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Document leak: How Scientology freaked out over losing Lori Hodgson and her mom


[Dee McMurdie and Lori Hodgson]

We told you recently that a new source, a current member of the Church of Scientology, had sent us a small collection of documents (with promises that more are forthcoming). The first document we published was a really entertaining internal memo showing how, in 2008, the church was panicking about the way the Anonymous movement had figured out how to alter Google Maps so that orgs showed up labeled as “Cult of Scientology.”

Now we have a document from 2010, and it provides a really interesting look inside another panicky situation: When two Scientologists had decided to turn their backs on the organization.

Those two people were Dee McMurdie and her daughter, Lori Hodgson.

If you weren’t already familiar with Lori’s story from the numerous times we’ve written about her, you might have caught her a couple of weeks ago on ABC’s Nightline program. She was featured in a segment about Scientology’s toxic policy of “disconnection,” which is keeping her two adult children, Jeremy and Jessica Leake, from maintaining any contact with her. We’ve written about Lori’s attempts to see her kids with surprise visits to Texas. The Nightline episode featured a few seconds from POW-style Church of Scientology videos of Jeremy and Jessica saying that they couldn’t forgive their mother for trying to harm Scientology. (Lori has made it clear that she doesn’t care if her kids stay in Scientology, she just wants them back in her life.)

Things in 2016 are really a mess in this family drama. But our document takes us back to 2010, when Scientology was first finding out that Lori and her mother Dee had decided to resign from the church. The Stevens Creek, California mission’s “Director of Special Affairs” is who put together this report — the DSA is the local branch of Scientology’s “Office of Special Affairs,” the church’s public relations and intelligence wing.


When the DSA learned that Dee McMurdie had resigned from the church in a letter, she dispatched Mary Jo Hyland and Pat Wehner, the San Jose mission holder, to meet with Dee and assess the situation. She then addressed her report in proper Sea Org fashion to numerous “terminals” (people) above her rank…


You have to love the all-caps faux-teletype nature of a Scientology internal memo. Everything is screamingly important, all the time.


Dee is described as an “FSM” — a “field staff member,” who the church counts on to spread the word about Scientology and sell books. She is married to Val McMurdie, who is not a Scientologist, and is described by the DSA as an “unknown quantity” who had “been Type III.” That’s Scientology jargon for “he’s a loon.” We checked with Hodgson, who tells us that Val wanted nothing to do with Scientology, which is why the DSA here is basically calling him crazy.

Lori herself is described as being “fairly woggy” because she’s married to a “wog.” That’s Scientology talk for “non-Scientologist,” but it comes from a derogatory British description for non-white people that L. Ron Hubbard thought was a cute way to refer to us muggles. And here’s proof not only that Scientology really does use that term in official reports, but that someone in the church who is not entirely devout can be referred to as “fairly woggy.”

The report then refers to Lori’s ex-husband, Jim Leake, who is the father of their children, Jessica and Jeremy. In 2010, the report says, Jeremy is living with his mother Lori, and Jessica, a couple of years older, is living on her own.


Having been raised in Scientology, Jeremy and Jessica were good little snitches and told their dad, apparently, that mom and grandma had decided to quit the church.

We couldn’t help enjoying the detail that Dee and Lori had put up “no trespassing” signs in anticipation of the inevitable visit from the church.


Things will soon change, but in this first encounter the Scientology representatives approach Dee at her business with “ARC” — Scientology jargon for friendliness and a desire to talk. If they had actually read Dee’s resignation letter or not, the important thing was to get her talking.


After saying some unflattering things about her former son-in-law, Dee then explains what really has her and her daughter upset (“out-ruds”): The way Scientology had recruited Lori’s kids to be Sea Org members against her wishes.


We sure would love to get a Scientology official to comment on this — an internal Scientology memo that describes the scene when Lori Hodgson, in agonizing pain after a bad knee operation, is desperately calling her mother from a bathroom while Sea Org recruiters are pounding on the door, wanting to talk to her about getting her 15-year-old son to sign a billion-year contract.

You won’t be reading about that anytime soon in the pages of Freedom magazine.


Dee informs them that she’s looked at an “independent Scientology” website that criticizes the leadership of David Miscavige. Mary Jo assumes that Dee has needed help finding the site.


Despite their attempts at “ARC,” the real mission eventually is revealed — to get Dee to say who she’s been talking to. Scientology assumes that the only reason she would be unsatisfied enough to leave the church is that she’s been talking to church enemies.


According to the report, Dee had hoped she could resign from the church in a letter and then just keep quiet about it. As the report had stated earlier, she had lots of Scientology friends as well as customers at her diet counseling business. She was hoping that if she kept quiet about leaving Scientology, it wouldn’t result in losing those friends and clients as a result of “disconnection.”

Dee had even written a set of instructions for herself, and the number one item on it was not to talk to anyone in Scientology about her decision — which she has now violated by talking to Pat and Mary Jo.


Lori uses coffee tech. (Lori suddenly shows up with coffee, staring daggers at Mary Jo and Pat.)

Can’t you see the scene, with Dee politely saying she never wanted to see them again, and Mary Jo insisting that it wasn’t their last meeting?

After leaving, the Scientology duo called Lori’s ex-husband, who told them, according to the report, that he had already begun to prepare his kids, Jessica and Jeremy, for the likelihood that they would need to disconnect from their own mother and grandmother. The mission team asks him to hold off on that for the time being.

All three of them — the mission duo as well as the DSA — seem a bit shaken up by the encounter. Losing members will affect their stats, and could lead to additional bad PR. But, as good Scientologists, they hold out hope that L. Ron Hubbard will guide them as they try to decide what to do…


One can only hope that they received the hatting (training) that they were looking for.

After this report was written, Lori Hodgson later made things much worse for her local Scientology terminals when she traveled to Texas and met with former Scientology official Marty Rathbun. When she returned to San Jose after that trip, she was accosted by a local Scientologist, John Allender, who would go on to form a group that would travel to Texas to harass Rathbun. Allender and his colleagues called themselves the “Squirrel Busters,” and the rest is history.

We want to thank our new source for supplying us with this fascinating peek inside a Scientology “handling” with this unique document. We can’t wait to see what else they have for us.




3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on May 13, 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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