Scientology Protester on Allegedly Being Followed: 'It Was Actually Pretty Mind-Boggling'

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She received a cease and desist order. 

Laguna Beach resident Susan Elliott said she's among those whose efforts to combat alleged abuses in the Church of Scientology have been met with spy tactics and harassment at her doorstep.

"I've been followed a million times," said Elliott, 56, who is a computer programmer by trade but was wary to state where her business is located, out of fear that Scientologists would conduct operations there.

Elliott confirmed that she was spied on by Paulien Lombard, a former Scientologist featured in a recent OC Weekly cover story. In fact, she first confirmed the spying in a comment posted on in the online version of the story, where readers may recall how Lombard described sitting outside of Elliott's home for hours.

Lombard later apologized to Elliott.

"We invited her in and had tea, and sat in the living room and talked for an hour or so, and I was just amazed that she would do that -- that she would come to us," Elliott said.

Elliott said she has no ties to Scientology, but began research the church when Tom Cruise began to speak out publicly about the group. 

"I've always been interested in these high-control groups and how it happens to people," she said. 

Elliott eventually met some folks online through the Operation Clambake online message board, which is dedicated to discussing all things Scientology. She became sympathetic toward those whose families she said have been ripped apart by the church. 

"I'm a mom, and just the worst part to me is, I have two good friends that I've met through this process -- one of them in England -- she's got a daughter that she hasn't seen in over 20 years," Elliott said. "Whenever I think I'm gonna move on, I think about them."

Both friends' daughters are in the church's elite Sea Org, which requires members to sign billion-year contracts in order to join. 

According to Elliott, her other friend signed a release for her daughter to join the Sea Org when she was 17 years old. Now in her 30s, the woman has been allowed to visit her mother just once, and she was bombarded with phone calls from the church that she needed to return because there was an emergency, according to Elliott. 

The two mothers have visited Elliott, who regularly protests the church in Los Angeles, and at its international headquarters in Hemet. Once, when she picked up her English friend from the airport, they drove directly to Los Angeles and asked if the woman could see her daughter, now in her 40s. 

"And they said, 'you know what the situation is' and just basically said no," Elliott said. 

When they went to the police, they were told that the woman's daughter, accompanied by other Scientologists, had already been there. According to Elliott, the police told the woman's mother that her daughter did not want to see her. 

Elliott said when she protests at the Hollywood Boulevard location, some Scientologists are friendly, but most scowl at her. 

"Two different ones came up to me and said, 'oh my God, what is wrong with your teeth, you should get those fixed," Elliott said. "I actually have pretty decent teeth." 

Elliott guesses that her teeth became fodder for the taunting when she was having a root canal done, during the same time Lombard was watching her home. She said the taunts didn't stop there. 

According to Elliott, someone posted on a Scientology message board information about her home address and the real estate she and her husband own, as well as her volunteer work about her kid's school. Elliott said Scientologists do extensive background checks on church critics, even recording the license plates of those who protest at various locations. They will look for things like bankruptcies and drunk driving arrests, and post them online, she said. 

"So what they found on my is that I had done volunteering at my kid's school and they posted it," she said. 

Eventually, the church served her with a cease and desist letter, linking her to Anonymous, an onlinthat for the past few years has hit the streets to protest the church around the world, often wearing Guy Fawkes masks. Members of the leaderless movement have hacked high-profile Internet sites, and the Church of Scientology says the group has issued threats against them. 


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Karin Pouw, a spokesperson for the church, denied Elliott's claims. In an email, she wrote:

"She has no knowledge of what goes on in the Sea Organization or in the greater Scientology religion.  She foments anti-religious hatred and actually worsens the familial situations into which she intrudes. One of her sojourns to our Church in Los Angeles, for example, was in the company of a woman making false claims about her adult daughter's status as a member of the Sea Organization.  The daughter, who is in her 40s, went to the police station to assure them that the hysteria Ms. Elliot was trying to generate was untrue. 
 
Ms. Elliot marches with members of Anonymous. The headlines are filled with stories of arrests and convictions of members of this hate group. Thus, I am not surprised that some may claim that their license numbers are taken down. That is not our concern."

Elliott said she does not consider herself a part of Anonymous, but has protested alongside them and posted on the same message boards. 

For her efforts, she said she's been followed home, once from a protest in Hemet. 

"We noticed this black truck behind us," Elliott said. "It was one of the first times and it was actually pretty mind-boggling. We did lose this guy in the black truck, and miles later he started following us again." 

Why does she still protest? 

"I just want to see people not be abused, hurt," Elliott said. "If my two friends' daughters could just go home on the weekend, or actually all of the Sea Org, I'd be more than happy to go on and do something else." 


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26 comments
Dave Lieberman
Dave Lieberman

"The daughter, who is in her 40s, went to the police station to assure them that the hysteria Ms. Elliot was trying to generate was untrue." I can just see how this went down. SCENE: A very busy Hollywood Division, LAPD. DESK SERGEANT: ...help you? ENGLISH DAUGHTER: I'm here to let you know that I'm not being harassed by Scientology. DESK SERGEANT: I'm very happy for you. Did you need something? ENGLISH DAUGHTER: Yes, can you write it down or something so it's official? DESK SERGEANT: Look, there are all these people behind you. Move along, please. ENGLISH DAUGHTER: No, see, my mother says I'm being brainwashed by Scientology but they told me I don't want to see her. DESK SERGEANT: Look, if I write it on this piece of the paper bag my lunch came in, will that work for you? ENGLISH DAUGHTER: Can you stamp it or something? Make it official? DESK SERGEANT: I'll tell you what. I'll put a happy face sticker on it. ENGLISH DAUGHTER: Perfect.

Jack123
Jack123

i once saw l.ron hubbard at oki dogs!!!

p
p

The link to the larger image of the letter above either doesn't work for page 1 or is too small for page2 

DeckardCain
DeckardCain

Thank you, OC Weekly.  PLEASE keep up the reporting on this dangerous cult.

It's Obvious
It's Obvious

Thank You!To Josh and OC Weekly,You are providing our community with an invaluable service.Stay strong and diligent in your quest to reveal the TRUTH!

GarryS
GarryS

 Nice article but the insertion of "allegedly" in the title conflicts with everything that is known about Scientology and it's use of members and PIs to stalk, chase, harass, and sometimes cause car accidents in their zeal to stay on top of those they are chasing. Surveillance & filming people at their homes & employment, and confiscating their trash in hopes of finding material to blackmail their victims into silence are another measure. This is what one can expect when they openly criticize the Church of Scientology.

mirele
mirele

"Allegedly" is lawyerspeak. The article is otherwise accurate and the behavior is typical of the cult. In my case, the cult picketed my house twice and plastered flyers of me around the neighborhood with a really bad picture of me and the words "RELIGIOUS BIGOT." A local radio host saw the flyer and invited me on her show...that was a big LOSE. (This happened around 1999 in Salt Lake City.)

DeckardCain
DeckardCain

Garry knows this.  His point is that it isn't 'alleged' because it has been proven in many different situations and in court actions.

Tom Travolta
Tom Travolta

Of course she was followed. The church follows people, shows up to their house with stupid camera suits, puts LSD on their toothbrush's and I'd go so far as to say they have murdered. Multiple times. This is all true. Now I hope the FBI, the CIA, whomever....does something before they kill again. RIP Lisa McPherson and many others.

It's Obvious
It's Obvious

At the very least, stay away from this Scam. You will lose family members, friends, money, and your sanity. If you stay informed on the evils of this so called church you will not be able to just stay on the side lines. You will become so upset that this cult is able to mock our legal and tax system that you too will become an activist, and that is a Good thing. We the people must speak out, write, and protest.It's all about the money with this Cult. They will go to extremes to keep their dirty deeds a secrete. Lie, lie, lie. One of the scariest aspects of this cult is their ability to brainwash its members into believing they are saving the planet. They are so brainwashed they can not see that which is So Obvious. It's a Scam originated by a sci-fi writer Con Man!

Rosanadana
Rosanadana

Why is everyone protesting Scientists?

Yeppir
Yeppir

Your name should be Emily Litella! Funny stuff.

Enturbulation Matrix
Enturbulation Matrix

?donde esta los OSA SockBots?

Xenuite
Xenuite

Están         ocultando                                                                                                                                                               

MCXenu
MCXenu

hey, listen, I'm not kidding around!! I will come down there and throw you all in the volcanoes of hawaii,.....

Ivy Mapother
Ivy Mapother

I have to agree with Karin. No one has knowledge of what goes on inside the Sea Org. Maybe she could sit down with Josh in person and tell us what goes on in the Sea Org. A guided tour of the Hole that does not exist would be good too. Bring that little man in the sailor suit along. He could introduce Josh to Shelly Miscavige, Heber Jentzsch and Tommy Davis. Everyone could kick back some single malt, become friends and slap Jan Eastgate around for fun. She's the cult's next big PR problem. Jan didn't think the sexual assult of an 11 year-old girl by a church member needed the attention of the police. Oh well, they can explain all of that to Josh.

MarkStark
MarkStark

Karin Pouw and her nutty cult do not understand  Anonymous or the Internet, because their organization is the opposite. Scientology is tightly controlled, secretive and expensive, and must be hard sold to gullible uninformed wishful thinkers and celebrities in their bubble world.

Anonymous and the Internet are free, open information, including information about the cult of Scientology, its pathological nutty founder, and its followers, the vast majority who wake up and leave Scientology, some after the first course.

To characterize Anonymous as a "hate-group" shows how narrow-minded and uneducated cult members like Pouw and Miscavige are. Miscavige is a high school dropout. Pouw can write boring, stiff letters, but she can't deal with fractions or decimals. Like Hubbard, she has trouble with basic math.

Anonymous has no leader, very little control over people who want to be anonymous from time to time, and Anonymity is preferable for many when protesting this cult otherwise brave individuals like Susan end up with cult members or PIs following them around, because they were given orders to follow protesters.

No one is giving orders to Susan or myself to protest. We do this because we think it is right, based on the experiences of thousands of ex-Scientologists who have left or escaped. Our opinions are not based on Scientology's propaganda, fabricated miracles and statistics, or fake super powers, but how they behave, toward their own membership (too much control) and toward critics.

The Internet itself is going to bring down Scientology. Scientology's war is going to be their lies against the truth on the Internet. They are also going to see increasing problems from ex-members.

Do Karin Pouw and other cult members actually believe that her cult can make people enthusiastic, relentless, confident and trusting about selling a hoax like Scientology, and then when they realize their trust has been betrayed, or they've been deceived, abused or humiliated that they will just walk away, shy and silent about being shafted out of thousands of dollars or years of their lives?

Time to take off for your home planet Karin, "Coltice" was it? Whatever Hubbard claimed... I'm sure it's factual. Your cult took a huge nosedive in secrecy the week the Tom Cruise video hit the web. He sounds like a crazy fascist and there's no getting that one back in the bag. BTW, the Tom Cruise video is the key thing that awoke my activism too, and I'm about Susan's age.

Keep up the good work Susan, and all protesters.

Ivy Mapother
Ivy Mapother

With a post like that, I don't see you on Karin's Christmas card list this year. You can keep sending her the fruitcakes though.

GarryS
GarryS

 I've known Karen for years. She doesn't send out Christmas cards. And she doesn't need your fruitcakes.  Cases of Marlboro Menthol Golds, however, would make you an instant friend.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob

Ah, she's on the Scientology Cancer Prevention Program!

SFF
SFF

If you smoke an SP's cigarettes would that make you PTS?

MarkStark
MarkStark

 LOL, I wouldn't send fruitcakes, because even with the dwindling membership, Scientology still has a supply of those.

1subgenius
1subgenius

Blatant violation of Federal law, and crickets.

Julie_Kanon
Julie_Kanon

Scientology is a totalitarian political movement, operating as a criminal racket, disguised as a cult, parading as a religion, hiding behind 400+ front groups.

Randomx2001
Randomx2001

I live in New Zealand. I attended the anonymous protests against Scientology.

I was sent a photo of my brother taken with a telescopic lense from Scientology.I was also served a  "Non trespass order" from Scientology.

But here is the weird (As if that wasn`t already weird enough.) thing. Visitors to my home were also served non trespass notices at their homes.

These people did not have their addresses written in bold letters on their backs..

Yet Scientology found out where they lived.

Actually one of my visitors brothers who I didn`t even know existed was also served a legal threat from the organization that is "solving problems in a troubled world."

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