Statement of Maria Pia Gardini
I, Maria Pia Gardini declare as follows:
1. I am over the age of 18 years.
2. The statements herein are of my own personal knowledge and if called
upon as a witness, I can testify competently thereto.
3. My name is Maria Pia Gardini. I am an Italian citizen.
4. I became involved in Scientology through the Narconon program. My
daughter went into the program and at this time she gave me some books to read
about Scientology. After 8 months or so she finished her program and told me
she wanted to continue studying Scientology. My mother and I paid for her
auditing up to OT VII.
5. After she was on the OT levels, she convinced me to meet some of the
people in the Rome org. They convinced me to do the purification rundown and
to try auditing, so I bought one intensive of "book one" auditing.
6. I started the purification rundown: on the second day I blew (left
suddenly) the sauna. I was scared to death of being in the heat for four to
five hours. I was 49 years old and felt I would die. Members of the org came
to my home and convinced me to return and keep doing it. They said I was just
going through something and if I continued, I would get out of it. So, I
returned and finished the rundown. I quickly told them I was done, and I was
7. I then started the auditing. My father was dead and I had always been
sad about his death. When I started auditing, my auditor was a very warm and
kind woman and we audited almost the whole 12 hours that I had purchased on my
father's death. I went through a lot of emotions talking about his death,
crying and laughing and at the end I did feel better.
8. I then decided to continue. I wanted to buy another intensive, but I
was regged to buy 10 intensives more of book one auditing. Meanwhile, they
also sold me an academy package so I could study to myself become an auditor.
Soon, I was getting auditing 3-4 hours a day and studying an additional several
hours a day.
9. When I attested the completion of book one, I was told I had to
continue to handle the many more areas of my life. I then bought all the
Scientology Grades auditing plus NED (New Era Dianetics.)
10. I started on the objectives. This was the first failure for me. Doing
a drill called "Op Pro by Dup" involving repetitive actions with a book and
bottle, I became so upset I threw the bottle at my auditor and tore up the book
used in the auditing. The auditor had to physically restrain me to keep me in
11. Before I had just done auditing where I had talked a lot, so of course
one will feel better talking about their problems. Now, this was something
12. I ended up slapping the auditor and running from the room. I ran home
and that evening four staff members came to get me. They explained to me that
I had lost control and if I finished the auditing I would regain control. I
returned with them and finished the auditing.
13. I then audited the Grades 0-IV. I did not have any great achievements
during these. It was just sit there and listen and talk to the auditor. I
told the C/S that I didn't have any "wins" on this (I in fact told everyone
this), but they reminded me that I had had a lot of wins before on my book one
and the grades were just to stabilize me for my OT levels. They told me to
14. Then, they tried to audit me on NED, but after all the hours of book
one I was desperate…I had already talked about everything! I became sick and
was interviewed by someone who said I had to do the CCRD. I had paid for 12 ˝
hours of NED and audited for 25 minutes. When I tried to get the money back
for these unused hours they said no, I paid for the intensive and I had started
it. So that was the end of that money (about $2000.)
15. I then went to Rome and while I was there a "mission" arrived from CLO
Italy to recruit people into the Sea Organization (SO.) They wanted me to join
and worked very hard on me. I agreed and they gave me a contract for 1 billion
16. In the mean time I had done the class IV internship. They now wanted
me to start in the SO, but I wanted to go attest to clear first. I bought CCRD
in Copenhagen AOSH and went to do it. I was told, because I was a Sea Org
member the room and board would be free. When I arrived, I was told "Free?
CLO Italy doesn't have any money on account here." I had to pay for myself.
17. They put me in a hotel that was owned by the church called "Nordland."
It was like a pigsty; so dirty. I found one room that was less dirty than the
others and did not have other people in it.
18. At this point I was now a class V auditor. It was terrible in
Copenhagen. I was given an auditor who was Swiss German who did not speak
Italian, but something similar. I started eligibility with him and the session
went on and on and on because I could not understand him. I was supposed to
stay there two weeks but was there two months. Then, I was told I had to buy
more intensives. I explained the language problem, so they switched auditors.
He spoke good Italian, so I finished eligibility in two hours then moved to the
CCRD. I then attested to clear.
19. Clear is supposed to be an expanded person. I did not feel this. I
really wanted badly to go back to Italy. When I did go back, I simply changed
suitcases and went to Milano to train for the Sea Org.
20. Now, I was put in the kitchen to cook for 70 staff members. This was
terrible. Then, they wanted me to wash dishes. I said no. I never have
washed dishes in my life. I had my car there so I left again. I went back
home for 2 days before they came and got me. This whole time my daughter was
progressing in Scientology. She was at Flag and I was afraid that they would
tell her I was misbehaving and she would be upset with me. So, I went back.
When I went back, they told me I was done with the first phase of my training.
21. I then told them I had to go back to Rome to close up the house. In
Rome, there was another mission to get people to do the OT levels in
Copenhagen. I bought a package for OT I-III. I wrote for permission to do
these levels instead of going to work. I received this permission and went to
Copenhagen to do my OT levels.
22. While I was doing my levels in Copenhagen, I was paying my own room and
board and then they asked me to start auditing their pcs.
23. I went onto OT I. It was bullshit. You walked around by yourself and
24. In the middle of it I went into a coffee shop…I expanded myself on
good coffee. After a couple of hours I went back and they asked me if I had
any wins. I said, "sure sure," so they sent me to attest to being done.
25. The next day I started doing OT II. On this you run dichotomies. You
have a long list of whole track implants like electric implants and talking
implants etc. You have to run down the track to run them out. It is solo
auditing and it is done by talking aloud to yourself.
26. When I went in session, I hade to spot a light and from there run the
implant. Then, I read my meter and ran back and forth the dichotomies of the
implant. While doing this I was in a place where thin dividers divided the
walls and you could hear other people running their implants. Also, the wall
was painted black and I couldn't see the light. I wrote the C/S and asked him
"Where is the light!"
27. The next day trying to audit, there was a circus behind the building
and I could hear the elephant. The next day I wrote I could not find the
light, but I did find the elephant.
28. In the end, I ran off three implants, said I could find no more and
asked to move on. I then attested to OT II. I also did the old clearing
course and OT II is this same thing manipulated around a bit.
29. Now, I start OT III. This is what I really wanted, what all of us
Scientologists wanted. It is the big mystery: the Wall of Fire.
30. I opened the course materials, read what was before me, and closed the
book. This was the wall of fire? I had already read this.
31. At this time, I was a huge science fiction fan. Now, I was racking my
brain about this story about Xenu and the battle with the loyal officers. I
had heard this story before but could not remember where. The story involves
an "evil galactic overlord" named Xenu who was captured 75 million years ago
and put into an electric trap, and you have these electric strips, like in the
department stores, and LRH tells you that beings (called thetans) were brought
to the planet earth back then and trapped with these electronic strips and put
into a volcano then blown up and they are now stuck all over people's bodies.
Now, I feel that I have a full population in my body! There were people in the
room passing out when reading this. I am not so impressionable.
32. That night when I went to bed I was wondering where are all these
beings (now called body thetans) in my body?
33. The day after studying about OT III, I started to audit it in my
bedroom in the Nordland hotel. You are supposed to talk to your body thetans
and make them go away from you. Each night I took my auditing folder to the
C/S, carrying it in a suitcase with a chain attached to my wrist. We had to do
this to ensure the confidentiality of the very secret materials.
34. When I did my first session, my needle was stuck. I got so angry that
the needle started to move. Then I said, "I found a body thetan," and started
to audit. I think I was auditing my rage.
35. I audited 100 hours on OT III. This was a lot; almost double what many
people audit, but I wanted to be certain that I had all of these body thetans
gone. The "End Phenomenon" of OT III is that all of your body thetans are now
gone. So, I was convinced all my body thetans were gone and I attested to
being finished with OT III.
36. Now, I said, I will go back to my post in Italy. No, I am told, I must
stay and do OT IV and V. I say I do not have the money in Copenhagen to pay
for these levels. That night, from 8:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. they regged me to
purchase these OT levels.
37. I finally called my mother to borrow money and she was very angry with
me, but she did send me the money. So, now I start OT IV.
38. What do I read in the OT IV materials? That I now have to handle "Body
Thetan Clusters. I said what? More BTs? I was told yes, now I am handling
drugs on the "whole track": all drugs I ever did and the drugs the body
thetans did. These body thetans, you see, were not gone after OT III because
they were "druggies." Ok, I said. Let's get rid of the druggie body thetans.
39. I did this level and attested that I was now free from druggie body
40. Now, I go to do OT V. An auditor audits this. I get an HCOB to read
and what is in this HCOB? BT's and clusters! I say, "I don't have any more!"
and he says, "Yes you have. These BT's are sleeping and you have to wake them
up. Then you give them an identity and they will go away."
41. I now figured what the hell. I had done OT IV; let's do V. At this
time you have to make up things to keep yourself going.
42. So, the auditor command is "Look at your body (not with your eyes) and
locate a cluster." When the auditor gets a read he says, "Where is this?" I
say, "On the knee!" I then had to telepathically communicate with the BT and
ask it "What are you?" The BT says, "a banana." You tell the auditor "a
banana." Or it says, "a piece of paper" or whatever comes into your head and
the auditor says "Ok…tell him that is the item;" for example "The banana is the
item." I tell him the item is the banana and at that point the BT can blow or
he can stay there. If he doesn't blow on the "What" question you ask him "Who
are you?" You get all sorts of names here: Napoleon, Julius Caesar, John
Travolta, whoever! You tell all these to the auditor. He gets a read and
tells you which name is the right one. Then the BT will blow. These are the
only two commands.
43. I did this for 40 hours. Then, I attested to OT V.
44. While I had been auditing, there was a raid in Italy and all of the
organizations were closed. When I returned to Italy after OT V, the entire org
of Roma had moved into my apartment (they had called me in Copenhagen and asked
to move into my apartment.) I had instructed my building superintendent to let
them in but to not give them a key. They somehow got a key and made a copy
anyway. They were there all the time…the whole building was protesting.
45. So, when I returned, I made them leave. I found them another apartment
and paid for the first two months of rent. It took five days for a cleaning
company to clean my apartment, it was such a mess.
46. Now, I went to CLO in Milano to work. They were working in a hotel
because they had lost their building to the government. I wondered what the
hell I was doing there. I had no job to do. We had Int (International
Management) missions in to handle the problems while I was paying the hotel for
everyone in CLO. I figured I would go on to do OT VI and OT VII. One of my
seniors thought this would be good for me to do. At this moment, I was running
out of money. So, to do these levels I sold my apartment in Rome. My mother
was very, very angry with this. She told me I was crazy and they will ruin me.
She was right.
47. Now, I come to Flag. Again, I was supposed to get room and board
because I was a staff member. Bah. No room and board! I have again to pay
48. I now go onto the OT VI course and what is there? BODY THETANS AND
CLUSTERS! The questions were the same two as on OT V. "What" and "Who." I
almost went nuts. When I protested I was told it was the same procedure but
the fact that I was doing it solo made it different and better. They told me
that body thetans were everywhere. The materials also explained that my body
was not a body at all, but a mass of BT clusters. If they were not there, my
body would be translucent.
49. I went into session on OT VI. At the end, I attested that I had
completed OT VI, not that I had no more BTs.
50. Now, I moved to OT VII. Now, the end phenomenon of this level is: NO
BT'S LEFT OF ANY KIND. NO SLEEPING BTS' NO DRUGGIE BT'S NOTHING. One thing I
audited on OT VII was suppressive BTs.
51. Sometimes, you have a BT that will blow only from your body to the
door, so you have to mock up a scissors to cut the string that is keeping them
attached to your body. Also, you have BTs in layers, so you have to mock up a
hand to brush them off.
52. I never went to my home to audit; I stayed at the Sand Castle and
audited for 8 months. When I wasn't auditing I studied to be a class IX
auditor and was auditing public pcs.
53. When I attested to OT VII, Captain Ron Norton called me. I was
validated as being a class IX auditor and OT VII completion. What the hell was
I going to do with it? They asked me to sign on to work at Flag and they would
send another auditor to Italy to replace me. I told them to call my senior.
54. In Italy they were still trying to open up the orgs. My senior did
agree, though I said I had to go back to Italy to finish up and prepare. I did
55. When I arrived to start working at Flag, I was told that they would put
me in the Sand Castle hotel because there is no room at the Hacienda. The Sand
Castle was dirty and had unbelievable cockroaches.
56. They told me I had to pay 10% of what a public would pay, since it was
a public room. When they took me to the room there was no furniture, no bed
nothing. I complained but was told it was too late at night to do anything. I
was told to sleep in a chair. I said no, I just arrive after 10 hours of
travel. It was February 8 and cold. I ended up sleeping on the carpet.
57. The next day I refused to go to work unless I received a bed. They
then showed me a bed that had been outside in the garden; they were going to
throw it away. It was so dirty I would not put my dog on that mattress. It
had holes where rats had eaten it. I absolutely refused. I told them I would
start work on Monday. I went to the store and bought myself a bed, blankets,
chair and sheets. I had it all brought to the Sand Castle.
58. After one month, I was told they had a place in the Hacienda Gardens
for me. So, I put my stuff together and they took me to the Hacienda. When
they opened the door, I plugged my nose it stunk so badly. There were eight
beds one atop of the other. At this point I said take me to the captain.
59. I went to the Captain and told him I will not live like this. I want
to go back to Italy. He said no, we have a small apartment in the Hacienda
that we rent. We will give it to you for half price. I agreed to this and
paid $400 per month (this turned out to be full price.)
60. Now, I moved into this apartment. At the end of the first month, five
other people were sleeping in this apartment. They were putting staff members
in my paid for apartment. These people would eat my food and drink my water.
I returned to the captain.
61. I said enough is enough. You broke all your promises and I want to go
home. The captain told me to return to the Hacienda, wait three days and he
will come visit me and we will take care of this.
62. In the mean time, I called an area realtor and arranged to purchase a
condominium. By the time I met with the captain, I had my new home. At first,
he told me no, I couldn't stay off the base. I said it was this or nothing.
He told me to write a CSW, which I did, and he approved it. Thus, I had
special permission to live outside of sea org quarters.
63. So, I started to audit again. Then, there was a change of captains.
Ron Norton went to Gold and Debbie Cook became the captain. This was in 1988.
When Debbie Cook became captain, my real problems started.
64. First, she wanted me to move back to the Hacienda, or she insisted that
I share my condo with other staff members. I told her no to both. At this
time, I was almost every week the auditor with the most hours in the chair and
that year I won the worldwide highest auditing hours cup at the Auditors Day
celebration. At this point, I was a money making machine for them.
65. I was always on the chair auditing. In September of 1990 I received a
phone call from Italy saying my daughter was in the hospital in Pavia in Italy
and I had to go to her at once. I CSW'd to go see her and it was approved.
66. I returned to Italy and two months later, my daughter died: November
18, 1990. She was 29 years old and an OT VII.
67. A bit before I left, however, I asked the senior C/S, Kathy Webb, to
give me a program to audit my daughter because she was OT VII. This was to
help her physically. The answer was, with AIDS, she will die. What program do
you want? Give her a program to drop the body. Of course, I never did such a
process on her. You don't go to a sick person and say, "I give you a program
to drop your body."
68. Also in 1989 or 1990 they started releasing OT VIII. I was told to buy
a package on the Freewinds because this is the only place OT VIII was delivered
due to its extreme confidentiality. I bought a package, but then I went to
Italy because of my daughter.
69. Two days after my daughter's death, I took her to the cemetery to bury
her in our family mausoleum. On this day, I was recalled to Flag. My daughter
was not yet buried. Flag phoned me and spoke to my mother, who told them to
fuck off and leave me alone and forget my phone number. She was heavily
70. When I spoke with them I told them my daughter had left a daughter of
11 years old, Camilla, and I could not leave immediately. The called me every
day, several times a day to get me to come back immediately. They called with
no regard to the 6-hour time difference between the USA and Italy. They would
call at 4:00 a.m. and wake up the whole house of grieving people to demand my
71. On the 29th of November, 11 days after my daughter's death, I returned
to Flag. I left my granddaughter with her stepfather and my mother. When I
returned to Flag I was very angry and the staff at Flag were astonished at
this. They could not understand why I would be mad. I then went right back to
work, but I was not able to produce as well as I had before. Because of this,
they decided to send me to the ship to do my OT VIII.
72. The ship was in the Bahamas. I had to buy my own ticket to get there.
When I arrived, I also had to pay for my own room and board. I didn't want to
sleep in the staff berthing below decks, as it was extremely hot down there,
like 100 degrees. I could not do this. As soon as I arrived, instead of
starting my own program I was put to work auditing others on their sec check
for OT VII and OT VIII eligibility. I was very valuable to them as I could
audit in three languages: English, Italian, and French.
73. Soon after I arrived, Milt Wolf, one of the ship captains, and David
Light, a registrar, sat with me and regged me to buy books and materials. They
also sold me a gold OT bracelet that cost thousands of dollars. They sat with
me and would not let me go until I had bought and bought. I ended up buying an
extra suitcase to carry all the materials I had bought. Eventually, I arrived
in the course room to start OT VIII.
74. The OT VIII material was titled "Truth Revealed." When I opened the
materials and read the data, I went nuts. I couldn't believe what I was
reading. BODY THETANS!
75. Basically on OT VIII you run processes from the "History of Man" book,
right down to clams. You have to go down the track to clam, figure out an
overt, then locate a BT (not cluster; you communicate telepathically and figure
out the overt, write it down and ask the BT with the meter: "Is it yours?"
"Is it mine?" When you get a read, you indicate who's it is and get an FN and
move on. This is the truth revealed.
76. On all levels above OT III when you audit you always ask if the read is
the person's or the BT's read.
77. I was so upset with OT VIII that I talked to the supervisor. She told
me to just do it and I will be amazed at the wins I will have getting rid of
overts off all the BTs from the whole track. I wanted to get out of there but
there I was in the middle of the ocean. I was furious! I was just ordering
BTs on a sec check (Scientology Security Check.)
78. The night I attested to OT VIII, I went ashore with some friends to see
the casino in Nassau. Guess who was gambling there? David Miscavige, Guillame
Leserve and Ray Mithoff. Isn't gambling an overt in Scientology? When I saw
this, I was ready to leave Scientology. Between the gambling and the OT VIII,
it was like garbage. I wanted to leave, but this was very difficult.
79. When I was finished, (this was December 1990) I returned to Flag. Now,
I was trying to figure out how to leave Scientology. The occasion came in
October 1991 when I received a call that my mother was in hospital and very,
very sick. Now, I could return to Italy.
80. I CSW'd to leave. My CSW was NOT approved. I went to the Captain to
talk to her and she told me no, it was not important that my mother was dying.
It was only a body. I must stay at Flag and produce for Scientology.
81. I again CSW'd to leave. Instead of giving it to the Captain, I gave it
to my DofP (Director of Processing) for OT eligibility. Then, I went to my
condo, packed my suitcase, went to the airport, bought a ticket and went to
82. I thought I would be declared a blow, but after four days in Italy I
received, by fax, the CSW I had written. It was approved. My mother died
December 11, 1991.
83. On the 21st of December, Flag started regging me for the money I was
inheriting from my mother's death. Please see my other affidavit for the
completion of this story.
I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the United States of
America and the state of Florida that the foregoing is true and correct.
Executed in Grosetto, Italy this 14th day of February 2001
Maria Pia Gardini
I, Maria Pia Gardini declare as follows:
1. I am over the age of 18 years.
2. The statements herein are of my own personal knowledge and if called
upon as a witness, I can testify competently thereto.
3. My name is Maria Pia Gardini. I am an Italian citizen. The Flag
Service Organization defrauded me of $1,000,000 while I was working on their
staff as a highly trained Class IX auditor.
4. On the 21st of December, 1991, Tito Mazza, who was the Flag Service I/C
[in charge] in Italy, and Marco Puggelli, who was a Flag FSM [field staff
member], came to my home in Italy seeking a donation for a Class VIII project
at Flag. Shortly after they arrived, Debbie Cook, the Commanding Officer for
the Flag Service Organization in Clearwater, Florida, called on the telephone
concerning this same project. She told me the cost of executing the program
was 2 million dollars U.S. and she wanted me to finance the entire project. I
told her I would never give them 2 million dollars whereupon she said she knew
I would inherit a large sum of money from my mother's death just 10 days before
and felt I should give them the money. I continued to say no and asked them to
leave. They would not but stayed and continued badgering me. Finally, one of
them took me into a side room and told me if I just gave them a check to prove
to the Captain of Flag that I was a good scientologist they would leave. They
repeatedly told me I should be a good scientologist and give them the money. I
was also at this time very vulnerable. My daughter had died one year before
and my mother had now died 10 days before. I was alone in the world. I
finally gave them a check for $30,000 and they left. At that point I told them
not to return asking me for money.
5. The morning after, my maid came into my bedroom and told me there were
two people sleeping in a car in my garden. I got dressed and went to see who
it was. There I found two sea org members whom I recognized as working for
Flag and the Flag Ship Service Org. When I approached the car to tell them
they could not come into my garden in the middle of the night, they got out of
the car and asked me for coffee. I took them into the house and gave them
coffee. They then fell asleep in my home. Around ten o'clock, I received a
phone call from Debbie Cook, who told me I had not given enough money and I
needed to give more to the two staff members at my home. She went on and on
about the project needing my help, that Italy was really down and it could be
the first Clear country etc. Finally, I gave another $50,000.
6. In Spring of 1992, I returned to Flag. The day after I arrived, I went
back to work as an auditor in the Sand Castle hotel. That afternoon, at 2:00
p.m., I was called by Captain Debbie Cook to go to the registrar area in the
Fort Harrison hotel. I am sure this day was Wednesday. When I arrived Captain
Cook was sitting in a small, back room accompanied by Piers Almquist and a CMO
messenger. I was directed to go into the room and the door was closed behind
7. After the door was closed, Debbie Cook said to me "We want to know how
we can help you in your inheritance cycle." This was to speed up my receiving
the inheritance. I told her I had my family lawyer and other professionals
taking care of things and that I needed Italian professionals taking care of
it, not Americans. She said they knew I had a beautiful villa and other nice
things and that I really needed to help with the Italian Class VIIII project.
I told her I could not give any more money; my money was in Italy and my banker
would need my signature. She told me they would arrange for scientologists in
America and Italy to loan me money, then I could return to Italy later and get
the money to pay them back. She also wanted me to call my banker right then
and find out how much money I could take out of Italy at that moment.
8. At this point, I didn't know what to do. I told her it was too late in
Italy for me to call the bank and I would call in the morning and talk to my
banker to see how much money I had in my accounts. Upon this promise of mine
to call my banker in Italy, they let me leave the room. I then returned to
9. The next morning at 8:00 a.m. I was preparing for work when I was told
not to start working but to return to the Fort Harrison. I did this, and when
I arrived at the Fort Harrison I was directed to the same little room. Inside
waiting for me were the following people:
Debbie Cook -- Captain FSO
Piers Almquist - a registrar
David Foster - a registrar
Pilar Saldiariagga - Commodores Messenger
John Lundeen -- Supervisor of the registrars
Chiara Staples - my FSM
10. Chiara had been called in and asked to lend me money. She had $50,000
in cash in a bag and told me she would loan me the money if I promised to pay
her back as soon as I returned to Italy and received my inheritance. Under
pressure, I agreed to do this. Almost immediately, Dave Foster told me that
this amount was not enough.
11. Debbie Cook then had an idea. She suggested that "Teresa", the wife of
Gerald Bloom, who was a Class V C/S, could also lend me money. Teresa was
called in and asked to loan me money. She also said she did not have money in
the USA. Teresa was asked to call her mother in Switzerland to arrange to loan
me $100,000. The money was eventually transferred from Switzerland to the Flag
Accounts. I was praised and told to go back to work, which I did.
12. On the following Thursday morning, I was again called by Captain Cook
and told to go to her office in the Coachman building. When I arrived she and
John Lundeen and another staff member who was an MAA and was also Italian were
waiting for me. It was before 9:00 a.m. and they wanted more money. They
pushed and pushed me saying I must help Italy get the LRH materials. They
asked me to call my bank in Italy and talk to the director to see how much
money was available to me. I could not lie to him because they put the phone
call on speakerphone and of course the other Italian staff member could
understand what was being said. The bank director told me that I had just
received money into my account from selling a large piece of real estate. I
tried to tell the director that I needed that money for inheritance tax, but he
told me I had more than enough to cover it. So they now knew I had money in my
account. The Captain told me to ask how much I could have sent to the United
States without my signature. He said if I faxed him my signature and a copy of
my ID, I could have all the money I wanted. I wanted to kill this bank
director, but of course he didn't know what was going on.
13. At this point, I ended up transferring $300,000 to the Flag Land Base.
I was very upset by this transaction and by the fact that I was then highly
commended at the staff meeting for having donated so much. The whole staff
clapped for me, however I felt terrible and promised myself that this was it.
I would give no more money. I was also given other benefits due to this
contribution. For example I had been asking for a lighter schedule for months
due to a heart condition. Regular Flag staff hours are from 9:00 a.m. to 10:30
p.m. It was not until after I had made this contribution that a lighter
schedule was finally approved for me.
14. I then asked to return to Italy in order to see my attorneys and
finalize my inheritance and to visit my granddaughter. I requested a leave of
absence. I was told that it was okay to leave, but before I left they wanted
me to make my total donation one million dollars and asked for the balance to
add to the previous donations. This was all for the Italian Class VIII
translation of materials and to pay for people to come from Italy to Flag to
train. Throughout the day I spoke with my seniors in the organization and
begged to go back to Italy. I tried very hard to avoid the issue of money.
This was in September.
15. One Thursday morning at 6:00 a.m., High Levy showed up at my home. He
told me that I had to come right away to the Fort Harrison because they needed
me. I arrived at the Fort Harrison and was taken downstairs. In a room
awaiting me were Captain Cook and Dave Foster.
16. They told me that Tito Mazza (who was one of the first two men who came
to my home in Italy) was on the phone from Italy. Tito told me that the
Italian statistics were down and they really needed my money. He told me he
had found someone who could lend me $200,000. He said he would go to the
person in Italy and the two of them would call me back in America and we would
do a conference call. He did this, going to the house of Franco Baggio, who
happened to be one of my pcs. Mr. Baggio told me he could loan the $200,000,
however, he needed to get it from the bank. He also told me he needed the loan
paid off in one month. I did not agree to do this and the Captain and Dave
Foster badgered and harassed me until I finally just hung up the phone.
17. At this point, somebody called the Captain out of the room, leaving
just Dave Foster and me in the room. Mr. Foster started yelling at me,
becoming as red as a lobster and getting so upset I thought he was going to
have a heart attack. He wanted me to give the money. He told me I was not a
good Scientologist; that my money was Wog money and needed to go to
scientology; and that I was unethical. I kept refusing to give any more money.
Finally, Dave Foster slapped me in the face. I began to cry.
18. The Captain FSO then returned to the room. I told her Dave Foster had
slapped me. Dave Foster denied it. Captain FSO then immediately began asking
me again for more money. They kept badgering me, insinuating that if I wanted
to go home to Italy, I had better give the money. Soon, I was an emotional
mess. I wanted out of that room and to go home to Italy. It was apparent to
me that neither would happen if I did not agree: so, I finally agreed to give
them whatever money they wanted. At that point they again called Franco Baggio
and I told him to give the money. Franco then wrote a check and gave it to
Tito Mazza, who took the check to Luxembourg and put it into a Flag account
there. Only after this did they let me out of the room. I then returned to
19. I now wanted to leave for Italy, but OSA was holding my passport and
though I had asked for its return every night for twenty days, they would not
give it to me. I finally went to the Captain FSO at the end of October. I
begged to be able to return to Italy so I could get the money to pay everybody
back. Also during this time I was sick with worry because they had told me
they wanted one million dollars and they hadn't yet gotten that out of me. So
every Thursday I was terrified that I would again be called in and forced to
give more money.
20. The Captain finally ok'd the return of my passport. Soon after getting
it, I was again called into a meeting in the Captain's Office in the Coachman
building. The Captain told me to write a CSW to go to Italy and get it signed
by all of my seniors and bring it back to Snr. Staff HCO and then to her. This
was the end of October. At this time she asked me if I had any more money in
the bank. I admitted that I did (lying to the Captain is an overt). She told
me the stats were down and I needed to again contribute money. I was so
anxious to get my CSW signed so I could leave, I again wrote a check for Flag.
This was for $25,000 written on my account at 1st National Bank (Amsouth) in
21. After this, I tried and tried to get everyone to approve my CSW to go
home to Italy. Towards the end of November, I received all necessary
approvals. I finally left for Italy in early December.
22. When I arrived in Italy, my attorney told me that before the 12th of
December I had to pay the inheritance taxes. I paid the taxes and then found
that nothing was left in the bank. I decided I had to sell some property, as I
was now virtually penniless.
23. I then called Mr. Baggio and told him that I was not able to repay his
loan immediately. He was furious. I explained that I had given all of my
money to Flag. He didn't care.
24. In January of 1993, I called Flag and told them that I couldn't return
as I was broke and was trying to sell property. I spoke with Debbie Cook. Her
suggestion was that I put the property in the name of Scientology America, and
they would sell the property and pay back all of the loans I had taken to pay
FSO. I told her this was not possible as the property was not fully in my
name, but also in the name of my granddaughter, who was a minor, and another
relative. Because my granddaughter was a minor, the court would represent her
in any sale and put the money aside for her use.
25. Debbie then directed me to stay in Italy to sell the property, and
while I was there to continue working for Flag as a "missionaire." She said I
should audit people from my home. She would send the clients to me. She said
there were a lot of Italian people in disagreement with Scientology who would
not go into an org but would come to my home or I could go to theirs. So the
people would pay Flag and I would audit them in Italy. Of course, I got paid
nothing to do this work.
26. I now began to sell my art and antiques just to survive until I finally
sold the property. I was then able to repay all the money borrowed on my
behalf. Franco Baggio charged me 22% interest on the money. This had never
been discussed or agreed to between us.
27. As soon as I paid Mr. Baggio, I received a call from Captain FSO. She
said she knew I had sold my property. She called me directly because I had
previously screamed into the phone at another staff member, saying I was sick
of getting calls from Flag and to leave me alone. Debbie Cook asked me at
this time to pay the balance of the $1 million she wanted. I refused. She
then told me I had to return to Flag. I said I could not. I reminded her I
was doing all sorts of auditing in Italy. She insisted I return to Flag. I
28. About two weeks later I was in Milano to audit some OT VII's. At this
time I was mentally a mess. My mother had died, my daughter had died, my
cousin had committed suicide, I had given all of my money to Flag and my
families business had lost all of its assets. While I was in Milano, Tito
Mazza and John Lundeen bothered me about making further donations. I finally
broke down and wrote a check for the balance to make up $1 million. At this
point, I had paid a total of one million dollars to Flag and $40,000 to Franco
Baggio for interest.
29. Debbie Cook then called again to tell me I had not yet made one million
dollars. Per their account it was only $960,000. I told her by my count it
was one million forty thousand. That was it. I refused to give any more.
30. At this time, my family began expressing concern for my mental state,
saying they believed I was crazy for throwing away all of my money to
Scientology. One relative was trying to convince my attorneys that I was
completely insane. This created a great deal of difficulty for me. At this
time I decided to never return to work at Flag. My life was a living hell.
31. I called Debbie Cook and told her I was not coming back to work. Three
days later, John Lundeen arrived at my home with Chiara. These two insisted I
pay the remainder of money to make my donation for one million. This was
insane. I could stand it no more. I told them to take any money they wanted,
I didn't care. My nerves were gone at this point. I was totally broken. I
gave them another $50,000.
32. As far as leaving staff, I wanted to do it properly per the policies of
the FSO. So I returned in January or February of 1994 to route out. I
expected this to take about one week. It took two months. This organization
did a Board of Investigation on me because I wanted to leave staff. The result
of this action was that I was not qualified for the Sea Org. Therefore, they
now kicked me out. After all of the money I had given them and all of the
auditing I had done and my high training, I was found not qualified.
33. Also, while I was doing this routing out, I noticed that there was not
one Italian in the Class VIII classroom studying. This is what I had paid the
one million for. I had been told that my donations were for Italians, yet in
the course room were all kinds of people but Italians. I went to Debbie Cook
and told her she had lied to me. I said right then that I wanted all of my
money back. Debbie responded that they were at that point in time translating
the material into Italian so my money could be used to "free Italians." Two
years later, materials were still not translated into Italian.
34. When I finally returned to Italy, I found my situation was terrible.
My attorney told me to sell the family villa. All the money was gone and I
could no longer afford it. I sold the villa and gave some of this money to my
granddaughter and about half a million to my son-in-law.
35. At the end of 1994, I returned to Clearwater to sell a condo I owned in
Island Estates. At that time I went to the Fort Harrison to visit Chiara.
When I walked in, a registrar for the Super Power project, Charmaigne, and
another registrar for special properties grabbed me and sat me down. They
asked me for money. I said no…but they would not let me leave. I was at this
point completely unable to deal with these demands for money, even though I
knew it was harming me. I gave $20,000 to Charmaigne for super power project.
I then went to Chiara's house and hid out.
36. After I sold my condo, I went to Amsouth bank to get some money. When
I came out of the bank two officers from Scientology Special Properties in Los
Angeles were waiting for me. They wanted money to help put LRH materials into
titanium so it could be preserved for eternity. They asked me to come to the
top floor of the Fort Harrison to see the new special properties. I just
wanted to go to Italy, now. I had my ticket in my pocket. I still had to
empty my condo and get out. I asked them to leave me be. I told them to leave
me alone or I would die here in America. But they said, "Let's go" and
escorted me to the Fort Harrison where they badgered me for the money. Again,
I lost my will and just wrote them a check. I gave them $25,000 from the condo
37. After this, I went to the bank, emptied the account and I left for
home. While I was at the airport in Miami awaiting my connecting flight to
Milan, I sat in the VIP waiting room having a coffee. I received a call. I
was told there was someone crying on the phone. Immediately I worried that it
was my granddaughter and something was wrong at home.
38. The person crying on the phone was Chiara at Flag. She told me that
Charmaigne had her locked in a room and was badgering her, telling her she had
to give them $100,000 in my name for the superpower project. They wouldn't
believe Chiara when she told them I was already gone. They told her to prove
it, and thus Chiara was calling me. I then had to verify for Charmaigne over
the phone that I was indeed in Miami.
39. Charmaigne at once told me to return to Flag. I told her no. Finally,
I was yelling into the phone. I told her I could give her not one penny more
and that if Chiara gave her the $100,000 I would not pay it back, but
Charmaigne would have to repay it herself.
40. I returned to Italy. My life was very difficult now. I had little
money and again had to sell property to pay my daily expenses.
41. In early 1995, I called Debbie Cook. I told her that now I needed help
from her. I was an OT VIII class IX auditor who had given over one million
dollars to Scientology. I never spoke to Debbie. Never once would she come on
the phone to speak to me.
42. Now, I started to write to her. I also started writing CLO and phoning
OSA in Italy and asking for my money back. I wrote and called many times
saying I wanted all one million. I was ignored. I then decided to go to
43. My family attorney wrote to the CLO Italy. The response was for Flag
to send Ellen Almquist to me in Italy to audit me. I refused to be audited.
For three days she stayed at my home and tried to get me into session. I would
not go. She finally went away. Shortly thereafter, they sent another auditor,
one whom I was very fond of and with whom I had previously worked. I still
refused. In fact, when he prepared a room to audit me, I took a bottle of
whisky in with me and said, "Ok. I am ready to audit." He soon left.
44. In 1994 Debbie Cook bought a new, $40,000 car. She told me it was her
FSM commission as she was the FSM on my cycle. This is against the policies of
Scientology as far as I know. In fact, everyone who worked on this gathering
of the $1 million took commissions from this.
45. During this time, I started drinking too much, just to forget all that
I had been through. Now, the CLO wrote to my attorney and said I had to get my
money back from Flag, not them. My attorney then told me I could sue them from
Italy. When Flag found out that I was suing, they started looking into my
financial situation. At this point, I wanted ALL money I had given to Flag.
So, I called their attorney in Rome. They proposed a meeting with my attorney
to come to some form of agreement.
46. Their attorney set the time of the meeting one day before a sale at my
home to raise money. They had gone to a public registry and obtained
information on my financial situation.
47. At this meeting in Rome in their attorney's office was myself, a person
from CLO Italy, my attorney, the daughter of their attorney, a woman from OSA
Flag and a staff member from Roma Org. For the whole afternoon we discussed
the situation. In the end, the woman from OSA told me they knew I was in a
terrible financial bind and she offered me a check for 250 million lira
($180,000). She said either I agree or I will get nothing. She spoke in
English and my attorney could not understand this. I was really at the point
of losing the last of what I had. I asked the woman if I took the money, would
I still be in good standing with the church. She said yes. I didn't want to
go back, but I also didn't want them all against me. I felt they were
dangerous people. I also told her I still had $29,000 in my account at Flag
and I wanted that returned. She said I would still be able to get that
returned per the church policy.
48. I then accepted the check. We agreed that I would then receive two
more checks in the same amount. I signed an agreement, which was in English.
I asked for a copy. They said it had to go to Flag and they would send my copy
with the second payment. They never sent it and I have still never received a
49. When the third payment arrived, it was for 240 million, not 250. I
asked where are the other ten million liras. Their attorney said it had been
given to my attorney.
50. Now, after I had received this money for repayment of half of what I
had given for the Class VIII Italian project, I decided to get the money left
on account at Flag. I called FSO and asked to come back. I was told that I
could not return to Flag. I was not in good standing with the church. I soon
also received a letter from the Ship saying I was a "refund." I have never yet
received a refund from the Ship Org.
51. I have been cheated by this organization. I want my money on accounts
refunded; I want my money donated to the Super Power project returned to me. I
want the other $500,000 returned to me. I have written them and they are not
willing to help me. They in fact have told me that am trying to extort money
from them. My attorney in Italy did say that the agreement had no legal
standing in Italy.
I, Maria Pia Gardini, declare as follows:
1. I am over the age of 18 years.
2. The statements herein are of my own personal knowledge and if called
upon as a witness I can testify competently thereto.
3. On January 1, 1992 at twelve thirty in the afternoon I was sitting at
table for lunch with some friends i.e. Franco Baggio, his wife Marilena and his
son Alessandro, Masimo Cavadenti (now deceased) and Letizia Pizza, when a taxi
entered my garden. Four people emerged. My butler came to table to inform me
of the visitors, as they were quite unexpected. In Italy, you don't just drop
in on people on the first day of the year. It is to be spent with family and
4. I went to the window to see who it was. It was Charmaign (last name
unknown), who was the Super Power registrar In Charge in Flag Service Org in
Clearwater, Fl; her husband; a staff member from CLO Italy named Simonetta; and
a public from Los Angeles, a blond haired woman whom I never seen since.
5. Charmaign stood in my garden yelling for me to come down and pay for
the taxi, as they didn't have a penny. Mr. Baggio went instead of me. They
then came upstairs to the dining room and I asked why there were there. Were
they lost or what? Charmaign said no, she had come expressly to me to talk to
me about Super Power.
6. All four people then sat at the table and began to eat our meals. I
was shocked by their horrible manners and even smacked Charmaign's hand when
she tried to take food from my plate. This woman was in full Sea Org uniform
with stripes and everything. My butler was looking quite shocked.
7. This was my first year alone since my daughter and mother had died and
my friends and I were shocked that they had come on this day to reg me for
money. Charmaign told me they were in Italy and came to "get their stats up."
So, they start telling me all about Super Power project until Franco Baggio
asked them to stop so they could at least eat and they would discuss it
8. At this point, Charmaign began drinking wine, lots of wine until she
became totally drunk. We had to put her in bed in the guest room with her
husband. The rest of us went into another room to talk socially.
9. At 6:00 p.m. Charmaign woke up. She was yelling and screaming, "Why
did you let me sleep!" We told her she was so drunk she couldn't stand up from
the chair. She then started right in telling me she wanted $35,000 from me for
a Cornerstone donation to the project. She told me she would not leave the
house until I paid. This went on until 8:00 p.m. as I tried to resist her in
every way, even locking myself in the bathroom for half an hour with her
banging on the outside saying she would never leave.
10. My butler then came in and told us that dinner way ready. I did not
want Charmaign and company to stay for dinner as I had other family arriving.
Franco finally told me to give her something so she would get out, so I offered
her a check for $10,000 to leave. I told the butler to take one of my cars and
take them to the train station and put her on any train he could find.
11. I was still a staff member of Flag at this time and Charmaign was a
senior officer to me. This is one thing that made it very difficult for me to
kick her out of my home. I would have been in very strong ethics problems if I
had over stepped my limit in how I treated an officer.
I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the United States of
America and the state of Florida that the foregoing is true and correct.
Executed in Clearwater, Florida this 19th day of January 2001.
Maria Pia Gardini
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