Scientology courses are designed to make students dependent on
their instructors so it is "easier to brainwash them,"
a disaffected Church of Scientology communications supervisor
testified Tuesday in Multnomah County Circuit Court.
One particular "drill" called "bull baiting"
involved verbal and physical abuse and sometimes overt sexual
contact, Diana Morgan testified.
She appeared as a witness for Julie Christofferson Titchbourne,
21, in the trial of a $2 million-plus damage suit Mrs. Titchbourne
brought against three Scientology organizations and adherents.
She is seeking damages on allegations of misrepresentations, common
law fraud and outrageous conduct.
Ms. Morgan testified she joined the church in 1975 after she had
separated from her husband, who already was a church member.
She said she joined after being told a Scientology communications
course would help her get along with her husband.
After starting the communications course, she said, she was contacted
by Ed Petty, a Scientology registrar, and was talked into signing
up for additional courses after a conversation that lasted "many,
She said Petty sent her to Bend to borrow$10,000 from her parents
to pay for the courses. After she was refused, she said, she
and her husband borrowed $1,500 from friends and used that as
collateral to borrow another $1,500 from a Scientology credit
union. The money was used to pay for courses.
She said she signed on as a staff member of the Mission of Davis,
one of the defendants in the lawsuit, first as a receptionist
and later as a communications course supervisor.
Ms. Morgan, a Portland resident, described the various classes
and what was required of students in them. Describing "bull
baiting," she said: "You sit in a chair and your coach
sits across from you. He can do anything or say anything, and
you're not supposed to react."
She said the session was designed to find a person's "buttons"
- weak points - and to punch them over and over again until there
was no reaction.
In her case, she said, her coach would "hit me on the nose
all the time and say 'You have a big nose.'" If she reacted
- she was "flunked" and the "bull baiting"
Foul language was common, she said, and "they really got
In one such session, she said, she saw the 8-year-old son of a
registrar repeatedly put his hands down the front of a woman student's
dress until she failed to react. The woman left and did not return.
In another case, a female coach repeatedly unzipped a male student's
pants, exposing his gentiles, until he too, stopped reacting.
Asked the purpose of such exercises by Garry McMurry, lead attorney
for Mrs. Titchbourne, Ms. Morgan said, "The more you find
out about the student, the easier it is to keep him in Scientology."
She added: "The more you learn about your student, the easier
it was to brainwash them."
She testified that how fast a student progressed through the course
depended on the amount of money the student had. Students with
cash in hand progressed faster than students still trying to gather
the course rate.
In trying to recruit new followers on the street, she testified,
she was instructed to deny Scientology was a religion if the potential
recruit seemed concerned or apprehensive about that aspect.
She said that in soliciting new students, she was told not to
"say too much and to stay away from religion."
Ms. Morgan will continue her testimony Wednesday.