Scientology disconnect policy destroying families

Part of Tax-exempt Child Abuse and Neglect by Mike Gormez. Visit the message board.


This is one of the worst policies of Scientology that their deceased founder L. Ron Hubbard made up. To "disconnect" means cutting off all communication. Between parents and children, or husband and wife. Regardless what bond one had previously. Scientology does this under a pretext of helping them. In fact it is more a means to keep members ignorant of outside interference/information, which could result in revenue loss for the organization when members would leave because of gaining new perspectives with information previously withheld to them.

When asked a scientologist what it is, an answer such as this might be given.

A Scientologist can have trouble making spiritual progress in his auditing or training if he is connected to someone who is suppressive or who is antagonistic to Scientology or its tenets. He will get better from Scientology, but then may lose his gains because he is being invalidated by the antagonistic person. In order to resolve this, he either handles the other person's antagonism with true data about the Church, or as a last resort when all attempts to handle have failed, he disconnects from the person.

Read the applicable policy, Hubbard Communications Office Bulletin (HCOB) of 10 September 1983, "PTSness AND DISCONNECTION"

A Scientologist can become PTS [Potential Trouble Source - MG] by reason of being connected to someone that is antagonistic to Scientology or its tenets. In order to resolve the PTS condition, he either HANDLES the other person's antagonism (as covered in the materials on PTS handling) or, as a last resort when all attempts to handle have failed, he disconnects from the person. He is simply exercising his right to communicate or not to communicate with a particular person.

This is putting a sugarcoat on a terrible practice. It seems that after bad publicity concerning the abhorrent policy, now members are urged to "handle" (make them stop criticizing) an ie. antagonistic family member, but once that has failed the rules of disconnection become mandatory and Scientology will do whatever it can to try and enforce it, and often get their way because scientologists are denied further Scientology therapy until they have complied. The organization keeps large lists of such undesirable people/organizations which are forbidden to be communicated with by the cult members.

Here ex-member Kim Baker explains the disconnection policy:

The Scientologist also learns the data on "Suppression and suppressive persons". Hubbard described twelve characteristics by which these evil suppressives could be identified. If a Scientologist gets sick, or has accidents, or is moody, they are told that they are connected to a suppressive person or influence, and they are instructed to find that source of suppression. Often, it turns out to be a parent, a spouse, a child, a boss, or a social contact. There are specific methods for dealing with the suppressive, from handling them, to ending up disconnecting from them.

High-up former member Stacy Brooks explains Scientology's rejection of the family and why:

Now let me tell you how I understood it when I was in Scientology. I want to try to give you a window into how Scientologists think. I want you to understand how it could possibly be that Scientologists turn against their own families and see it as an ethical thing to do; how Scientologists can see their feelings of love and loyalty to their families as something psychotic, something they need to do away with in order to be good Scientologists.

When a scientologist deals with a suppresive person, then the rules of engagement change completely. No longer is it possible for the scientologist to "handle" the other person but the only route given is to disconnect. Back to Hubbard Communications Office Bulletin (HCOB) of 10 September 1983, "PTSness AND DISCONNECTION"


An Ethics Officer can encounter a situation where someone is factually connected to a suppressive person, in present time. This is a person whose normal operating basis is one of making others smaller, less able, less powerful. He does not want anyone to get better, at all.

In truth, an SP is absolutely, completely terrified of anyone becoming more powerful.

In such an instance the PTS isn't going to get anywhere trying to "handle" the person. The answer is to sever the connection.

The Suppressive Person falls in the same category per Scientology as being a murderer. You are probably wondering what heinous acts a person must have done to deserve the label SP, that will cause one to lose family members still in Scientology, business partners who are scientologists and even your husband/wife of 30 years. Well, quite bluntly, the answer is; percious little is needed before Scientology destroyes your livelihood and family. Scientologists know this and it has been reported that some stay in the cult and keep their mouths shut just for this reason. Any of the following "suppressive acts" which are taken from a huge list, will suffice:

Hubbard Communications Office Bulletin (HCOB) of 23 December 1965RB, Revised 8 January 1991, "SUPPRESSION OF SCIENTOLOGY AND SCIENTOLOGISTS"

Public disavowal of Scientology or Scientologists in good standing with Scientology Organizations; Public statements against Scientology or Scientologists but not to Committees of Evidence duly convened; Bringing civil suit against any Scientology organization or Scientologist, including the nonpayment of bills or failure to refund, without first calling the matter to the attention of the International Justice Chief and receiving a reply; Demanding the return of any or all fees paid for standard training or processing actually received or received in part and still available but undelivered only because of departure of the person demanding (the fees must be refunded but this policy applies); Writing anti-Scientology letters to the press or giving anti-Scientology or anti-Scientologist data to the press; Continued membership in a divergent group; Continued adherence to a person or group pronounced a suppressive person or group by HCO; Delivering up the person of a Scientologist without justifiable defense or lawful protest to the demands of civil or criminal law.

It is difficult for us who have never been a scientologist to phatom the impact and terror Scientology hopes to gain by declaring people Suppressive. Former member Ken Rose wrote about that in an essay titled "The Demons of Freedom":

The world we woke up to this morning is not one which is dominated by scientology. But it is one in which people have, indeed, become reluctant to exercise the freedom of speech on the subject of scientology. Among those who are most reluctant are former members. For they know the church's actual position on this freedom. They know that declared SP's do, indeed, become Fair Game (meaning that they can be lied to, cheated, embarassed, attacked or even destroyed by other scientologists). Former members, particularly those who have been declared Suppessive Persons, know what all this is supposed to purchase: the silence of those who would be critics of scientology.

Hasn't Scientology management learned at all? Yes and no. Yes, they have learned, learned how to play wordgames and no, they have not abandoned Hubbard practices, no matter how harmful. Caught between outside pressure and internal obedience to Hubbard, forces Scientology to get creative and thus they came up with the following.

Scientology Policy Directive 28, 13 August 1982, "Suppressive Act – Dealing with a Declared Suppressive Person"

There is no practice of "disconnection" allowed in the Church of Scientology and these materials cover completely how one may use proper lines and procedures to handle a PTS condition.

One does not however use a false excuse of "handling my PTS condition" to covertly maintain a line of supportful dealings and agreements with an SP. If you wish to maintain such a line, do so outside of current and future membership in the Church.

To deal with a Suppressive is a Suppressive Act.

Lets get a closer look of what these lines say. First it declares that disconnection is not allowed in the Church of Scientology, which immediately begs the question if this issue does not apply to its many front groups (Narconon, CCHR, Applied Scholastics, WISE etc.) which all run on Hubbard principles.

Maintaining a line with a suppressive person is not possible inside, the issue states, and to give the statement extra force, the member is told that to deal with suppressive is on itself a suppressive act, and thus would make the member a suppressive person.

What SPD 28 does is place all the responsibility on its member's shoulders and wash its hands clean, while it keeps up the threat of expulsion and losing all the contacts with scientologist friends, family and business partners if a member does not disconnect.

Business as usual.

The "Matters of RTC Concern" web page makes quickly clear that disconnect is still a part of Scientology, despite what's written in SPD 28. Religious Technology Center (RTC) is the enforcement arm on protecting the copyrights and trademarks of Scientology and, has the following on it's page where they ask for reports to be sent to them.

Any actions or omissions undertaken to knowingly suppress, reduce or impede Scientology or Scientologists, such as the suppressive acts/high crimes listed in HCO PL 7 March 1965RB, SUPPRESSIVE ACTS, SUPPRESSION OF SCIENTOLOGY AND SCIENTOLOGISTS, HCO PL 10 September 1983, PTSNESS AND DISCONNECTION, and any crime listed in HCO PL 7 March 1965RA, Issue III, OFFENSES AND PENALTIES which has been reclassed as a high crime due to it being severe, of magnitude, harmful to many and committed repeatedly.

and here are the real-life effects of the devastating disconnect practice

Father "disconnects" from 6 year old son
Posting of Robinann

So, when my son was only 6 Bob Z. wrote a letter of disconnect to us both. This hurt my son deeply. A lot of tears for a little boy. Then I got a call from my Sister, Cheryl Lavoi, also Sea Org. On my birthday! She too was informing me of her intent to “disconnect from me” I begged and pleaded with her to come to her senses. I CRIED AND CRIED ONLY TO HAVE HER RESPOND COLDLY. This hurt me deeply. We had been BEST FRIENDS for many years. I CONFESS, I GOT HER INTO C.O.S.!

Edith Ervin's Story
Sons "disconnect" from mother

This cult lures our children away from their chosen paths in life. Scientology cares not a whit about young people finishing their education and contributing to society as educated young adults. Scientology believes it is the ONLY education they need to receive. Scientology claims that becoming educated in its purification rundowns, introspection rundowns, e-meters, engrams and auditing, and reaching CLEAR is more important to a person than finishing his or her college education.

Vickki Ford and David Cook talk about the pain of disconnection.

click the image

Statement of Vickki Ford Cook
re: My son George Cook Ford's Affidavit dated October 18, 2002

The Church of Scientology believes and follows the rule, as the Church taught me, that if two people have an upset between them, there is an outside, third person causing it. I think all who are reading this would agree that there is an upset between my son and I. Since he is not involved with his family, it would appear it would be someone in his present environment. It would benefit all concerned if George could find out who is "stirring things up" between him and I as well as his other family members.

We miss you George and love you very much. I do thank you for calling your aunt. She died one week after you talked to her. You made her very happy as she loved you very much.

You will always be the love of my life.

Your Mom

Dan Garvin on the affidavit by George Cook
Posting to ARS of 14 March 2003

I just saw for the first time that the "Church" of Scientology has added Vickki Ford Cook to their web page of anti-religious extremists, "at the request of her son, George Ford." They included a long, long letter from him -- I've seen a *lot* of vicious, hate-filled, fair-game & dead-agent stuff, but nothing like this. Not from a son about his mother, posted for the world to see.

The story of Dylan Gill

Now it is 1997 and I am 27 yrs old. I still am not sure why I'm writing all of this, other then the fact that I believe something is wrong. I have been disconnected from my father and uncle for 6 yrs now. yet the whole reason I got into Scientology was to be able to communicate with my father better.

15 year old son threatens to "disconnect"
Posting of Larry Nobs (who already lost his daughter)

Son I know you now believe you are helping the only group on the planet who has a chance to save the world. It is admirable that your heart is in the right place. But you do not truely know this group.

Daughter Erin and son Noel O'Donnell "disconnect"
The Commission of Inquiry into the Hubbard Scientology Organisation in New Zealand

To my father, Mr F. P. O'Donnell, and all those concerned, I hereby disconnect from him for his suppression of an individual's freedom of choice in the course he wishes to take in life, i.e., he is against an individual's search for total freedom and truth. He is suppressive to Scientology.

To my mother, Mrs O'Donnell, and to those concerned, I hereby disconnect from my mother, Mrs Stella Marjory O'Donnell, for her suppressive acts against me, my sister and Scientology.

  1. She declared publicly that she was against Scientology by way of the 'Truth' newspaper, and thereby against anyone who is on the road to total freedom.

  2. She tried to suppress me, by first trying to make me come back to my old home in Hamilton, and when this didn't work she tried by letter.

    And the many other times she has suppressed me in my search for truth.

    She also suppressed my sister, Erin, also on the road to total freedom.

In the same chapter a "Code of Reform" of 29 November 1968 is printed that the practice of "disconnection" was canceled. On 15 November 1968 was HCO Policy Letter "CANCELLATION OF DISCONNECTION" issued, that said in part "Since we can now handle all types of cases disconnection as a condition is cancelled."

It seems likely that the cancellation of disconnection was shortly lived, because it appears that in 1973 it was reinstated again with HCO Bulletin of 10 August 1973 and reaffirmed by Mary Sue Hubbard with confidental HCO Policy Letter of 15 September 1973, "HANDLING DISCONNECTIONS". It reads in part:

"Handle or disconnect" is part of current procedure on handling Potential Trouble Sources, as per HCO B 10 August '73, "PTS Handling". This does *not* mean that we are returning to the practice of publishing or writing disconnection letters to the person concerned.

Disconnection made national headlines in the UK in 1984 when a judge roundly condemned the CoS for its "evil" in breaking up a family in a custody case. Until this day the practice continues: Disconnected after 23 years of friendship because of someone else's anti-Scientology picket.

Indira and Manu Bajaj write how their family was torn apart by Scientology:

He was previously a young man who insisted on doing detailed research before making any kind of decision. His altered behavior seems to have changed this thought process and in turn his emotions towards the family. The very next day we hand delivered a letter to Scientology requesting them to encourage our son to return home and review the material. It has been six long days and nights and he has still not come.

Ida Camburn writes to her son who disconnected 24-years ago:

When you decided to check me out of your life via the disconnect, I realized that the relationshiop we had in the past was over. This did not stop me from loving you and thinking of you each moment that has passed. I fill my mind with remembering the good times while constatnly learning about the present times.

Letter of Yolanda Howell to Dennis Erlich (auf Deutsch)

I saw one staff member's child, who had been declared a Suppressive Person at age 12, turned out onto the street with no means of support. When he tried to sneak into the galley line to get some food, he was physically jumped by two adults who forced him outside again.

Scn breaks up another family, mine (note that Phineas and Lilah are both fictive names. Phineas Fogg was an imaginary character in a Jules Verne novel Around the World in 80 Days) )
Posting of Phineas on ARS 26 Nov 2002

A few months ago, my Sister, an OT7, ask me about my opinion of Scientology. I told her that if we pursue this line of inquiry, it may happen, that because I am a critic, that it might come up in her auditing that I'm a critic and the church may force her do disconnect with me. She assured me that she could handle it, and there shouldn't be a problem.

Well, my worst fear came to fruition, and now I am not allowed to see my four family members are who Scientologists, ever again.

Thank you Scientology for this lovely Christmas present. You religiosity is overwhelming.

The disconnect letter
Lilah disconnects from Phineas

You are on my block sender list Phineas. Don't bother sending any email or responding to this one, they are automatically trashed and even if I do see that they are there, like this morning, they won't be read. I have instructed Mother and Sandy not to forward any comm from you. Just to ensure there is no misduplication Phineas, I have disconnected from you.

Phineas gave in to pressure?
Message to all Scientologists & Critics

I, Phineas Fogg, hereby renounce any position I took, and subsequently posted on Usenet, in the past, which was antagonistic to the subject of Scientology, it's practices, and it's Church.

Lawrence Woodcraft: Disconnection, Lies and Video Tape
How is it when your daughters get disconnected from their Scientology mother, brother and grandmother?

The price that they have paid for their honesty, and their desire to warn others to avoid the unbelievable lies, manipulation and abuse they were subjected to [in Scientology], is that they are now victims of the single most evil aspect of Scientology, their policy of disconnection...
I can tell you that the effect on them is devastating. Get them counseling, I hear you say. That will help, for sure, but the fact must be faced, that they will never ever speak to Leslie, Daphne and Matthew again, and that is devastating. In reality they are in grieving mode, as their family members are now in effect DEAD. And how do Leslie, Daphne and Matthew feel. They are being so totally controlled by the Cult, who knows?

Dandar Disqualification Hearing
Depostion of Peter Alexander, June 7, 2002

Q And are you allowed to talk to your children?

A My son sent me what's called a disconnect letter, which said, "Dear Dad: I love you. I think you're the coolest guy on earth and I bragged to you -- about all my friends to you, but since you do not like Scientology, I can never talk to you again." I also heard that from my daughter, who is 17 years old.

"The only important thing is that I love you"
Metzinger Südwestpresse, Germany, September 14, 1999

Henriette (Name changed by editorial staff) was 16 years old when she was sent to the Narconon establishment in Itzehoe by her mother, a professed Scientologist. . .The dealings by the Narconon staff correspond to a high degree with the instructions which Hubbard gave for "confrontation with potential trouble sources." The more critical the father got with Narconon, and the more he tried to talk it over with his daughter, the stronger the accusations against the father became. His estranged wife told him, " will end up as a broken man in the psychiatric ward." When he continued nonetheless, unswayed, against Narconon, he received a fax which told him that Henriette would like to stay at Narconon and be adopted. Because the father did not show understanding for Narconon and Scientology, in accordance with the recommendations of L. Ron Hubbard, contact to him was broken off completely.

Dump the priest or Scientology will keep your daughter away

Theodora Apostolopoulou used as leverage against her parents. This is one of the freakiest Scientology documents I have ever read.

Background: The parents of Scientology staff member Theodora (Dora for short) were in communicate with Father Alevisopoulos of the Greek Orthodox Church. The parents apparently got informed about Scientology by the priest and what they heard they didn't like and that caused a rift between Dora and her parents.

Scientology would take care of a detailed roadmap to terrorize the priest (558 PGM) and Dora was used to pressure her parents. Scientology demanded from Dora that: a) the parents should disconnect from Father Alevisopoulos (or "L" as Scientology calls him in this telex) and b) she should then convince her parents that it is okay she's a scientologist.

The implication in the Potential Trouble Source Declare Type C - 22 May 1995 is very, very clear if they wouldn't comply:


Description of TV broadcast on cults
Austrian U-Man Repr. kicks son out of his home

The segment about Scientology was about a young Austrian man in his early twenties named Dejan Rupnik, who was a Scientologist, brought up by Scientologist-Parents. At some point, he got doubts about it all and openly said so in the Org [organization - MG]. He was shocked about the reaction, as things were never the same again: All of his former Scientology-Friends immediately turned away from him at the Org and even when he tried to talk to his mother in the hallway there, she was being lead away by the Org-Leader into another room and he was told: "You can't talk to her anymore".

His father Zvonimir Rupnik, a business-man and contact adress for U-Man Austria, threw his son Dejan out of the family home shortly

Mrs. Ann Stainforth got a disconnect letter from her 18 year old daughter Zandra
As reprinted in The Commodore & The Colonels by John Forte, chapter one

"This is to inform you that unless you have some training and processing [Scientology therapy - MG] I will disconnect from you as I feel that you are invalitative of me and Scientology.

"I am willing to help you in any way if you want, but until then I am not going to communicate with you or accept any communication from you.

"I am doing this of my own free will and for my own betterment.

"Love Zandra."

10 year old boy was declared "suppressive" because he refused to disconnect from his father
The Scandal of Scientology by Paulette Cooper, Prologue

A Scientologist is the last person in the world permitted to speak against Scientology, and if he tries, he becomes a "suppressive person" and "enemy of Scientology" and no other Scientologist is permitted to associate with him. Anyone who knows a suppressive is "reviewed" (and charged for it!) and declared a "Potential Trouble Source" or "PTS" until he "handles or disconnects" from the suppressive. If a Potential Trouble Source refuses to disconnect from someone on the suppressive list, he becomes suppressive, and one American boy was declared suppressive for failing to disconnect from his father -- although the child was only ten years old!

Gary Weber's daughters disconnect
More on Gary is here -- Here are the disconnect letters

I felt I needed to let you know I got back in comm[unication - MG] with you with the idea that you were deciding to handle the past unresolved situation that you have with the Church... But as this is not happening I have decided on my own with quite a bit of thought that I don't wish for you to call or write or talk with me until your situation is resolved.

Dan Garvin's brother disconnects because his brother's wife wants to do Scientology
Fear is Thicker than Blood

"Dear Dan,

    "I wanted to keep our comm line alive until I got you the information
you needed. Since the phone call didn't work, please write to

        Church of Scientology
        Continental Justice Chief
        1308 L. Ron Hubbard Way
        Los Angeles,  CA 90027

and let them know you are ready to start steps A - E.

    "Let's delay any further comm exchange until these steps are completed.
I am looking forward to hearing from you.

"Love, Tom"

Het Parool (Netherlands), Jan. 3, 2004
Caspar de Rijk and his children

But a meeting between De Rijk [founder and former directory Scientology Netherlands - MG] and his daughers never came about. "In hindsight they simply strung me along for a while. They thought: we'll keep him appeased for a month, and after that De Rijk will probably stay quiet."
He now is convinced they were playing a game with him. After it became clear that he could forget about a meeting with his daughter, he also received a 'SP-declare': a kind of judgement dat marks recalcitrant Scientologists as Suppresive Person. Other Scientologist are strictly prohibited to communicate with him - family or not.

Sea Org scientologist teen told to disconnect from her parents
Declaration of Tonja Burden - 25 January 1980

Dede Riesdorf, the 'Super Cargo' of our 'org', would not permit me to leave. I explained I wanted to leave and reunite with my mom and dad, but she would not permit this. She told me to 'disconnect' from my parents because my parents were SP's. Disconnection meant no more communication with my parents. They told me my parents would not make it in the world, but that I would make it in the world.

Disconnect policy by L Ron Hubbard harms family relationships
Ron Glazier lost his daughter to Scientology - 6 Jul 2002

my relationship with my family has been harmed because my daughter who is a member of the Scientology movement has sent to me a disconnect letter which is a letter that excommunicates a close family member such as a mother or father from the daughter or son. This breaking up of families is being done to others as well but does not help family relationships, it harms them.

Dave Sweetland's Story
Dave resigned in August 2000. He was a member since October 1969 -- 11 November 2003
Lauren Elizabeth Sweetland, my daugter, a Sea Org member at the Celebrity Centre in Hollywood for five years; and my son E. Reilly Sweetland a former staff member at the Los Gatos Org have complied with the moral code of the COS and have "disavowed and disconnected" from me since August 2000 (prior to the SP declare).



Why can't Scientology behave like a decent organization should, caring for its youth? Why does it have to violate the Universal Declaration of Human Right in pursuit of profit?

The answer lies with their founder L. Ron Hubbard, who made his word into law for scientologists. Scientology can not change therefor, not by themselves, it would be against all that is sacred for them to abandon the twisted ideas of child abuse which emanated from Hubbard. If we want to see a change in the organization's attitude toward children then it can only come from outward pressure. Get active, write your US representative, politicians, media and inform your friends. Spread the word!

What does the Declaration has to say about these inhuman Scientology practices?

Article 12

Article 18

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(Last updated Thursday, October 27, 2005)