Larry Anderson On KSLG Radio

Morning man John Matthews interviewed Larry Anderson about his time in Scientology and his attempts to get a refund of the money he left on account in Scientology’s coffers.

Listen to the interview

Buying God: Tough to Get a Refund on Salvation

Larry also was the subject of an article on CBS Money Watch earlier in the day:

Larry Anderson wasn’t “saved” and he wants his money back.
In the process of making a refund claim, the Los Angeles actor is providing a detailed glimpse of the financial dealings of one of the nation’s most controversial faiths–the Church of Scientology.
In a nutshell, the church offers specific services for set fees that it will discount for those who pre-pay. Unlike my son’s orthodontist, who offered a paltry 5% off if I’d pay up-front for braces, the price-slashing Anderson received for prepaying donations was steep–30% to 45% off the salvation rack rates. Because Anderson had a change of heart before he received all of the paid-for religious services, he says he’s due a check.
In other churches, asking for your “donations” back would be met with confusion or derision. But the Church of Scientology not only offers a fee-schedule for enlightenment, it has a written refund policy.
Still, Anderson’s refund claim has become contentious. Understanding why requires some background.
Anderson was a Scientologist for 33 years. He says he was “the face” of Scientology for the past 13 years, in fact. How so? Anderson is a former game show host and a working actor who has appeared in dozens of movies and television shows, including Desperate Housewives and Mork & Mindy. He was hired in 1996 to do Scientology’s Orientation video, which as been used to recruit Scientologists around the world.
But somewhere along the line, he became disillusioned. He now maintains that Scientology is more a business than a religion. It seduces people into paying increasingly large “donations” with the promise that each “auditing” session–a type of one-on-one counseling aimed at dispelling the hang-ups that hamper salvation–will bring you greater enlightenment.
Ultimately, the goal is to get across the “bridge” to a point of “total freedom” where you become privy to the church’s coveted confidential scriptures. He said getting to that final enlightened state is going to set you back some $400,000, a price-point that is also mentioned in several sites on the Internet.
“Often I would finish one of these levels and I would say that I was expecting a bigger breakthrough. They said, ‘Oh, that will come in the next level,’” Anderson said. “You can only tell somebody that for so long before they start to wonder if this is more of a sales strategy than something real.”
Tommy Davis, spokesman for the Church of Scientology International, says the church has a fee schedule for certain services, but does not ratchet up the cost as you go higher on the “bridge.” How much it would cost to reach the point of “total freedom” is impossible to estimate, he said. It varies from person to person.
He agrees that it costs money to study your way up the bridge and that the church contends that you will be more enlightened with more study. He says that’s similar to any faith, where elders will contend that the more you study the church’s tenets, the closer you will become to God.
While Scientology’s fee structure may be unusual, Davis doesn’t see that as being dramatically different than other churches that require “tithes” or charge a fixed fee to dedicate a Mass or participate in a particular ritual. Scientology, founded in the 1950s by science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, offers plenty of free services, including Sunday meetings, weddings and access to Scientology libraries, where you can read up on Hubbard’s teachings. But it doesn’t have decades of wealth to fall back on, Davis said, so it supports its ministries through fees charged to those who use its services the most.
Scientology actually has two written refund policies. If you pay for a service and are dissatisfied, you can request a refund within 90 days. These refunds would be discretionary (presumably like they are at Macy’s, when it appears that you wore the prom dress and spilled soda on it, before claiming it didn’t fit).
But if you prepay for services and don’t receive them, you are supposed to be able to claim a refund at any time, Anderson said.
Davis said Anderson has not gone through the proper protocol to get his money back and that refunds are always discretionary. Anderson says that these refunds are not discretionary and the reason he didn’t go through the proper protocol is because Davis met with him and told him it was unnecessary. Further, he adds, the proper protocol forces you to jump through a variety of hoops. In the process, you have to travel all over the world and, often, buy additional “services” in pursuit of your refund claim.
“They have no legal ground to subject somebody to more Scientology when they want to get out of the Church of Scientology,” Anderson said.
He says he’s going to send another formal refund demand before filing suit.
But you’re probably wondering about the whole concept of “donations.” Donations, by Internal Revenue Service definition, are payments to a church or charity for which you receive nothing in return.
Are donations that buy a service at the Church of Scientology deductible? Yes. That’s because Scientology won a 1993 settlement with the IRS after a lengthy battle with the agency. The settlement declared Scientology’s fee-for-service donations as having only “intangible religious benefits.” Other taxpayers, such as a Los Angeles couple that attempted to write off a portion of the tuition for their children’s Hebrew school, have not been as fortunate.
As for Anderson, he did deduct those past prepaid donations. If he gets his money back, he’ll have to declare the income on his tax return. He says he’ll be quite happy to pay the tax man, just as soon as he gets his money.

Read the full article.

31 Replies to “Larry Anderson On KSLG Radio”

  1. I like it, but the host breaths so loud, don’t wait til you’re out of breath to start breathing, you can take more breaks.

  2. Enjoyed the interview, and looking forward to hearing more from Larry Anderson in the future.
    Did not enjoy the host though. Found him slightly annoying.

  3. While the interview is interesting, I think the fact that this story has been picked up by CBS which also highlights Scientology’s special treatment by the IRS regarding deductibility of tuition payments (which is unique to Scientology) is more startling and welcome.

  4. From what I understand, not only is the communication course or other intro course a “hook” or “bait” because they are relatively inexpensive, fun, and useful, but also because they are a setup, to ACCEPTANCE of everything in Scientology.
    I also see the early courses as a test of a person’s susceptibility to Hubbard’s brainwashing techniques, just as some people are more susceptible than others to classic techniques of hypnosis.
    Over the years, it is slow brainwashing, punctuated by periods of euphoria or “knowing,” which prepares a person to accept unquestioningly, an erroneous concept such as the “misunderstood word.” Thanks to Touretzky for explaining this so well, in relation to STUDY TECH.
    That is, in Scientology, if you don’t understand a concept in the TECH, or it isn’t working for you, it is because you do not understand the concept, or more bizarrely, the definition of the individual words. Of course, it is really about making a person THINK they understand (or know) it, but instead of understanding, it is all about ACCEPTANCE.
    It goes all the way up to accepting that Hubbard is a nuclear physicist, or has the “knowingness” of a nuclear physicist. Or has all the answers to the mysteries of the Universe. Whether he does have that knowledge doesn’t matter to a Scientologist, only that you ACCEPT that he does, because it will be true for you, and works for you.
    As written by Roland Rashleigh-Berry in his essay, WHAT IS SCIENTOLOGY (for the Clambake website), he says:
    “The delusional contents of the subconscious mind are brought to the surface and are assumed to be valid. It also makes a person more susceptible to suggestion since it submerges the critical thinking faculties of the mind into a partial subconscious state.”
    That is a chilling concept, when it is designed as a trap. So, step-by-step, a person gets brainwashed all the way up to Xenu and Body Thetan removal. It can be dangerous to believe everything Hubbard wrote as true, not so much the Xenu part — except for the money drain — but in the Sea Org, executing all Hubbard’s policies without question, whether it is turning Marty into THE TERMINATOR to hunt down fleeing members, or getting their members to Fair Game critics, and disconnect from family members etc.
    You can see the ordinary person’s incredulity, like this radio interviewer, that these people, Scientologists, end up believing and following everything written by a science fiction writer.
    Larry says, “It’s just Scientology.” (For people who don’t know who Hubbard is, or care.) Right. The “study of knowledge,” and without it, you may as well shoot yourself or dive off a bridge. Got it. It’s a scam!
    Something else. Since few ex-Scilon celebrities speak out, it might be unfair to characterize it this way, but I think some celebrities, perhaps in the future, should be honest and also admit that taking Scientology courses, is also about networking. It is part of the “know-who” that is part of a person’s success in Hollywood.
    So, gaining skills in learning to “communicate,” underneath that, aspiring actors or actors who want work, are also aware of the networking opportunities at the Celebrity Center.
    About the e-meter…the “dating” of an incident is what always slayed me…Hubbard saying he blew a gasket on his space ship 32,467,460,298 years, four hours, 3 minutes and 22 seconds ago. (Or something like that.) You know your brain is fully cooked when you believe something like that.
    I like Larry though, and hope he gets on TV a lot more talking about his story.
    Lastly, I don’t think Hubbard’s communication skills are all that great. If Hubbard taught one of my college classes, I would have dropped the course. He loses his train of thought, goes off topic, babbles like he’s deluded. All his proclamations and certainty about everything.
    I like the announcer!

  5. One more thing. CBS Money watch article is fantastic. Scientology is mainly about money, and that is Larry’s biggest beef about it, with his personal experience. It is outrageous, holding over $100,000 back from him, that he put on account, and never spent.
    The exorbitant cost of Scientology courses, and the way it is used to trap and manipulate a member will get a lot of people’s attention, maybe even some who wouldn’t care if their leader beats on his underlings.
    Just on this issue of course prices alone, the web puts a dent in Scientology business. Before the web, the vast majority of new members got into it not knowing the fee structure. They were like “I’ll try a few courses, and see if it works for me.” Now more people are going to want to get a bigger picture of the bridge, and costs involved, and do a little financial planning, before they 2nd mortgage the house to learn about Xenu and get super powers.

  6. For someone who is a atheist and professes to know about physics, the interviewer seems incapable of grasping the simple concept of a galvanometer. It may not detect “body thetans”, but they’ve used it to good effect as a lie detector. Anderson is a great interviewee.

  7. Xenu! Xenu! Xenu!
    I’m a Thetan! I’m a Thetan! I’m a Thetan!
    This is Scientology in a nutshell. 😀
    If it sounds like I’m making fun of Scientology, I am.
    Oh, L. Ron give us superpowers, notttttt! 🙂
    My name is Tom Cruise (or insert other Scilon Celeb) and I’m an Idiot. 😉

  8. @Astrid
    You have it pegged!!! Do you have a blog or site of your own? If not, could you please add your post to other sites before I do and feel bad about plagiarism?

  9. I can understand if anyone found the interviewer to be somewhat ‘annoying’. I can’t blame the poor guy. He is obviously uneducated on the nature of cults, let alone the monumental labyrinth of Co$…:-) It was rather amusing to watch him fail to differentiate between e-meter stimulus and interpretation of meter ‘readings’… Oh Well!…:-)
    I was pleased with Larry’s role in this interview. I thought he spoke well and answered the interviewer’s frantic questioning quite nobly. It is clear to me that Larry knows the pit that he fell into, and that he now sits squarely out in the light of psychological freedom.
    And once again shame on the U.S. government for being so sycophant sycophant sycophant… allowing themselves to be blackmailed into submission by the likes of Co$. Obama… I like you!… but wake up! World superpower my ass! More like ass-licking manure swallower. Hey! Do I sound angry?…:-)

  10. L. Ron Hubbard the con man,
    Put peoples’ lives in the trash can.
    L. Ron Hubbard the Quack,
    And a useless hack.
    L. Ron. Hubbard the Charletan,
    Stealing whatever he can.
    L. Ron Hubbard the Pseudo-Scientist,
    Tell a Scilon the truth and man he gets pissed.
    (Ode to L. Ron the Con)
    🙂 😉 😀 😉 🙂 😛

  11. What are my Crimes?
    Calling the Xenu story Bull Shit in the first degree.
    Laughing at the Tech.
    Making fun of Scientology and its Idiotic followers.
    Thinking that D.M. is half rat.
    Making fun of Scientology’s Stupid beliefs.
    Calling L. Ron racist.
    Thinking for myself in the third degree.
    And telling the “church” where it could put its scriptures
    (in a place I cannot mention in decent company).
    That is all.

  12. Hey! Knight of Anonymous… The word is ‘Ass’…:-) Let there be no mis-understoods or non-confronts here…OK!?…:-)

  13. As an atheist, I apologize for the rudeness of the interviewer, and his ignorance of the e-meter. I especially found the host’s legal advice offensive. Larry was cordial and he handled the interview perfectly.

  14. Dianetics was orininally supposed to be a science, and I agreed to check it out. But the Church of Scientology is defenitely a cult, by dictionary definition. And if a person is interested in checking out the science of Dianetics, they sell him a course and pretend to let him study it, but in fact what they really do is overwhelm him with their cult fanaticism.
    So what the church really is is a cult of overwhelmed people with good intentions (call them billion year doormats) and a small haddful of yuppies at the top who live rather well at the expense of public Scientlogists (who might feel they have been ripped off) and staff (who will be expected to abort their unborn children).If you cannot see a similarity to cult fanaticism, perhaps you should go to the library and spend some quality time with a good dictionary.
    This is not to say that the philosophy of Scientology has been proven to be untrue, I am just saying that the existing organization sure acts like a cult.

  15. This is not to say that the philosophy of Scientology has been proven to be untrue, I am just saying that the existing organization sure acts like a cult.

    Where to begin? There is no such thing as a “Clear” as stated by Hubbard. The universe isn’t 60 trillion years old. There is no such thing as the Fifth (or Fourth) Invader Force. Thoughts don’t have mass. CalMag is quackery. The solar system is not really known as “Space Station 33” . . . by anyone. Xenu couldn’t have dumped his Marcabian prisoners in the Hawaiian volcanoes 75 million years ago because they didn’t exist then (most were still undersea 60 million years ago). I could go on all night . . . He. Made. It. All. Up.

  16. e-protester:
    To follow up on Artoo45’s comments Re Scientology: many of the “overwhelmed people with good intentions” have been brainwashed to the degree that they will employ the “fair game” policy against anyone who dares to correct the record with respect to Hubbard’s biography or the acts of the “yuppies at the top” of Scientology. They actively inhibit the spread of truth and they do this because of teachings that form the core of the philosophy of Scientology.

  17. @Jaxonon No, I have no website. I don’t even post on WWP, only ARS. Repost this or anything I post all you want. Or say, “Astrid” said this on Bunker’s XenuTV comments.

  18. Thanks for speaking out Larry! You have delivered a deadly blow (though probably not yet fatal) to the CofS! I understand about buying into the “lies” for so long. I was involved with a different cult (non religious) for almost half my life (20 years) and finally, slowly woke up. Biggest shock of my life – that I wasted all that time and effort on utter insanity, but of course life is about the journey. We all, sometimes, take the wrong fork in the road. I’m glad you are out. I wish you would pursue your financial problems with CofS through the IRS and their tax exemption. It is the most practical way to hurt them. If they lose their tax exemption (and of course they SHOULD) it would probably be the death blow to them. You, as the former poster boy for Scientology, you could also the one to bring it down. I hope you and other at XenuTV and ToryMagoo44, and Tommy Gorman and other can finally and completely rid the world of this abusive and deadly cult!!!

  19. Anyone who so much as practices Scientology and uses its Tech is an enemy of God, Freedom, Goodness, Truth, Love, Peace, Equality, Ethics, Reason, and Humanity.

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