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Spying, intimidation, and ruin: Two lives caught up in Scientology’s notorious ‘Fair Game’

Peter_Ramsay

 
Ian Ramsay says his brother had immense talent and intelligence, but he repeatedly derailed his own chances at success with bizarre decisions.

Peter walked away, for example, from a job that was paying him about $150,000 a year at the roofing company he’d helped found in 1975. “Later, around 2005 or 2006, the company ran into problems, and they asked him to come back,” Ian remembers. “Peter spent a year helping to restructure the company, made more than $150,000, and then walked away again. He wasn’t about the money.”

And around then, in the mid-2000s, Ian and Rob began to realize that their brother was developing some serious problems.

On one of his rare visits, Peter had some photos of Ian’s children with him. He pointed them out to his brother and said, “Look, can you see the numbers in their hair?”

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“That’s when I realized something wasn’t quite right,” Ian says.

“At some point, Rob and I could see that Peter was becoming delusional,” Ian says, and adds that it got worse over time. “When he was living with me at the end, he kept telling me he believed I was an RCMP informant, no matter what I said.”

Working spy operations for Scientology exacerbated the problem, Ian and Rob tell us. “His delusions took him into an area that was strange. He was pursuing the policies of the church, and I saw him as a bully at that time,” Ian says. “He was still my brother and I still loved him, and I tried to help him.”

After their mother died, they split an inheritance, and Peter moved in with an old friend from Scientology. “He was living like a hermit, just living off that money,” Rob says. “And then the delusions started hitting hard.”

Rob found in Peter’s papers that in 2007, Peter had written a letter to L. Ron Hubbard, who had died in 1986.

Dear Sir,

Start invert 2001.
Heavy restim.
Now 2007.

Phenomena greatly reduced — residual due to (my opinion) other cases.

Have found what I think is base matrix. Refer your article on Druidism and [Psychiatry], 1969.

Best,

Peter Ramsay
October 2007

Eventually, Peter and his old friend and roommate began to clash over Peter’s increasingly bizarre behavior and Peter got tossed out of the house. At one point, when he tried to retrieve some of his things while his roommate was out, a neighbor saw him breaking in and called the police.

Rob retrieved him from jail and found that he’d been scraped and bruised badly. “He said he didn’t resist, and I do believe him,” Rob says. They photographed his injuries for possible legal action. But what shocked Rob even more was something he had just then found out, not having seen much of his brother in years.

Peter was essentially blind.

He had cataracts that had been left completely untreated. “If you wrote him something, he’d hold it up to an eye and read it letter by letter. But he would never agree that there was a problem with his eyes,” Ian says, and Rob believes that partly, that was because acknowledging the problem would be a way of denying Scientology’s power. “Peter thought that because he was Clear, these things shouldn’t be happening. So he pretended they weren’t,” Rob says.

Shortly after Peter’s arrest, Rob took his brother to Costco to see an optometrist. “He was only in there five minutes and he stormed out, with iodine in his eyes. ‘Bob, this is all a fix. We’re leaving,’ he said. The optometrist told me Peter couldn’t identify how many fingers he was holding up from only four feet away.”

Peter moved in with his brother Ian for a while, but eventually the two clashed as Ian urged him to find work or to apply for government housing. After they fought about it, Ian says Peter stormed out. They didn’t see him for a month. “We asked the police to find him, but then they wouldn’t tell us where he was,” Ian says. “He’d moved into a group home in Toronto.”

One night, at the group home, Peter woke up with a coughing fit. “He continued to cough until he collapsed. It turned out he had a huge tumor wrapped around an artery coming out of his heart. It was lung cancer — he’d been a heavy smoker. He was in the hospital for two weeks, and then they moved him to palliative care,” Rob says. “Eventually, he ended up again at Ian’s house for his last three weeks.”

Both Rob and Ian say they wondered, based on what Peter was saying, if he regretted his involvement in Scientology and his spying for the church.

“There were a couple of times when he looked at me and said, ‘I really fucked up’,” Ian says. “I was trying to be as neutral as possible, non-judgmental. I just said Pete, it’s OK. We all have regrets about what we did.

“I just wanted him to be comfortable and be at peace,” Ian adds. “Whether he was talking about Scientology or about his smoking and his lung cancer, I don’t know. But he kept referring to this project he’d been working on. ‘I finally concluded my project’ he said one day at palliative care. ‘Don’t you want to know what I came up with?’ No, I don’t, I said. He accepted that and didn’t try to explain it. To this day I have no idea what he was talking about.”

Peter died a few weeks short of his 64th birthday.

Rob and Ian say they have found out that their brother had seen a counselor and was taking a mild sedative when he started his Scientology career. “They made him get off it. And he ended up delusional and with terrible cataracts at the end,” Rob says.

“They knew there was something wrong with Peter, but they used him anyway,” Ian says.

Gregg Hagglund learned that Peter Ramsay had died when he heard it from us.

We were looking for Hagglund’s obituary, thinking that he had died because of the way Mark Plummer, another oldtime Scientology critic, had referred in a Facebook post to his friend Gregg. Then we learned that Hagglund was, in fact, still among the living and reached out to him, telling him about Rob Ramsay’s collection of his brother’s papers.

“At the time, I thought Peter was an annoying, buzzing, evil little thing,” Hagglund says. “Now that I’ve seen his papers, I don’t think he was evil. He fell into evil ways because he wanted to be accepted by other people.

“I don’t like what Peter did, and I didn’t like Peter himself. But I don’t think he was unlikeable. It depends on where you’re standing.”

 
TorontoToday2

[The Toronto org on Yonge Street has fallen on hard times, as has Scientology itself.]

 
Our thanks to the Hagglund and Ramsay families and Ron Sharp for the photos used in this story – ed.

 
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3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on April 11, 2016 at 07:00

E-mail tips and story ideas to tonyo94 AT gmail DOT com or follow us on Twitter. We post behind-the-scenes updates at our Facebook author page. After every new story we send out an alert to our e-mail list and our FB page.

Our book, The Unbreakable Miss Lovely: How the Church of Scientology tried to destroy Paulette Cooper, is on sale at Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions. We’ve posted photographs of Paulette and scenes from her life at a separate location. Reader Sookie put together a complete index. More information about the book, and our 2015 book tour, can also be found at the book’s dedicated page.

Learn about Scientology with our numerous series with experts…

BLOGGING DIANETICS: We read Scientology’s founding text cover to cover with the help of L.A. attorney and former church member Vance Woodward
UP THE BRIDGE: Claire Headley and Bruce Hines train us as Scientologists
GETTING OUR ETHICS IN: Jefferson Hawkins explains Scientology’s system of justice
SCIENTOLOGY MYTHBUSTING: Historian Jon Atack discusses key Scientology concepts

Other links: Shelly Miscavige, ten years gone | The Lisa McPherson story told in real time | The Cathriona White stories | The Leah Remini ‘Knowledge Reports’ | Hear audio of a Scientology excommunication | Scientology’s little day care of horrors | Whatever happened to Steve Fishman? | Felony charges for Scientology’s drug rehab scam | Why Scientology digs bomb-proof vaults in the desert | PZ Myers reads L. Ron Hubbard’s “A History of Man” | Scientology’s Master Spies | Scientology’s Private Dancer | The mystery of the richest Scientologist and his wayward sons | Scientology’s shocking mistreatment of the mentally ill | Scientology boasts about assistance from Google | The Underground Bunker’s Official Theme Song | The Underground Bunker FAQ

Our Guide to Alex Gibney’s film ‘Going Clear,’ and our pages about its principal figures…
Jason Beghe | Tom DeVocht | Sara Goldberg | Paul Haggis | Mark “Marty” Rathbun | Mike Rinder | Spanky Taylor | Hana Whitfield

 

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