the Glendale city council. But not an ordained minister. Went on Youtube. Got enturbulated. Demanded handling. Is OK in PT.

The term “enturbulate” is a Hubbard-invented word that means to agitate or disturb the sensibility of a Scientologist. Ms. Emrani apparently witnessed “entheta” on the Internet (take my word as a semi-frequent producer of it–it’s everywhere), became “enturbulated” and required Scientology “handling” to undo the damage. (And she undoubtedly paid for that handling.) Thus, the list author is relating that a Emrani is susceptible to entheta, which fact will affect what responsibilities are thrust upon her in the future. It is also telling that despite Emrani having furthered Scientology’s goals by submitting “articles” (most likely PR Newswire garbage), the list author remarks that she’s done so “without approval”–such is Scientology’s centralized control over even its most loyal members.

This centralized control is evident throughout the list. One way it’s evident is the running theme on the importance of interfaith initiatives. Scientology’s reputation precedes it and Scientology is as aware of this as anyone. One way Scientology attempts to counter or mitigate its reputation is to actively cast itself in a religious light. Since Scientology resembles a for-profit business than a religion as most would consider that term, it seeks out the company of other religious entities at the local level. But control over these interfaith initiatives comes from above.

For example, Gary Hedge “Helps with human rights PR: some interfaith“; John Chambers “Runs the Pasadena interfaith meetings“; Angie Derouchie is “Also in on the board of the Interreligious Action Network of Washington County as well as the Interfaith Council of Greater Portland so has most of the interfaith contacts.”

More importantly, this list is ample evidence of Scientology’s tight control over its “social-betterment” front groups, e.g., Applied Scholastics, The Way to Happiness Foundation, Narconon, and Criminon. Especially prevalent on the list is the Citizen’s Commission on Human Rights [CCHR], which regularly disclaims ties to Scientology. But how could this be so if Kenny Woo of the Stevens Creek, CA Org “is our paid CCHR staff.” Pat Wehner, from the same Org, “does various odd cycles for me including invest – CCHR and PR.” Or Sherry Ridenour of the St. Louis Org, who “mostly volunteers for CCHR-gettings ads placed. Working the exhibit when it’s in town; She has also helped on YHR events.” [ed: YHR = Youth for Human Rights, also a Scientology front group]

Nothing I’ve noted above should surprise anyone who has done any reading on the Church of Scientology; it’s entirely consistent with what is already known about Scientology. But unlike the plethora of anecdotal evidence from ex-members, this is documentary evidence of what is important to the Church of Scientology, how it controls its front groups, and the degree of control it exerts over even its public members (the degree of control it exerts over staff members is far greater).

  • Shankara

    Your analysis is extraordinarily helpful. It is difficult to decipher the Scientology jargon let alone gauge the significance of the annotations.

    A superb job. I hope more leaks about these deployable public Scientologist agents will be forthcoming.