Scientology Leader Gave ABC First-Ever Interview


Richard Behar, Time Magazine: People feel good, they talk about their problems, just like somebody going into therapy might feel good talking about their problems. But this all seems to have an ulterior motive, and to lead into this extremely high-priced one-on-one counseling and "auditing."

Sawyer: Dentist John Finucane liked the sales pitch he heard, and ended up spending over $42,000 on services.

Dr. John Finucane, Defector: They've tried to milk every penny they can out of any asset that I have, whether it's a credit card, whether it's my home, whether it's from a friend, whether it's from family. If I can get a hold of money anywhere, they would like to have that money.

Sawyer: Two years ago, Finucane responded to a newsletter from Sterling Management, a church-related consultant to health professionals. He says they helped his practice, but also led him into Scientology, and kept pushing for even more money. Finucane says they charged $8,500 to his credit cards without permission. When they began phoning for more, he turned on his tape recorder.

Finucane (audio tape): So basically, I don't even have enough money for that, just to even get to the point where I can do my auditing.

Scientologist (audio tape): Well, you have quite a bit, though, John. I mean, you know, I don't think buying more is your problem. Your problem is your wife.

Sawyer: Because Finucane's wife opposed the church, they declared him a "PTS," potential trouble source.

Finucane: They said, "Well, you either need to shape things up or 'disconnect,' " as they say, which, they won't ever say divorce. They just say "disconnect."

Sawyer: Ken Rose says he had to choose between the church and his children. He says he was told to sign a paper agreeing to waive his parental rights, or see his sons thrown out of Scientology school.

Rose: On what is probably the darkest day of my life, I spent several hours with them and their mother, with them, at one point, literally on their knees sobbing for me to sign this paper so that they could keep going to school.

Sawyer: Defectors claim the church tears families apart every day. Roxanne Friend brought her brother into the church. She says he ended up helping to kidnap her.

Roxanne Friend, Defector: They put me in a little apartment. They had a guard at the front door and a guard at the back door, and I was not allowed to leave. There was no telephone and no means of communication with the outside world.

Sawyer: Friend claims she was held to convince her not to see a non-Scientologist doctor when she felt sick.

Friend: And be told, "Yeah, you are ill," but then, "No, we just need to audit you. Give us, you know, $6,000, $12,000, and we'll audit you and you'll be flying again." That's a direct quote. "We'll get you flying again."

Sawyer: Today, Roxanne has incurable cancer, which she says could have been treated if diagnosed earlier. She spent over $80,000 on Scientology, and has almost nothing left, and no medical insurance. She blames the church.

Friend: You're going to have a sense of anxiety or desperation to do whatever it takes to sign your life away, your money and your mortgage and your child.

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