Buffalo Scientology Information

This website is not authorized by or affiliated with the Church of Scientology of Buffalo

A Chat With Anne Marie Dunning

Past EO & HCO Executive Secretary, Church of Scientology Buffalo

April 4th, 2005

Tanya: Hi Anne Marie. I remember the first couple of times we talked, you were calling from the Church of Scientology Buffalo. Do you remember that?

Anne Marie: Yes, you answered the phone. I remember we chatted for a while. You asked about when I was going to get away for a break? I remember confiding in you that it wouldn’t be for a very long time.

Tanya: You sounded sad when you said that. I remember thinking that at the time.

Anne Marie: I figured I was safe conveying that to you, because I knew that you weren’t a Scientologist and my negative attitude would not get back to management. Later, you invited me to dinner. That confused me and got me wondering, why on earth would this total stranger invite me to dinner?

Tanya: Well it took you over a year to accept my offer, but I am glad that you did. Can you tell me the reason for your call in March of 2003?

Anne Marie: Sure. My direct supervisor, the Executive Director of the Buffalo Org., Jeff Carlson, asked me to call your brother, Fred. He wanted Fred to purchase an Intensive that was to go towards a sec check. Fred had been declared PTS (potential trouble source) the year prior and Jeff wanted Fred to come in for a sec check.

Tanya: Can you explain what you mean by Intensive and sec check? How much does an Intensive cost?

Anne Marie: An Intensive is 12 ½ hours of auditing. A sec check is essentially an auditing action. In this case, Fred would have been questioned for his out points or in other words – reasons that could be found to explain to Fred why he wasn’t progressing on the Bridge. This sec check would have cost Fred $5,000. According to Scientology policy, if Fred wanted to progress towards his spiritual freedom, he needed to have his PTS declare removed. He would have to comply with what the Church wanted him to do.

Later, I remember sitting in the meeting with Jeff Carlson, Josh Mills and Sea Org member Louis Nunn, who was in from NYC. We were collaborating on ideas of what to do about Fred. Louis did NOT like Fred, for the sole reason that Fred was ex Sea Org and Louis was current Sea Org. We were reviewing Fred’s folder. I recall seeing a knowledge report written by Jeremy Perkins in Fred’s folder. Jeremy had stabbed his mother, Elli, to death just a few weeks before. Everyone was in a state of shock. Horrible things like your son stabbing you to death, weren’t suppose to happen to OT’s.

Anyway, myself and others from the church were directed to call Fred and reg him. Fred just kept responding time and time again, that he would not buy the Intensive. You know, I really like your brother he is such a nice guy. In fact, I remember telling Fred once, that he shouldn’t let anyone pressure him into buying anything and he responded, “Your not suppose to be saying that”. I said regardless Fred, don’t let anyone pressure you into doing something that you don’t want to.

Tanya: So what was the purpose of this sec check that Scientology management wanted Fred to undergo?

Anne Marie: Well, it’s really just mind manipulation. The auditor questions the same things over and over again. He/she would keep trying to get the individual to admit to something, even if it wasn’t true or never happened. Scientologists are taught to believe that the world outside of Scientology is aberrant and that everything that happens, is a response to something else. When actually, it is the other way around.

Tanya: You mentioned Sea Org member Louis Nunn was there from out of town. Were others brought to town after Elli’s tragic death?

Anne Marie: Oh, there were so many Sea Org members brought in right after the Perkins tragedy, I don’t remember them all. Sea Org were all over the place. Most of them stayed for the week, some stayed on for a couple of weeks. A few stayed longer. They were just about all gone, when Marie Bolt, another OT member, died in a car accident and then we had a new influx of Sea Org return.

Tanya: What happened next?

Anne Marie: Everyone was instructed NOT to talk about ANYTHING to ANYONE, having to do with Jeremy or Elli. We were told to direct all questions to the DSA who was Pam Valinski (NYC DSA) or to Mary Lou Reile (Buffalo DSA). Pam was brought in specifically to clean up the mess.

Tanya: Did you ever see Jeremy’s ethics folder?

Anne Marie: Yes, it was a thick folder. But I never saw it again, after that week. Not after the Sea Org members left.

Tanya: I understand the church was trying to deny to the Buffalo News that Jeremy was ever a member of scientology. Even though you and other members knew better.

Anne Marie: Yes, I had been his twin, as had your brother Fred. However, members would not have been told what was being said to the Buffalo News, nor would it be likely that they would read the articles.

Tanya: What else can you tell me about Jeremy?

Anne: Well, let’s see… Jeremy was displaying strange behavior before he stabbed his mother to death. About seven months before he attacked his mother, he was arrested for trespassing at the University at Buffalo. He had been responding to voices that didn’t exist. I remember, Don and Elli went to the hospital and fought with the hospital staff not to have any psychiatric testing done on him.

Tanya: How do you know this?

Anne Marie: I know this because Elli called my employer Glenda Rose. I answered the phone, that was my job. I worked the reception desk. Elli wanted Glenda or her husband, Tom to go down to the hospital and treat Jeremy.

Tanya: Elli wanted Glenda Rose or Tom Barba, both chiropractors, to treat her son for responding to voices that didn’t exist? To treat him for schizophrenic symptoms?

Anne Marie: Yes.

Tanya: That doesn’t surprise me. You know my brother has been taught by Scientology to be deathly afraid of the psychiatric profession. He would freak out at the mention of the word psychiatry. He really used to display a radical and fanatical hatred towards the whole profession.

Anne Marie: Right. We practice those responses for hours and hours. We drilled on them, over and over, again and again. Everything you read or are told within the church about the field of psychiatry is evil, so eventually it becomes easier to accept the lies as truth.

Tanya: So how did Glenda respond to this request?

Anne Marie: Glenda refused to treat Jeremy, she said it was beyond her scope.

Tanya: So I guess her OT powers were of no help.

Anne Marie: Right. However, Elli was able to get Jeremy out of the hospital before he could be examined by psychiatrists. Elli went on to seek advice from members of the Church of Scientology to try to help her son, Jeremy.

Tanya: Yes, more about that can be read at PerkinsTragedy.org

Anne Marie: Sad, because as the church saw Jeremy’s health deteriorate, they pushed him further and further away from any support system. Rather than try to get him the proper help, they just pushed him off lines, you know, washed their hands of any potential public relation problems. Yet when they needed volunteers for renovating the new building, they would use him for that.

Tanya: Did you know that church directors now claim that Jeremy was examined by four different psychiatrists before he killed Elli? And that they couldn’t help him?

Anne Marie: No, but that is interesting – is there any proof of that?

Tanya: Well, that is the claim, but I haven’t seen any evidence of that assertion. However, the key is that people can be fooled by verbal declarations from church representatives.

Anne Marie: True.

Tanya: Earlier you mentioned Marie Bolt. I remember reading about her accidental death in the news.

Anne Marie: Yeah, Marie had been devastated by Elli’s death. Course I don’t know of a member that wasn’t devastated by Elli’s death, she was such a kind person. But then to have Marie die suddenly, so close, well it was horrible. She was OT IV or V, like Elli, it just didn’t make sense. You never heard any failure stories about OT’s, only successes. Here we were all experiencing the failures, yet still expected to believe that OT’s were the most successful beings on the planet.

Tanya: How well did you know Marie Bolt?

Anne Marie: Marie was like a big sister to me, very compassionate and easy to talk too. We got along wonderfully and had something in common, we were both mothers of two girls.

What happened next I think, was shocking to me. A little over a week, after Marie passed away, I was at the regular Thursday battle plan meeting.

Tanya: Battle plan meeting?

Anne Marie: Well, yes. Every Thursday we formulated a battle plan. Basically, we would propose how much money the Org. was going to take in during the week. We would talk about who we needed to bring in on staff, who should buy follow up courses and what could be sold to a new recruit. I remember this particular Thursday I was sitting with Jeff Carlson the ED, Sue Rusneck the PES, Ryan Kimble the OES and Sea Org member Chris Mehnkus the FBO (Flag Banking Officer). It was business as usual and then Chris Mehnkus says, “I don’t know if anyone knows this, but I’m sure Marie had a large life insurance plan. The girls need to buy their Bridge. Their future should be secure because of their mother’s death.”

Tanya: Their mother dying made their future secure?

Anne Marie: Yes, those were his exact words.

Tanya: How much was that going to cost them?

Anne Marie: Depends on how far along they were on their Bridge, but my guess would be anywhere from $150,000 to $250,000 each.

Tanya: Did Bob, the girls father, know about this battle plan?

Anne Marie: No. Bob would have been kept in the dark about this scheme.

Tanya: Wow, how old were the girls at the time?

Anne Marie: Teenagers.

Then someone in the room asked if Chris was sure that she had a life insurance policy. He replied, “No, but if I know Bob, I would think he has a hefty one on her. First I want you to reg the girls to pay for their services, then you can get them to join staff.”

I was dumbfounded. Basically, he was telling us to pressure these girls, who had just tragically lost their mother, of the money they would need to provide for their future. Then he wanted us to get them on staff, where all the services we just extorted them to pay for, would be offered for FREE!

That moment is when I went home and thought to myself, what on earth are these people doing? But I had no idea who to turn to or how to get out of this trap.

Tanya: What did you do?

Anne Marie: For the next two or three weeks, I was kept busy with the move from the old building into temporary space the church had rented. One morning, I just woke up and told my husband, Rich, that I never wanted to go back to Scientology. He was elated.

I then went back to work for chiropractor, Glenda Rose. Glenda and I were friends, she is the individual that introduced me to Scientology. However, as part of my going back to work for her, Glenda promised not to put any pressure on me to come back to the church. I didn’t want anymore Scientology, but needed to work, as we had been pressured to give all of our savings over to the Church of Scientology.

I didn’t know this until later, but Rich had been reading information about Scientology on the internet. You know, the Church of Scientology works hard to program its members against reading the internet. Anything critical of Scientology or Hubbard is misinformation according to the church directive. Rich waited for about 6 months, until he was more secure, that I wasn’t going back and then he plunked me down in front of our computer and asked me to read some sites, that I had been told to avoid. Once I started reading, I couldn’t stop. Everything rang so true. I didn’t stop reading until 6 hours later.

Looking back, I was fortunate that Rich had me read more about the church. Because at the time, even though I didn’t want to go back, I WAS being pressured by Glenda, despite her promise, to under go security checking. The church was requesting these security checks because I blew my position at the Org. According to Scientology management there must have been some outpoint as to why I wanted to leave.

Tanya: Couldn’t have been some internal point?

Anne Marie: Right. Some outside force, outside of the group. The church members can’t recognize failure in their own actions, like the fact that they were paying me slave wages, working me ragged, keeping me from spending time with my family. To them the reason must be outside of the organization.

Tanya: I can see why people get trapped, if they are trained to think this way, always searching for solutions inside the Hubbard think tank.

Anne Marie: Yes, I was working 70 hours a week and the only money I was being paid was from book sale commissions. At one point, we started pushing Clear Sound CD Players. “Clear Sound” to hear Hubbard’s lectures on CD instead of tape. That way the church could resell you a lecture that you had previously owned on tape and then try to sell you the portable “Clear Sound” player to go with it. The Church was selling the CD players for $350. Since leaving the church, I have bought my daughters an almost identical player for $49.95.

Tanya: So where was all that profit going?

Anne Marie: Not to the staff. The salary they led me to believe that I would make, I never saw, just meager commissions. My paycheck averaged about $75 a week.

Tanya: That works out to $1.07 an hour.

Anne Marie: I found out after questioning my pay scale that I was considered ONLY full-time and received ONLY full time pay. Apparently, someone had arbitrarily created a FULL-FULL-TIME position.

Tanya: So at full-time status you were working 70 hours per week. What did full-full-time require?

Anne Marie: That required being at the church all Org. hours. All Org. hours are 8:30 AM – 10:30 PM, Monday thru Friday and 8:30 AM – 7:30 PM Saturday and Sunday.

Tanya: Hum, that works out to be 92 hours per week.

Anne Marie: Sometimes more. Often we stayed beyond the Org hours to get extra work done.

Tanya: So getting back to what happened with you and Glenda. What became of the pressure on you by Glenda, to undergo security checking?

Anne Marie: As I mentioned before, I was back working in Glenda’s Chiropractic office. Glenda’s income was down. I think she was blaming me for her lack of clients during this time.

Tanya: Blaming you for her lack of clients?

Anne Marie: Well she is OT, so it must be some other source that is bringing her business down. She probably thought I was a potential trouble source (PTS) and needed some handling by the church to fix the problem. That’s the way Scientologists are taught to think about failure.

She started to really pressure me to go in for security checking, wanting to know if I was the source of her lack of business. When I flat out refused and reminded her that I was done with Scientology, she fired me. She told me not to bother coming in tomorrow. The next day she came to our house and rang the doorbell and started yelling and screaming that she knew we were in there and she knew we were home. She was there for hours. My family and I stayed in the bedroom and we all watched a movie. Finally, she left, but there was a stream of Scientologists showing up at our house or calling trying to convince us to return.

Then in December of 2003, just a short time after the grand opening of the new building, I received a knowledge report in the mail from Glenda Rose. Essentially, Glenda was stating that I didn’t show up for an appointment as a volunteer minister. She was trying to knock me down, make me feel guilty. Well I didn’t keep the appointment because it was scheduled in her office and she had fired me. I wrote her a response, would you like me to read it?

Tanya: Sure.

Anne Marie:

Dear Glenda,

Today I received a “KR” in the mail from you. At one time it may have bothered me to receive one. But, since I no longer consider myself a Scientologist, this type of communication is meaningless to me. Scientology “Ethics” is used to demoralize individuals' confidence into submission to get them to do what the “church” wants.

I have come to realize with the help of my family, that there are a lot of things wrong with the “Church of Scientology”. This type of cult is not what it makes itself out to be. It tears families apart, creates problems for individual in order to further its agenda, destroys lives and worst of all kills people. I have read the countless heart-wrenching stories, only to be thankful I saw the light before it was too late.

I now have my eyes open and my mind back thanks to learning the truth. It seems to me that the real enemies of the “church” are its own members by continuing this farce of a “religion”. The only people trying to “destroy” the “church” are the ones that have been destroyed by it.

My family and I are no longer interested in anything that has to do with Scientology. Please refrain from sending me any correspondence regarding Scientology. This is going to be my only request!

Regards,

Anne Marie Dunning

Then I enclosed a xenu.net flyer and dropped it in the mail.

Tanya: I bet that felt good. Did you get a response?

Anne Marie: Yes, but not from Glenda. My response came in January of 2004 in a letter from Mary Lou Reile, Teresa Reger’s mother.

Tanya: Why did the response come from Mary Lou Reile?

Anne Marie: Well she was still acting as DSA at the time. DSA stands for Director of Special Affairs. This position works and takes its direction from OSA, the Office of Special Affairs.

Tanya: I understand her daughter, Teresa Reger has held this position, also. People seem to change titles quite a bit in this church.

Anne Marie: Yes. At one point, during the preparation for the Grand Opening of the new building, the Church management wanted all OT leadership, so they demoted Jeff Carlson who had been ED for a few years to PES and made Tom Barba the ED. Tom is OT VII, so is Teresa who has the position as President. Tom left his clients at the chiropractic office to take the position, but that didn’t seem to last long. Then they brought in a SO to operate it through the Grand Opening, but I see that Jeff Carlson is back in the ED position.

Tanya: Jeff seems rather stuck there, due to the history in his PC (pre-clear) folder and scientology policy. They will try to string him along though as they did my brother for several more years. And of course if there is money or free labor to be had, he will be promised just about anything he wants to hear to keep him inside.

But getting back to the response to your letter to Glenda. What did Mary Lou Reile have to say about that, in her letter?

Anne Marie: First she apologized for not taking both Rich and I under her wing. She stated she should have recognized that we needed guidance. She wrote that we were working so diligently at the church that there were bound to be some misunderstandings.

Then she wrote about the information that we had received from my parents about the church. Mary Lou thought that they, meaning the church management, should have taken this more into consideration, because parents can have such an influence over the way their children think. She went on to state that the information that my parents were getting from the internet, was coming from a man who is gun touting, loves amputee porn and enjoys spreading lies not only about our religion but others as well.

Mary Lou wrote that the letter I sent to Glenda was filled with information that I would have no idea about. Of course she was referring to XENU. And that this information should be addressed by the church. Additionally, she asked that if the church tore apart families, then how come her family is so strong and they were all Scientologists?

She ended the letter by asking me to contact her and signed it ML (Much Love), Reverend Mary Lou Reile, DSA

Tanya: Hum, that is interesting what she had to say about families. Did you know that Teresa’s husband has petitioned her for a divorce?

Anne Marie: No, but I knew that he was disgruntled with the Church. I was surprised that the Church put up with his suppressive behavior, but actually thinking back on it, he was a source of income for them, through Teresa that is.

Tanya: So what did you think of Mary Lou’s letter?

Anne Marie: I thought to myself, she’s nuts.

Tanya: Let’s go back to the Bolt girls for a moment. I noticed that long time Scientologist, Joseph Sgroi was soliciting donations in their mother’s name for the girls education and the church back in May of 2003.

If Sea Org had planned to reg the girls of any money that they received from the death of their mother, then one has to wonder what Joseph Sgroi was doing asking for donations to be made to the church of Scientology?

Anne, what can you tell me about Joseph Sgroi?

Anne Marie: I don’t know that much about Joseph Sgroi. I do know that he has over $150,000 on account with the Buffalo Org., yet he travels to Clearwater or the Freewinds to take all of his Scientology services. Which doesn’t make sense, cause he would be paying for the same services twice. I have met Joseph, his wife Betsy and their daughter Jennifer Stanzani. Jennifer and her husband are both OT VIII. The Sgroi’s are present at the major Scientology events in Buffalo, but otherwise I rarely saw them.

Tanya: Well Joseph Sgroi has certainly brought in a lot of dollars for the Church of Scientology.

Anne Marie: Yes, he was the major contributor to the new building in Buffalo.

Tanya: Well, yes and according to Scientology’s own publications a major contributor to the Super Power Building as well as the IAS, International Association of Scientologists.

Anne Marie: Hum.

Tanya: Anne, I think we have run out of time, but we should do this again.

Anne Marie: Yes, we should.

Part 2: Dunnings and Durni Converse

Valid XHTML 1.1! Valid CSS!