The Church of Scientology has long been the target of critics who accuse it of cult-like behavior. Now the church is facing a new round of negative publicity as it finds itself in the news once more. No, I'm not talking about the recent HBO documentary Going Clear
, which exposes many of the church's misdeeds. I'm talking about the shocking case
of Scientology auditor Frank D. Linehan, who goes on trial today in Los Angeles on charges of molesting hundreds of thetans, beginning around 1978. The church is accused of covering up the abuse for decades.
Most victims were between 60- and 65-million-years old with some as young as 58 million, investigators said, prompting accusations of serial abuse that have shaken the church to its core. If convicted, Linehan could face life in prison for his crimes, according to California Attorney General Kamala Harris.
“The thing that makes this case so troubling and so shocking is the total abuse of trust,” Harris told reporters at a press conference outside the Church of Scientology Celebrity Centre in Los Angeles, where police believe the majority of assaults took place. “These are unbelievably horrific cases where someone abused their position of power to target those who are defenseless. No one in the community could believe someone could do this to a thetan, a thetan who is voiceless.”
“Both as an attorney general and as a person with possibly hundreds of murdered alien souls clinging to her body, it shocks the conscience,” Harris continued. “But I’d like to take this opportunity to tell everyone that we are doing everything in our power to protect young immortal spiritual beings and pursue this case to the fullest extent of the law.”
Thetans, trapped souls of ancient aliens transported to Earth, dropped onto volcanoes, and blown up with nuclear bombs by the evil Xenu
75 million years ago, have few legal protections, and the Supreme Court has yet to rule on whether or not they possess basic human rights that the rest of us take for granted. But prosecutors claim that the legal status of these disembodied entities is not central to the case, even though they admit that compelling Linehan's victims to testify will prove challenging. They are now testing a system involving an e-meter connected with a Ouija board that they hope will convince a jury.
Linehan was arrested back in 2012 and has avoided going to trial for years thanks to the maneuvering of Scientology's crack legal team, all of whom are highly skilled in the art of crafting cease-and-desist letters that include veiled and hard-to-prosecute threats. But with photos and videotapes of some of the alleged incidents finally allowed into evidence, the trial is finally going forward and prosecutors believe they can secure a conviction. While the thetans themselves are nearly invisible, Linehan's actions are apparently unmistakeable.
“The footage was extremely graphic in nature,” said Det. John Carr, who uncovered “hundreds and hundreds” of compromising photos of the immaterial souls on Linehan’s computer. “What I saw on those tapes was beyond anything I had ever witnessed. Nothing had prepared me for it.”
“You trust these people with your thetans, and they abuse that trust,” Carr continued. “Those thetans, they didn’t deserve this. And some looked like they couldn’t have been reincarnated more than a thousand times or so."
The latest revelation comes as federal investigators in Los Angeles say they have “credible evidence” of cases of sexual abuses committed by Linehan as far back as 1978, suggesting a decades-long coverup by church officials.
Employment documents confirm that over the past three decades, Scientology leaders have repeatedly transferred Linehan to new compounds and allowed him to continue working with thetans, even after a 1982 conviction of fondling an alien soul in the back of a solo auditing room.
If Linehan is convicted, it may strike a final blow to an organization already reeling
from HBO's revelations. Critics describe Scientology as a corrupt and greedy organization that peddles a ridiculous science-fiction mythology and seems to exist mostly to separate its followers from their money, and I'm sure that all of those poor abused and victimized thetans agree wholeheartedly. Here's hoping that justice is served.