US actor, fleeced by the Church of Scientology, wants his money back

US actor, fleeced by the Church of Scientology, wants his money back January 25, 2010

AMERICAN actor Larry Anderson, probably best known as the guy who starred in the Knight Rider pilot before David Hasselhoff took over the role, is also an accomplished magician.
His most impressive trick? Making $150,000 dollars disappear  … into the coffers of the Church of Scientology.

Larry Anderson

So what did Anderson get for his $150,000? According to this report:

  • A Communications Course, $30: In 1976, Anderson visited the Church of Scientology’s Celebrity Centre in Hollywood and signed up for a communications course, which was his gateway drug to Scientology.
  • “Auditing” and course work, $100,000: Scientology, of course, revolves around sessions of “auditing” wherein students’ emotions are measured with a fake device known as an “E-meter”. Anderson put $100,000 on account at the Celebrity Centre, of which he spent about a third.
  • A Church of Scientology Flag Service Organisation Account, $36,947: Scientology’s spiritual headquarters is located in Clearwater, FL, and all adherents must receive training there if they hope to advance to “OT VI and OT VII” levels. Anderson says he never spent any of this money, because he never got his juju in the right shape to reach those levels, or whatever.
  • A course on board a cruise Ship, $11,400: Turns out that the only place to receive the highest level of Scientology training is on a conveniently expensive cruise ship. And Anderson put up the money – which he never used – in the expectation that he would reach the “OT VIII” level of Scientological glory.
  • An 18-volume set of  L Ron Hubbard’s teachings, $3,000: It was the constant re-releasing of these books (due to “stenographer errors”) which appeared to push Anderson over the edge: (“These books were published 20 years before LRH died. How is it we’re just discovering that stenographers made mistakes?”) On the upside, they probably look great on the bookshelf next to your 31-volume Time-Life “Classics of the Old West” Series.

Some cash flowed the other way when, in 1996, Anderson was paid $35,000 for his narrating role in an unintentionally funny Scientology movie, Orientation (watch a clip here if you want a good giggle). At the end of the 40-minute recruitment film – which portrays church founder L Ron Hubbard as a “superhero” fully accomplished in 29 professions including sea captain – Anderson says:

If you leave this room after seeing this film and walk out and never mention Scientology again, you are perfectly free to do so. It would be stupid. But you can do it. You can also dive off a bridge or blow your brains out. That is your choice.  But, if you don’t walk out that way, if you continue with Scientology, we will be very happy with you. And you will be very happy with you.

Well, right now, Anderson is not at all happy with Scientology – and he wants his dosh back.
Anderson, who joined the Hubbardites in 1976, jumped the Scientology ship about a year ago and has been trying ever since to get a refund.
But the “church” is playing hardball over the $120,000 still remaining in Anderson’s various Scientology accounts. Here’s what a couple of Scientology representatives told him, according to excerpts of the recorded conversation Anderson provided to the St Petersburg Times and which are now all over YouTube:

Look, here’s the thing, Larry: You want your money back. We’re willing to give you your money back – to a degree. But we also don’t have to give you the money back, and you seem to have forgotten that. So we’re just trying to work through some of these issues so we can help you get what you want and get what we want and everybody’s fucking happy – excuse my language – everybody’s happy, everybody’s fine and you can go your separate way and do your thing. But the bottom line is, we don’t have to give your money back.

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