May 31, 1974
Ex-Scientologist charges rip-off
by Barry Nelson
The former head of the Church of Scientology in Calgary said
Thursday she has been used by the organization to talk Calgarians out
of more than $200,000 - perhaps as much as $350,000.
Rev. Lorna Levitt, who resigned from the church April 19, said, "I
was being used by the organization to exploit people by promising
them intangibles that I had been indoctrinated into believing
Scientology could and would deliver for a price."
The price currently varies from $30 per hour to $3,000 for 12 ˝
hours. Some processing can cost as much as $1,200 for a couple of
Scientology "processing" is a method claimed to create spiritual
awareness and lead the person being processed toward "total freedom."
As an end result of Scientology processing and training a person
is promised the ability to be at cause knowingly and at will over
thought, life, form, matter, energy, space and time, subjective and
Rev. Levitt said a person taking all the training and processing
required to gain this ability could spend as much as $100,000.
She said she knows of one Calgary man who has spent more than
$25,000 on Scientology.
Rev. Levitt said that since 1968 she has sent more than 30
Calgarians to a Scientology branch in Los Angeles for "advanced
processing" and that these people paid more than $100,000 to the Los
"The people sent to Los Angeles were pressured to sign up for more
and more extras" she said.
"The cost of processing went up to $50 per hour, double its former
price. I was horrified at this and then I discovered that people
could dig deeper and still come up with the money. I would see that
people had the money for total freedom, whatever the price."
"Then I began to suspect that they were on a never-ending chase
and the total freedom was always another step away and the path was
According to Scientology people who have reached a certain level
are entirely without psychosomatic ills or aberrations.
"Some Calgarians who have returned from Los Angeles and are
supposed to have reached this level have been hospitalized for
various complaints. One ended up in a psychiatric ward," she said.
Another person, on returning from the advanced organization in Los
Angeles, tried to poison his room-mate, also a Scientologist, who was
progressing faster than he was, she told the Herald.
"One woman who has reached an advanced level in Scientology left
her small daughter with a man she was living with while she went to
Los Angeles, despite the fact that he had been sexually molesting the
child. This man is also a Scientologist who has spent thousands of
dollars on processing."
Rev. Levitt said the experience of Brendon Moore, 28, a Calgary
electrician who went to Los Angeles for advanced processing is
typical of what happened to many other Calgarians who were sent
Mr. Moore told the Herald he left Calgary in January of 1974 for
Los Angeles. He paid $1,140 to get "the level of power."
Scientology claims that after this process people gain "the
ability to handle power."
"In Los Angeles, I was told I needed many hours of processing to
get me ready for this level… somewhere between 50 and 125 hours at
$50 per hour." This could have cost Mr. Moore as much as $6,250.
"I didn't need this processing. I was ready for power, but it was
refused me on the grounds that I needed the extra processing," he
"So I didn't get the level of power and came back to Calgary. I
went to Los Angeles to get the power again in March with the same
Mr. Moore said that as a result of continual requests for the
processing he had paid for the Los Angeles organization issued an
order declaring him to be insane.